HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The landmark Altamont Hotel building in Hazleton is getting a new lease on life as work begins to restore the historic structure.
The former hotel, which stands on the corner of Broad and Church Streets, has been at the center of controversy over the past decade. At one point, the building was even sold at tax sale.
Now, city officials say the future of the building looks bright.
“We are hoping to put in businesses downstairs, a catering hall on the second floor, 60 apartments upstairs,” Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat said. “That’s a substantial amount of people to bring downtown.”
The ten-story building, built back in 1930, was once the crown jewel of downtown Hazleton. It has undergone many transformations, including serving time as a minimum security prison.
On Tuesday, Eyewitness News found the area around the building fenced off and crews working inside to give the building a new chance at life.
“Back alleys are blocked off, and chutes are being installed, and dumpsters are being delivered,” Cusat said. “We expect internal demolition to start in several weeks.”
Carmen Delese, an 88-year-old resident of Hazleton who has operated a restaurant and bakery in the downtown area is looking forward to the positive changes she believes reconstruction will bring.
“I think it’s going to be great to bring people,” Delese said. “It’s not going to be like it was 40, 50 years ago but people spending money so that will be be great.”
The $9M project should be completed in about two years. The project will also translate into thousands of dollars in taxes for the city, county and school districts.