NANTICOKE -- More than $3 million is on its way to Luzerne County thanks to some casino money grants. About $500,000 of that money is going to Downtown Nanticoke for a revitalization project.
Dr. Dale Reams bought his storefront in Downtown Nanticoke for a chiropractic business nearly 30 years ago. Back then, he thought it was a steal.
“Everything was occupied in this block except this particular location, which caught my eye when I moved in here in the late 80s,” Dr. Reams said.
However, most of those businesses have moved out or folded up.
“I didn't think it would come down to myself and the pizza shop, which is basically what it is,” Dr. Reams said.
However, city officials said there is hope for Downtown Nanticoke’s future. Its revitalization program was awarded $478,198 on Wednesday from a casino money grant.
Interim city manager Donna Wall said the money will be used to beautify older buildings, plant bushes, and add light posts from Walnut Street down to Prospect Street.
“I don't think without this we could ever attract new businesses or anybody to downtown,” Wall said.
City officials said out of the three blocks in downtown Nanticoke, 13 of the 15 storefronts are vacant.
They hope this money will bring in more foot traffic from nearby community college students and attract more business owners to open up shop.
Some have already invested in its future. Cool Beanz opened up in the downtown area in January.
“I have a feeling that more people are going to start coming in so I haven't given up hope yet,” Cool Beanz business member Tiffany DeJesus said.
Staples in the community are seeing this through.
“I’m staying here as long as I can,” Dr. Reams said.
City officials said the project will begin this summer and it will take years to wrap up.