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Last updated: February 19. 2013 10:15PM - 365 Views

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The condominium project on the Pittston Riverfront is on track and construction is expected to start soon.


You'll see it start to come out of the ground in two months, said Michael Lombardo of the city's redevelopment authority.


The multi-million dollar, 4-story project is being developed by Rob Grimm and Daniel Siniawa & Associates.


The project was begun in late 2004 when Michael A. Lombardo was mayor but was redesigned when funding sources were cut back.


Lombardo said Siniawa is a proven developer and Grimm was one of the planners for the Hitchner Building in West Pittston that turned the former cookie factory into affordable housing units.


The condominium will have 30 market-rate units.


This will be the single largest addition of new housing in the city in 40 years, Lombardo said.


Construction is expected to last 18 months to two years.


This will be really another banner of progress in the city and it will make a substantial impact, Lombardo said.


He said the developers are taking a piece of property that is generating little money and adding it to the tax rolls.


It helps in a time where there's not a lot of growth, Lombardo said.


He compares it to the city landing Boden Outlet Store on Main Street. Boden is a London-based clothing company with a call center and warehouse in the CenterPointe Commerce and Trade Park in Jenkins Township. The company mainly does business through mail-orders, but decided to open an outlet store on weekends in the Open Space.


It's really a big win for the city, he said.


Lombardo said he see the project as a jumpstart to the Neighborhood Housing Stabilization and Development Initiative.


Substandard, deteriorating and unoccupied homes and street crowding causes the tax base to decline. The neighborhood's initiative will make improvements to combat such problems, Lombardo said. Sprucing up neighborhoods, acquiring tax sale and foreclosure properties, tax rebates, creating a housing impact team and imposing a moratorium on converting single homes to apartments are all planned.


Revenues created from this project could be put back into the community, Lombardo said. We'll go out and help the neighborhoods. Everyone benefits.


Across Kennedy Boulevard, an abandoned lot will get new life when Fidelity Bank returns to Pittston. Plans are underway to build an eco-friendly branch.


A streetscape project, similar to the one on Main Street, is also planned when funding becomes available.


On the Siniawa website, the project is described as having landscaped walkways, garden walls and handicapped accessible ramps and elevators.


It will offer high-end, unique housing, fulfilling a viable need in the local market.


There are expected to be two-bedroom units ranging from 1,190 square feet to 1,500 square feet and three-bedroom units with 1,620 square feet.


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