SCRANTON -- The Marketplace at Steamtown's latest tenant is not a retail store but a system of medical offices.
Delta Medix operates medical practices throughout Lackawanna County and most of them will soon move into the marketplace.
The owner of the marketplace changed its name from mall to marketplace, in part, to remind customers that this is no longer a traditional mall. Its newest tenant is another one of those untraditional picks.
Delta Medix will vacate most of its offices throughout Lackawanna County and move to the marketplace.
Joe Pastelok and Ann Fezuk rarely visit The Marketplace at Steamtown. The last time, the place was called a mall. Now the couple from Scranton will visit more often because of what will fill the first floor of the former Bon-Ton department store -- Delta Medix, a network of medical practices, will consolidate most of its offices there.
Ann has appointments with Delta Medix every few weeks.
"'The first thing I told her, first, you're going to be underground and you can get out without walking in the snow in the winter," Pastelok said. "And second, you can get parking. On Penn Avenue, it's hard to get parking where the offices are. With the cost of parking going up and everything, it's better for us."
Delta Medix is the latest in an unconventional list of new mall tenants. The deal Delta Medix struck with mall owner John Basalyga is unconventional, too.
Basalyga must buy two Delta Medix offices on Penn Avenue, a few blocks away from The Marketplace at Steamtown. Basalyga says he doesn't have any plans for the two buildings just yet.
Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright says the deal with the marketplace kept Delta Medix in the city of Scranton. They were looking at facilities outside the city.
"We were very concerned about it, and I was dealing with John Basalyga and Delta Medix. They wanted to stay in the city, they just needed the right fit and the marketplace here at the mall is the right fit," said Mayor Courtright.
Marketplace officials say construction will begin soon. Plans are to open the medical offices in the mall by the middle of 2017.
"I think everybody realizes malls aren't what they used to be so you have to have a mixed use," Courtright added.
The mayor and marketplace officials cut the ribbon on another new tenant Tuesday morning.
Bee's Backyard, a soft-play gym and party place for kids and families, is just about ready for customers.
The spot on the second floor of the marketplace is scheduled to open Saturday and a ribbon cutting was held Tuesday morning.
It's owned by a family from Scranton who became familiar with similar businesses in other areas of the country. They were interested in moving into the ever-changing mall.
"Centrally located was probably the first part, and then John and his team have been amazing," said Bridget Moran. "Bringing all the new business back into the area, the right kind of business, and a family-oriented business is what we were looking for."
Bee's Backyard is set to open this weekend. Ticket prices for kids range from $8 to $12.