A commercial development is being planned for an area near Maynard and First streets.
On Thursday night, City Council gave permission for several houses in the 800 block of First Street to be demolished following requests by James and Ophelia Fetter, who were represented at the meeting by their son, Jason Fetter.
When asked by council what the plans would be, Fetter said, "We're considering all options."
The demolitions are for properties at 860 and 862 First St., 856 and 858 First St., 864 and 866 First St. and 868 First St. A separate demolition at 651 Second St., by James Pardee, also was granted approval.
Most of the houses are vacant, council was told. No information was provided on how many families will be forced to find alternate housing.
Codes Administrator Joseph Gerardi said he
was told the intention is a type of commercial development, with perhaps retail or some commercial use, such as stores and a mini-strip mall.
The commercial element of the future 20,000-square foot space was confirmed by Council President Bill Hall.
"We hope to have a great commercial development," Hall said.
"The owners have three months to complete demolition and three months to plant grass seed," Gerardi said.
Following that, the Fetters plan to submit a land development plan to the City Planning Commission before it is sent to council.
The development news came on the heels of the city announcing that it obtained nearly $500,000 in revenue as a result of business privilege and wage taxes in 2011.
Gerardi said the commercial zone in that area of the city was extended for purposes such as economic development. It lies close to the Pennsylvania College of Technology.
A bagel shop is under development at Third and Maynard streets, Gerardi said.