This Citizens Voice article is making the rounds today, A New Day Downtown. Itseems people are moving into the high rise lofts that have sprung up in downtown Wilkes-Barre at a respectable clip. We're not talking about the old box buildings that you've come to think of all the "old people" living in such as the Provincial Towers. No, what's being talked about are edgy lofts converted from otherwise abandoned Wilkes-Barre commercial office centers such as the Luzerne Building(money went into the loft conversions, clearly not the website) or the Bank Building. This is exactly the kind of thing I personally would love to see happen to its maximum. It's within the vision scope of this website that Wilkes-Barre downtown become a New York City terminus where people can rail to and from big city work in under an hour and a half. That would transform Public Square and the downtown in general.
Of course some of the social media musings about this development center on the idea (and I strictly mean "idea" - it's not statistically demonstrated that I know of) that downtown is crime-ridden and dangerous. I agree, the area isunder-patrolledweakly confronted by the police or police resources, and the riff-raff that comes to dominate such opportunity is simply doing so. Crime-ridden or not, it has its shaky pockets. Factor in that the area is economically collapsed and double that.
But when Wilkes-Barre is a true Philadelphia or New York City bedroom community featuring a direct train connection to either, expect those problems to wane. Populating Wilkes-Barre with a free flow of urban working professionals who want New York City work and escape, but not New York City traffic and expense, is the surest way to combat the stigma of downtown ruddiness at its very root.
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