Work Progressing on Market Street Square in Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE -- Construction is underway for what is expected to become a major retail and office hub in Wilkes-Barre.

The plans call for a total remodeling of Market Street Square.

Market Street Square in Wilkes-Barre is often called the gateway to the city, and the multi-million dollar project includes renovating a strip mall, renovating the old train station, and even building a new fast food restaurant next to it.

But there are some legal issues that stand in the way.

The 10,000 square-foot strip mall is undergoing a renovation that is a long time coming, and many people are glad to see new life finally back into the square.

"I'm very excited about it," said Melinda Formola. "My mom actually used to work at the old train station, so it's going to be really exciting to have this back to life, and I think a lot of people around here are going to be really excited for it."

"I'm excited. This is going to be a more retail-centric facility," said business owner Jeff Thomas.

Thomas opened his shipping, packing, and copy machine business in the Market Street complex nearly a decade ago when few businesses were there. Now, he hopes the square at the intersection of Market Street and Wilkes-Barre Boulevard will soon become a booming retail center.

"It's been a bumpy ride, yeah, the parking lot has deteriorated, things were getting rough around here. I'm very excited about the redevelopment."

But a lawsuit could stop another plan for the square. The lawsuit seeks to keep a Burger King from being built because there's a McDonald's nearby.

Construction on the Burger King is scheduled to start in the spring but may have to wait until the lawsuit is settled.

The developer who's renovating Market Street Square says he still expects the project to finish on time in about a year.

Right now, he's just waiting for a court date to try to settle the issue involving the Burger King.

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