HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Hazleton City officials are now looking to approve what they say it is the largest economic development project in the history of the city.
A developer is seeking zoning approval to build five, one-million-square-foot industrial buildings on a 400 acre tract of land in the city’s southside. If successful, the project could create thousands of new jobs.
Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat says he’s excited about the proposed business development in the city. A company called Hazleton Creek Commerce Center Holdings, based in the Lehigh Valley, is seeking zoning approval to construct five large industrial buildings. They would total of five million square feet and enough parking spaces for 7,400 vehicles.
“It would bring in a lot of tax property tax, E.I.T. tax for every job that’s created it would be really a savior for the city of Hazleton to have this development complete,” Cusat said.
Details about what the buildings and property could be used for are still scarce as Cusat says the proposal is still in its preliminary stage. A spokesperson for the company also told Eyewitness News that details could not yet be released.
Meanwhile, residents and business owners say the project is welcome news.
“I think it’s great. Anything that benefits the city, the tax base, jobs anything that benefits the city benefits us all,” Pat Smith, owner of Pat’s on the Heights said.
Smith has run her restaurant in the heights section of the city for 20 years. She says new employment opportunities are always something to look forward to.
“You know we need jobs especially at this time of year because we’ve been through a lot the virus a lot of people suffering . I just think this would be great for the area,” Smith said.
Eyewitness News also asked Gary Fisher, a Hazleton resident and regular customer at Pat’s on the Heights how he felt about the project.
“It would definitely help a lot of the area for the city as I said for the tax base hopefully higher incomes for the people. Great for the area,” Fisher said.
If all goes as planned by the developer, this project could be up and running within a year. The Hazleton zoning board will hold a public hearing on the project on October 8 at 6:30 at City Hall.