Former Lackawanna County building gets facelift

Nov , 19
Former Lackawanna County building gets facelift

As appeared in The Times Tribune by Robert Tomkavage on November 15, 2020.

SCRANTON — Developer Charles Jefferson can’t pinpoint one aspect that makes his apartments at 200 Adams Ave. special and unique.

There are beautiful views of the mountains and iconic city landmarks through massive windows, plenty of places to eat and shop nearby and state-of-the-art appliances.

“I think it’s all of the above,” he said. “The size of the windows, the views, the modern amenities, and the proximity of coffee shops, restaurants and bars. You can do whatever you want here. … It has everything a place like Philadelphia or Bethlehem has.”

While the top floors offer more grand views, the second-floor rooms provide a look at everyday life.

“It’s a different experience because you relate to the people on the street,” Jefferson said. “I don’t think there is a bad view in here.”

Jefferson’s firm Scranton-Spruce LLC purchased the former six-floor Stoehr & Fister Furniture Company building from Lackawanna County for $1.62 million in December . The county had used the building as its headquarters before moving to the Government Center on Wyoming Avenue.

Along with 65 apartments — 23 of which are already leased — the building features retail space on the first floor.

Lavish Body & Home will move its salon and spa from its current locations on Linden Street and North Washington Avenue to the building in early January .

Co-owner Micah Woodard thinks the new location and 7,000 square-foot space — more than double its original spot — will give his business a boost.

“We love being downtown on the square,” he said. “It’s a perfect fit and the salon will be unlike anything you’ve seen before.”

Jefferson is in discussions with four other potential tenants to fill the remaining first-floor space.

The renovation cost, which included gutting the entire building, is approaching $15 million, he said.

Jefferson believes all the work will be finished by December , although some tenants have already moved into the top floors.

He expects to have every unit leased between March and April and everyone moved in by April or May .

Monthly rent ranges from about $950 to $1,650 , Jefferson said.

Many young professionals have been drawn to Jefferson’s new facility, just as they have to others, including Connell Lofts.

“It’s the same group that has rented from us for the last 10 years,” he said. “The average age is mid to low 30s. Some people have relocated from Philadelphia and New York City to work from home.”

Jefferson feels Scranton offers a charm that areas outside some of the region’s big cities lack.

“There is a sense of neighborhood here that doesn’t exist in suburbia,” he said.

Contact the writer: rtomkavage@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9131; @rtomkavage on Twitter.