Pittston’s ‘Gilbro project’ moving forward

June 27th, 2015 1:17 am

First Posted: 4/19/2013

Steel beams are coming from the construction site at William and North Main streets, a sign the “Gilbro” building will be erected before long.

The new second and third floors will house the non-profit North Penn Legal Services. Currently the firm has offices in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, but will consolidate offices in Pittston. A total of 30 employees, including 22 lawyers, will move into the office, according to a spokesman from the developer, Gilbro Realty Inc.

Total, 40 new employees will be located in the downtown, and more than 100 workers will be at the property over the next 18 months as construction progresses.

On the first floor, a physical and aquatic therapy, Cawley Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, will move into one of the storefronts.

Combined, it will be roughly 14,000 square feet of office and retail space.

Michael Lombardo, a member of city’s redevelopment authority, said the project is “a win across the board.”

First, he said, it returns a piece of property to the tax rolls of Pittston City, Pittston Area School District and Luzerne County.

Second, the project will place roughly 60 more people downtown each day.

“That steady flow of pedestrians is what we want,” Lombardo said. “There’s more of a captive audience now and that’s good for all the businesses.”

Third, he said, the project fits within the design standards for the aesthetic of downtown.

Lombardo said that corner lot has had thriving businesses for years. Most recently, it was a billiards hall and City Carpet.

He said much of the property has sat vacant for years, though. The corner building was razed within the past two years and the right turn, from William Street onto North Main Street, has been “softened.” “That used to be a hard corner to make, especially if you were a tractor trailer,” Lombardo said. “PennDOT came in and helped with the project and they softened the radius.”