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Wilkes-Barre Landmark To Stay In Tact

The owner of a Wilkes-Barre business has been fighting to keep her store open and Thursday night she won.
Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County - The owner of a Wilkes-Barre business has been fighting to keep her store open and Thursday night she won.  Last week the city condemned four buildings near Public Square on South Main Street.  One of those buildings houses the business "Place One at the Hollywood."  Finally, he owner of the formal wear shop received the news she was waiting for.  Her business will stay right where it has been for more than 20 years.

Micaelene Coffee was devastated when she heard the building her business has been in for more than 2 decades was condemned and the city expected her to pay for the demolition.  Coffee says "it's been crazy.  It's been an emotional roller coaster."  Outrage quickly spread through the Diamond City.  At Thursday's City Council meeting Frank Sorick, of Wilkes-barre, said "you wouldn't want me coming in and buying the property next to you, allowing it to fall apart for 15 years, then say hey I'm tearing down my house and yours too."  Bob Kadluboski, of Wilkes-Barre, said "You worked here for 22 years mam, but get out and guess what we are going to do to you?  You're going to pay for it, Miss Dress maker right there. If we have to tear your building down you have to pay for it."

Coffee's prayers were answered at Thursday evening's City Council meeting when it was decided her beloved formal wear shop would remain in tact.  Assistant City Attorney Bill Vinsko said "We are not going to demolish, in any way, the Hollywood shop or Frank Clark jewelers and we are going to try to save the front facade."  "I'm absolutely thrilled.  I am beyond words," responded Coffee.  The city is even going as far as paying for relocation fees and will have the inside of "Place One at the Hollywood" thoroughly cleaned before she moves her inventory back in.

"We are going to take care of making sure all of her merchandise comes back safely and appropriately," says Attorney Vinsko.  All of the dresses in the shop will be removed for demolition, but once she moves back into this location it will be as good as new.  The city will now begin the bidding process for demolition with  a completion date set for December 6th.  It's all part of revitalizing down town Wilkes-Barre.  "Well I have been here for 22 and I hope to be here for another 22 or longer," says Coffee.

Attorney Vinsko did not say how they plan to take down the buildings around the dress shop or the jewelry store, but he says the bidding on this demolition project will open up Friday and demolition  will start by Monday at the latest.  During that time the shop will be open for business in a Scranton location.

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