Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Luzerne County invites prospective buyers to tour property

June 25. 2014 11:44PM

By - jandes@civitasmedia.com

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Five groups of prospective buyers toured the four-story Springbrook Water Co. property in Wilkes-Barre Wednesday.

Luzerne County has no use for the property and is trying to sell it for the third time to generate revenue.

Taking photographs and jotting down notes during Wednesday’s tour, the potential buyers declined to be interviewed by name, though several observed substantial renovations will be required to reuse the structure at 30 N. Franklin St.

“It needs a lot of work,” one said, shaking her head. Another estimated rehabilitation at $1 million.

Several admired the view of the Susquehanna River and other downtown buildings from the fourth floor and rooftop.

Purchase offers for the property, which was appraised at $124,000, are due July 16.

The county acquired the property in 2005 in a package of former watershed holdings previously owned by Theta Land Corp. Two potential buyers had backed out of purchasing the property from the county.

The county had to stabilize the roof to stop leaks and sanitize the property several years ago because homeless people had broken into the building.

The property includes a secondary structure that wasn’t opened for the tour. County officials have said this structure may warrant demolition because it’s in poor condition and doesn’t have impressive architectural features.

County Operational Services Division Head Tanis Manseau checked out the building for the first time Wednesday and admired the marble and molding, a first-floor walk-in safe and fireplace in an upper office he believes was once occupied by the building’s boss.

“The marble here alone has some high value,” he said.

He paused on the rooftop to photograph the pops of color and intricate detail accenting the Masonic Temple building on the opposite side of Franklin Street.

“That’s just gorgeous. They don’t do them like that anymore,” he said.

Several citizens and county workers on their lunch breaks also stopped by to see the property.

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