026 Before photo of Wilkes-Barre home chosen for Gateway Facade Improvement Program.


The city on unveiled a $225,000 incentive program to fund half the cost of exterior improvements to properties in the city’s gateway corridors, up to $5,000 per property.

“We chose to focus first on the gateway because the first impression of people coming into our city is very lasting,” Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton said Wednesday. “(Improvements) will enhance the market value of their property, but more importantly, it will beautify the neighborhoods. It’s just a neighborhood initiative that we’re very proud of.”

The program will be funded by a local share assessment grant from gaming tax revenue generated by the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs casino in Plains Township, approved in March.

Property owners on the following streets are eligible to apply for grants matching up to 50 percent of the cost of exterior building improvements: Blackman Street, Carey Avenue, Coal Street, East Main Street, Hazle Avenue, Northampton Street, North Main Street, North Washington Street, River Street, Scott Street and South Main Street.

Leighton said those streets were selected because they carry the most traffic moving though the city daily.

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