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Last updated: February 19. 2013 3:19PM - 330 Views

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HAZLETON - Two Hazleton businesses will partner to redevelop a pair of historic buildings in the southern Luzerne County city's downtown, officials announced this morning.

Developer George F. Hayden will partner with DBi Services, Inc., a Hazleton-based maintenance, operations and management company to renovate the Traders Bank building at the corner of Broad and Wyoming streets and the Hazleton National Bank building at the corner of Laurel and Broad streets. In total, the developers estimate the renovations, slated to begin with the Traders Bank building next year will cost $20 million.

DBi will relocate 120 employees from its corporate offices in Hazleton Heights to the Traders Bank building once renovations are complete, but will keep offices at its current building, according to Neal DeAngelo III, the company's manager of strategic initiatives.

Both buildings are currently open but are only about 20 percent occupied but are run down and have numerous code violations, DeAngelo said.

The companies are awaiting Keystone Opportunity Zone approval from the state for both buildings, and anticipate that approval coming within a month, DeAngelo said. KOZ status has already been approved by the Luzerne County Council, Hazleton City Council and the Hazleton Area School District.

Hazleton Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi said the project will spur revitalization and reinvestment in the city's downtown.

Hayden previously redeveloped the former Markle Building on Broad Street in Hazleton, now called the Hayden Tower, where the project was announced this morning.

For more updates, check back at www.timesleader.com.
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