MAYFIELD, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Plans are moving forward to create a new business park in Lackawanna County’s Up Valley.
Developers say their proposal could create hundreds of new jobs and transform the region’s economy.
Governor Tom Wolf just announced a $1.5 million grant to turn a piece of property just off Business Route 6 in Mayfield into a Life Sciences Business Park.
Many people know the property as an old vo-tech school and it is currently home to Lackawanna County’s Domestic Relations Office but officials say the property is drastically underutilized.
The proposed business park would be a place where small start-up companies could grow.
“We’ve lost so many businesses in the past, it’s always great to add more to it,” Christina Szydlowski of Scranton said.
Mayfield mayor Alex Chelik first heard about the idea last year and is happy plans are finally moving forward.
Right now, he says the building is only about 30-percent occupied.
He thinks there is the potential to create between 300 and 400 new jobs.
“You can see that, not only for Mayfield, that would be a boom for the entire area,” Mayor Chelik said.
The proposed development in Mayfield takes on added significance because right now the property houses Lackawanna County’s Domestic Relations Office. The county is planning to move the office to its new Government Center that is planned in downtown Scranton so that will result in even more empty space.
Besides renovating the existing building, developers also told Eyewitness News they want to build two additional, two-story buildings on a neighboring property.
Mayor Chelik says if the project becomes a reality it will definitely help the region.
For years, Mayfield has been dominated by seniors and he’s hoping young professionals will find the borough attractive once again.
“Hopefully the people will start looking to locate in Mayfield if they can get a job at a place like the NEET Center,” Mayor Chelik said.
Developers say the $1.5 million grant from Pennsylvania will go towards acquiring the building and making improvements.
They say the total cost of their planned business park project will cost more than $5 million in total.
Developers say by early next year they expect to put a marketing plan into place to aggressively try and recruit companies to relocate to Lackawanna County.