HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Federal funding is bringing new life to a formerly blighted property in Luzerne County.

Thousands of dollars will support the fourth and final phase of renovation for Hazleton’s ‘Launchbox.’

Downtown Hazleton is on the rise and Senator Bob Casey announced Congress is sending $200,000 directly to a community project on West Broad Street, Hazleton Launchbox.

“In this case, these $200,000 will help renovate the second floor and it’s nice to be able to see what the second can become based upon what we see here on the first floor, ” stated Senator Bob Casey, (d) Pennsylvania.

Hazleton Launchbox opened last fall. It provides space for educational programs, meetings, and co-working space with access to wifi, printing, and copying. The property is located in the same building as Hazleton’s new downtown Welcome Center, where Senator Casey took a tour of the property alongside city leaders.

“We’re going to move forward and create more jobs and projects,” said Hazleton Mayor, Jeff Cusat.

“We appreciate another resource to continue our work of long-term success and sustainability of downtown Hazleton,” said Neil DeAngelo III, President, Board of Directors, Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress.

The seed money will kickstart renovations to the second floor of Hazleton Launchbox. The business development service offers free services and resources in both English and Spanish.

The additional space will allow entrepreneurs in the community to collaborate and create new inventions and ideas. To create new opportunities and growth for the community.

“Obviously will have an impact over time, this room, this building, the efforts undertaken here will have an impact on small business and future economic growth here in Hazleton,” said Senator Casey.

The city’s goal is to have the space renovated by the end of 2023.