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Remodeled Staples Store Reopening Saturday

September 24, 2018

WILKES-BARRE TWP. —  Staples, one of the stores in the Arena Hub Plaza damaged by the tornado in June, will reopen to the public on Saturday.

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly remodeled store at 9 a.m.

Community members are invited to attend and visit the new and improved print and marketing department and enjoy refreshments. They also can receive giveaways and sales incentives and can enter a raffle to win prizes for their businesses.  

Staples sells office supplies, furniture, technology and more and offers print and marketing services. 

Melissa Blanchard, manager of the Staples store, said the June 13 tornado ripped off multiple sections of the store’s roof and there was extensive water damage.

In addition to an improved print and marketing department, the entire store was remodeled with new inventory, she said.

“It’s such a relief to be able to have the store back up and running and see it full again. Everything is brand new,” Blanchard said.

Belfort Property Restoration was hired to remodel stores damaged by the tornado in the Arena Hub. Work also continues at Dick’s Sporting Goods, T.J. Maxx, PetSmart and Barnes & Noble.

Robert Tamburro, trustee/general manager of TFP Limited, owner of the Arena Hub, said he’s pleased with the way the remodeled Staples store looks and is excited for it to reopen. 

“We’re thrilled. They’ve been great to work with. It’s been a group effort,” Tamburro said. “We’re grateful for all the assistance we got from the Staples team that made our task easier. We’re excited and we’re grateful for their business.” 

He expects Dick’s Sporting Goods, T.J. Maxx and PetSmart will reopen before the holidays.

“We’re working hard at it,” he said. “They’re all coming back.” 

Barnes & Noble has opened a temporary store in the former Sears Outlet store in the nearby East End Center. Its store in the Arena Hub will not open until early next year, store officials said, but the temporary store will serve customers until then. 

Ashley Furniture, which was destroyed by the tornado, signed a 10-year lease with Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust to open in about 50,000 square feet of space behind the Wyoming Valley Mall that formerly housed H.H. Gregg before it closed and other vacant stores, said franchise owner Jim Everett. He expects it will open Oct. 1.

The Wilkes-Barre Twp. Commons strip mall, that housed seven businesses, was severely damaged and condemned. A spokeswoman from Urban Edge Properties, owner of the strip mall, said she does not know yet when it will be demolished.

Tovon & Co. Diamonds, one of the businesses in the condemned strip mall, will open a new location at 47 Memorial Highway, Dallas. Owner and president Tommy Van Scoy Jr. expects it will open in November.

Van Scoy said people could have their rings cleaned and checked and look at engagement and wedding rings by appointment by calling 570-970-2700.

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