North Scranton Property Auction Brings Hope for Revival

- There is new hope in one part of North Scranton after an auction Tuesday had nearly an entire city block up for sale.

One company emerged as the high bidder for four properties along the 1800-block of North Main Avenue in North Scranton.

Some of the properties that were sold are well known, including the former Castle Restaurant and Buckingham Rug building.

Within minutes after the auction started, Jbas Realty in Jessup walked away as the high bidder on four properties.

The potential new owner says he'd like to transform the area into a mix of retail and residential properties.

"Oh, I'm elated. That's fantastic news. It's a God-send really," nearby apartment building owner Jim Baress said.

People who live and visit the block hope the sale will spur a revival in this part of Providence Square.

"It's gotta be better than what is here now. It doesn't look good," Neil Sutton of Waverly said.

The properties were all sold seperately.

The former Castle Restaurant at 1826 North Main Avenue sold for $70,000.

An auto lot next door, called the Pacific Auto Lot, sold for $25,000. An office building at 1838-1840 North Main Avenue sold for $37,500 and a building at 1836 North Main Avenue sold for $40,000.

A fifth building, the former Buckingham Rug Building, did not sell at the auction. It was the scene of a fire in 2008.

Bernie McGurl came to the auction representing the Lackawanna Valley Conservancy, an adjoining property owner.

He is hopeful for change.

"People have been dumping stuff over the hill here fore 50-100 years and we want to get it all cleaned up so we can walk from a newly renovated business district here down a pathway to the river," McGurl said.

Jbas Realty has worked on a number of other recent development projects recently in the Moscow, Olyphant and Scranton areas.

"The guy has a track record. He's a proven guy, quote on quote, so that gives us a lot of hope here and hopefully things will work out and we'll have a new beginning here in this part of town," Baress said.

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