Proposed Valley Crest Project Gets $3 Million State Grant

October 3, 2018

The developers of a proposed mixed-use project at the site of the former Valley Crest Nursing Home in Plains Twp. got $3 million worth of good news on Tuesday.

That’s the amount Valley Crest Real Estate, LP received from the state Multimodal Transportation Fund to alleviate traffic congestion near the site, in a busy commercial corridor off routes 315 and 309.

Developer Robert Tamburro, whose company purchased the 62-acre site from Luzerne County in 2015, first announced plans for the project, which include a retail complex, in January.

Since then, Tamburro has said the project cannot proceed without infrastructure improvements such as upgrades to intersections in the heavily traveled area, near Wyoming Valley Mall and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

On Tuesday, Tamburro said the funding “gives us a big boost,” but deferred further comment to a prepared statement.

“The proposed highway upgrades will provide adequate and safer ingress/egress to and from the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center and Timber Ridge Health Care Center, better traffic flow through Mundy and Kidder streets and significant economic expansion opportunities at the former Valley Crest Nursing Home property,” the statement reads, in part.

Tamburro has requested that Plains Twp., Wilkes-Barre Area School District and the county defer tax revenue for the project, through a Tax Increment Financing plan. A committee of county, township and school district officials is discussing options.

Tamburro has declined to discuss specifics of his plans, citing ongoing discussions with potential tenants and uncertainly over the requested tax deferment.

However, in January Tamburro said businesses that open in the complex could create about 900 jobs. Plans could include restaurants and residential housing as well as retail stores and shops, he said.

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