The demand for Center City Scranton housing is heating up. Another blighted landmark building in Central Scranton is being converted into more than 35 apartments with retail space on the first floor. The 5-story Chamber of Commerce Building was built in grand style in 1926. Brass rails, marble floors, 14-foot tall built-in bookcases and rollout doors are featured in the beautiful interior. The building served the Scranton Chamber of Commerce until 1998.
Developer Charlie Jefferson, is the force behind this transformation. Jefferson was also responsible for the Connell Building’s transformation into loft apartments. All of the loft apartments were leased before anyone moved in. Jefferson’s total investment in downtown Scranton is $35 million. This Chamber of Commerce building sale was some where in the vicinity of $1 million according to Jefferson.
The former East Scranton Junior High School will be converted into 24 apartments. A $3 million grant from Ed Rendell will help to transform this property into more apartments. The school has been closed since 2001, according to a Facebook alumni page.
The construction of The Commonwealth Medical College is going to drive demand for 600 additional apartments in central Scranton in the next five years. The amount of recent development in Scranton has been astonishing given the economic downtown during the last several years. An increased population in the central business district will spawn the need for stores, restaurants, clubs and services like banks, dry cleaners, grocery stores and other conveniences for residents. The Commonwealth Medical College is building an 180,000 square foot building in downtown Scranton that is opening this year. The new facility will house the school’s educational and research programs.
Mayor Chris Doherty said “the success of the city will come from life downtown, and the trend is well on its way.”