HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV)  The former Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Hazleton has been an eyesore and public safety concern for more than a decade.

   But, there is word tonight that it may not be vacant much longer

   And tonight…the I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick gets an exclusive look inside the property

You can almost feel the history as you walk through the halls of the former Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Hazleton. It served this community for generations. It closed in the mid 2000s and despite several ownership changes. It’s been falling apart. Enter real estate agent Bob Nemeth. He works for the latest owner. A Texas company. He and his workers have been cleaning up the five-story property.

  “It makes me feel good that we are saving it,” Said Bob Nemeth, Hanna Fredrick Commercial Real Estate.

 And for this building. It could be a case of ‘what’s old is new again.”

  “There is a lot of interest from people in the medical community from outside the area. Two of them being regional hospitals” Nemeth says.

He adds there has also been keen interest from another developer into making this a home for veterans. Or an assisted care facility.

  “My marching orders from the owner are he would team up with anybody that is proven and is successful in what they are doing” Noted Nemeth.

 Bob Yevak owns a car detailing business near the property. He says this news could be a game changer for the city.   “Well it’s going to bring taxes back into the city and it’s going to put us on a good roll. It’s going to bring jobs.”

 City Councilman Tony Colombo has seen this movie before. But it never had a happy ending. But now,  “I think finally this is the real deal.”  

Nemeth says if all goes as planned. He’s confident there could be activity inside this building by the end of the year.