Wilkes-Barre City Council To Vote on Selling First National Bank Building

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WILKES-BARRE -- There's a prime piece of real estate in the heart of downtown Wilkes-Barre on Public Square that's sat vacant for decades.

But the First National Bank Building may finally have a buyer.

Developer George Albert wants to buy the building from Wilkes-Barre so he can develop it into a hub for tech companies.

"It's a unique approach. It's something new and rather groundbreaking with technology jobs, but that's our vision. They're well-paying, high-paying jobs," he said.

Business leaders believe the tech companies that could soon call the building home are a part of a larger citywide trend of those types of businesses moving in.

"It shows that there is momentum and this bank represents that next piece of showing that e-commerce and tech continue to grow in Wilkes-Barre," said Joseph Boylan of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.

Wilkes-Barre is also home to other projects Albert is working on, like the upgrades happening at Market Street Square. That project is creating new retail and office space.

"It really builds on our overall vision of creating more job opportunities and filling vacant space," Albert said.

City council is expected to vote on selling the First National Bank building Thursday. If it approves the sale, Albert is aiming to make upgrades by the fall.