School Closings And Delays

Hundreds of Geisinger Employees to Leave Office Building on Public Square

WILKES-BARRE -- Geisinger is moving 500 employees from sites in Scranton, Plains Township, and Wilkes-Barre to a brand new building near Pittston.

That has some leaders in the Diamond City worried about lost money on Public Square.

An exact number of how many workers from each location are going to the new facility wasn’t made available by Geisinger.

However, Wilkes-Barre city officials tell Newswatch 16 more than 250 Geisinger support employees will soon be leaving their office on Public Square.

This comes at a time when things seem to be going pretty well for the city, with hundreds of new jobs coming from Guard Insurance.

“We were fortunate enough to have Berkshire Hathaway bring in 700 people, but losing more than 200 is just as bad,” Mayor Tony George said.

The 250 Geisinger support employees are going to CenterPoint Commerce and Trade Park near Pittston by the end of the year, which means Wilkes-Barre will be losing thousands of dollars from the local services tax.

“With the loss of 250-300 positions with Geisinger it's going to have an impact on the city between $13,000 and $15,000 so it does impact us and it is a concern,” Wilkes-Barre City Administrator Ted Wampole said.

Another reason why city officials are worried is that Geisinger reserves more than 250 spots at a city-owned parking deck, which could mean a loss of $100,000 to $150,000 for the city.

“We're going to lose them shopping downtown, eating downtown, and basically just staying around downtown,” Wampole said.

That has owners of nearby lunch spots, like the Cheesesteak Factory, somewhat concerned.

“I think all of us are going to take a hit because it's less mouths to feed, but with the growth of Wilkes-Barre, I don't think that building will be vacant that long because there's a lot of potential down here,” Cheesesteak Factory owner Eric Negron said.

Mayor George said he has a meeting with Geisinger next week to see if there’s anything city officials can do to keep those Geisinger employees on Public Square.

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