New Jersey scientist buys Pittston Plaza to reinforce sense of community

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PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WRBE/WYOU) — Dr. Gordon Chiu, a scientist, investor, and inventor based out of New Jersey, recently purchased the Pittston Plaza in Pittston Township, with hopes of bringing the community closer together.

Dr. Chiu says he purchased the plaza for $6.2 million, which was finalized in August. The plaza is home to Redner’s Warehouse Markets, Holiday Hair, Goodwill Industries, and Gertrude Hawk Chocolates. There are currently three vacancies available in the plaza.

“What does the community want,” asked Chiu. “Community is very important and my role is to help, not to hurt.”

Chiu, co-founder, and former president, of Grafoid Inc., retired in 2017. He is also an inventor with 31 patents filed. He has also purchased the Luzerne Shopping Center in Scranton. He claims he decided to make the purchase after researching at Harvard University, how “big business” is taking over a lot of jobs in the retail arena. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Harvard is one of the oldest institutions and it’s infectious,” Chiu explained. “Amazon has taken over a lot of jobs, so, how can we create jobs for locals? By reinforcing existing community centers. It is an external force that people need certain things. So, when tenants start working together and understanding one another, they find it helpful. It’s simply being a good neighbor.”

Chiu explained, “the good neighbor effect” is beyond powerful. He said it’s a domino effect as reducing friction between vendors for the sake of progress makes things all the better. His hopes are to have the plaza 100 percent occupied with vendors that the community needs.

“I purchased this property for $6.2 million, so I have a lot riding on the theory of love,” Chiu said. “I believe the good neighbor effect is beyond powerful. You can go through life being selfish, but it doesn’t work. There are many things we shouldn’t do because it leads to long-term unhappiness.”

He said he believes it is a good landlord’s responsibility to maintain and make improvements to the properties they own. He explained when he first purchased the Luzerne Shopping Center in Scranton, he helped improve it by adding new LED lights to the center.

“Properties have sentimental value to the community,” Chiu explained. “That is respect. That is someone’s memories. Once we lose that respect, we lose our humanity.”

Chiu said he hopes for unity in the Pittston Township community. He believes the community stands for something greater.

“I believe there are enough people in the Pittston area to support one another,” Chiu said. “We will all stand together as a community and that way we can effect positive change.”

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