WILKES-BARRE — With zoning approval in hand, Brad Wells is ready to expand his Great Escape Flotation Center.
The city’s Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday approved his application to use a former Geisinger clinic at 245 E. South St. for a larger version of his business downtown. Wells said he intends to renovate the building to hold five flotation pods, four more than he has at his 82 S. Main St. location.
“My closest competition is in Bloomsburg,” Wells told the board.
His attorney, Frank Hoegen, said the agreement of sale to purchase the former clinic was contingent upon Wells obtaining zoning approval.
In addition to the flotation pods, Wells said he will install a virtual reality venue and office and storage space.
A Facebook page for the business says its float tanks “can help one achieve euphoric states of relaxation and enhance the mind and body.”
In other business:
• The board also approved Shawn Mankovich’s plans to convert the former Pitcher’s Mound bar at 311 Blackman St. into a retail store for his smoked cheeses and a place for local artisans to sell their work and food items. Mankovich said he is in the process of renovating the building and had no definite date to open.
• Members denied a variance request by William Henry to use 64 Madison St. as off-campus housing for six residents. Instead, the board reduced the number of residents to five and required Henry to provide four parking spaces.
• An application submitted by Luzerne County to construct a 7,200 square-foot garage/storage building at 23 Tannery St. was put on hold. The board requested additional information from Jude Cooney of the AE Group, the architecture and engineering firm hired by the county for the project.
“The more details, the better with the board,” said Charles McCormick, board solicitor.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.