WILKES-BARRE — The former New Jersey Central train station in Wilkes-Barre has a new owner.
George Albert, on behalf of Wyoming-based Market Square Properties Development LLC, has purchased the station for $1.2 million.
Andrew Reilly, executive director of the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority, confirmed the sale Tuesday.
The Times Leader reported in August 2015 that the authority voted last June to enter a letter of intent to sell the property to the group.
The authority bought the land, which includes a six-acre lot housing the train station and strip mall, in April 2006 for $5.8 million, but struggled with renovating the property due to lack of funding.
In 2014, they put the property on the market through Hinerfeld Realty. Market Square Properties was the only group to submit an offer.
The group also developed a master plan that proposes:
• Removal of non-historic train station additions so the original structure can be restored to house a bank, credit union or national franchise restaurant. The station would be the “centerpiece” of the complex.
• A new roughly 2,000-square-foot fast food restaurant or doughnut shop at the corner of Market Street and Wilkes-Barre Boulevard.
• A new 20,000-square-foot building at the center of the property to house a grocery store or retailers.
• A new 10,000-square-foot retail property closer to McDonald’s, which is not part of the complex.
• Exterior sprucing of the strip mall, with plans to retain several existing tenants.
Reilly said he wishes Albert luck on the project.
“(It) will be good for downtown and good for Luzerne County,” Reilly said.
The building, which was built in 1868, was worth $1.88 million in 2014 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.