A healthy remake for another vacant building in city

There is nothing more depressing for a city than clusters of empty buildings. It indicates a stagnant economic state and a shaky future.

Such buildings also are fire traps and a potential nesting place for crime and illegal drug trafficking.

Conversely, there are few things more invigorating than reuse of vacant buildings.

That’s why recently announced plans for the former YMCA building on West Fourth Street is so encouraging, as well as ongoing work on the long-vacant building at West Third and Hepburn streets.

Likewise, we are heartened by announced plans for retail shops to occupy the vacant building that was formerly the Trebecca and Weldon factory at 600 Cemetery St. in Williamsport.

The building adjoins the Pajama Factory, a building successfully converted for reuse many years ago.

Don and Carol Slout want to bring several retail shops into the space. They recently received unanimous approval of parking plans related to the project from the Williamsport Zoning Hearing Board.

The developers are not planning a massive retail development. They would be the main retailer with some other stores in the building and some of the space not always occupied.

Picture a farmers market type of situation.

Compared to a vacant, idle building, that’s a significant upgrade.

The important thing is that the building will be an active business generator.

There was a time when idle, vacant buildings were a prevalent part of Williamsport’s landscape, in the downtown area and in other neighborhoods.

Much of that landscape has been replaced with a new look that leaves a very good first impression of the city. This development appears to be an addition to that.

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