The final stages of Pittston’s newest stage will wrap up in 2019, bringing a long anticipated project to the city.
“It’s about 95 percent complete right now,” Mayor Michael Lombardo said.
The amphitheater and children’s playground will make up a third level of the city’s Tomato Festival lots. Lombardo said the stage will host outdoor performances and movies, and now that it is nearly complete, the city can consider hosting a jazz festival.
“I think 2019 is the year to look seriously at that,” Lombardo said.
The city’s streetscaping will expand in 2019 as well, bringing updated lights and walkways further downtown.
“Somewhere in mid spring we will begin work in the north end of town,” Lombardo said, with work expanding from Curry Street to New Street.
The 2019 work will move the city’s Main Street closer to Lombardo’s goal of a finished streetscape by 2020 or 2021.
“We want to get that North End done,” he said. “It’s fully funded. The last phase came out awesome, it looks really great lit up.”
In business, downtown restaurant Callahan’s plans to expand in 2019 while the Art E Fekts co-op, opened toward the end of 2018, will be completed with what Lombardo called the Main Street Mercantile by March, offering artisan products from Pittston Ketchup to others.
“We’re excited about that,” he said.
More housing will make its way to Pittston in the new year as well.
For instance, Lombardo stated Steepleview, a planned 35-unit senior housing facility, will move into the lot of the former St. Mary’s Assumption School. (See the story about the school’s demolition on page P2.)
Another developer has begun work on 33 loft units on Kennedy Street, Lombardo said.
“We (the Redevelopment Authority) were just recently able to obtain ownership of the former Fort Jenkins School at the bottom of Parsons Street,” Lombardo said. “We have a developer proposing 10 to 12 loft units. That will begin later in 2019.”
More public art will appear downtown in 2019 as well with three new pieces slated for unveiling, two of which were created through a partnership with Marywood University, Lombardo said.
Financially, Lombardo said the city is looking forward to a good year after a strong finis to 2018.
By the end of 2019, Lombardo hopes to be able increase the tax reduction offered to the city’s homeowners.
“This has been the strongest financial finish we’ve had in practically 30 years,” he said.