Hazleton Looks to the Public for Ideas and Support

Published 07/16 2014 04:27PM

Updated 07/16 2014 06:40PM

Hazleton, Luzerne County- Downtown Hazleton suffered the same plight as many other downtowns around the country over the years.  Businesses and shoppers moving out.. gravitating --for the most part to malls.  But many involved in this effort believe the momentum is shifting back to Downtown Areas and that Hazleton is making a comeback.  96-year-old Anna Weigand  told the I-Team's Andy Mehalshick she remembers the hey-day of Hazleton. 
"We used to come down here this was the place you came everyday. The stores, the Leader, Grants, all those beautiful stores today... You don't see that."

And that will change if Krista Schneider and others have their way. Schneider is Executive Director of the newly formed Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress.  They are organizing a master plan to breathe new life into downtown Hazleton.

"Well we want to bring back business to the downtown bring back new shops, retail, new businesses, commercial... You name it... Restaurants.  We want to see downtown have a lot of activity."

You can already see signs of renewed life in downtown.   The Former Traders Bank building is being renovated.  Broad Street itself has been rebuilt and resurfaced with new lighting and a park is being built on a vacant lot.

The Alliance is offering a business loan program... Marketing advice for new and current businesses and a grant program for to update the facades of stores. Tony Cusatis is Vice President of the First Federal Charitable Foundation.

"The idea is to bring back the nostalgia from previous years when it was wall to wall people on broad street just walking bumper to bumper to bumper to get around."

 To submit an idea or suggestion  go to the Downtown Hazleton Alliance Website

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.