Vision. Strategy. Opportunity.
In its early days in the 1990s, Scranton Tomorrow was primarily a visioning organization; one that helped to identify opportunities for growth in the greater Scranton area. A group of community-minded business leaders and concerned citizens posed the question: how can we bring the community together? This focus led to a series of economic development, beautification, cultural and historic preservation initiatives in the decades to follow that helped shape the downtown into the thriving community it is today.
Evolving from a visioning organization to a Main Street organization in 2009, this designation formally linked Scranton Tomorrow and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The connection inspired Scranton Tomorrow's leaders to pose an additional question to help guide their efforts: how can we identify ways to bring economic development resources to the City of Scranton?
The answer has appeared in various forms — from spearheading efforts to develop downtown residences to refurbishing vacant lots into green spaces and creating unique promotional opportunities for downtown businesses.
"Today, we’re evolving toward a Business Improvement District (BID) that supports downtown promotion, clean and green activities, and a safe and well-lit environment for the downtown. Our goal is to bring traffic and customers to the downtown, so whether it’s people living downtown, or working there during the day, or enjoying the amenities, Scranton Tomorrow is the vehicle to attract people."
- Ken Okrepkie, Former Scranton Tomorrow President (2016-2018)
Transforming the downtown is a key component in the revitalization of Scranton's economy, which requires dedicated partnership among Scranton Tomorrow, the City of Scranton, and its anchor institutions. Members of our Economic Development Task Force, and the Economic Revitalization Committee are leading the way.
Comprised of community leaders and downtown stakeholders, the Economic Development Task Force plans and executes downtown strategy initiatives.
Economic Revitalization Committee members focus on downtown priorities and incentives to assist potential and established businesses, support the development of commercial and residential properties, and establish partnerships to enhance a cohesive downtown environment.
"Where there is private investment, there may be an opportunity to leverage state or federal dollars. Scranton Tomorrow can be the vehicle that identifies resources to strengthen the project and the investment in the downtown, and we can expedite the development and the growth of the buildings and the pocket parks and other amenities that just make the downtown more pleasing and more functional."
- Larry West, Economic Revitalization Committee Chair
Scranton Tomorrow will soon transform the dilapidated lot on the corner of Wyoming Avenue and Linden Street in downtown Scranton into a pocket park. The project is made possible with funding from a $400,000 Keystone Communities Grant awarded by The Department of Community & Economic Development for revitalization efforts. Follow us on Facebook for updates!