NANTICOKE – City Council voted down plans Wednesday to turn the property near the entrance to Luzerne County Community College into a student housing complex.
Alex Belavitz, president and CEO of Facility Design and Development, Scranton, gave a thorough presentation of the proposed 240-bed facility. The facility would have included separate dwellings for freshmen, upperclassmen and older students, and single parents who might not want to live in a dorm-type setup.
The average cost for a single room would have been about $550 per month. The facility was to be privately funded by Kingsley Equity at a cost of $16 million. Kingsley also did a market study of LCCC students and found that 800 to 900 students would have been interested in the housing. Northampton Community College added a student housing complex managed by Kingsley, and the school's enrollment increased significantly, Belavitz said.
It is a tremendous loss for the community of Nanticoke, he said. He added that with the addition of the complex, the city would have seen a boost in the downtown business area, with the new residents utilizing the goods and services of the city.
Many residents were strongly opposed to the development, stating that they were afraid the property would be turned into low-income housing or that LCCC would take over the property, thus leaving the city with no tax revenue from the school.