By Bob Kalinowski, Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice
WILKES-BARRE — Casey Donahue and Nick Dye stood on the South Main Street sidewalk Friday and proudly watched as crews unveiled the sign to their latest downtown apartment building, the Alleghany Lofts.
They might need a “No vacancy” sign soon — a good problem to have when you’re a real estate developer.
Since making the building’s 16 apartments available for rent on June 1, they have already filled 12 without even trying to market them.
There continues to be a tremendous demand to live in high-end apartments in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the co-owners of D&D Realty say.
“People love living downtown,” Donahue said.
D&D Realty invested $1.75 million in the five-story Alleghany Building, a former hotel at 94-96 S. Main St. In addition to the residential units, the firm attracted a barber shop and a tattoo parlor to occupy the street level storefronts, where a cellphone carrier already rents space.
The young real estate developers, along with Donahue’s brother, Adam, previously renovated a property at Northampton and Washington streets, called Hampton Park East. All 12 units are filled and there’s a waiting list to rent there. They are in the process of renovating a nearby building, which will be called Hampton Park West and contain eight apartments.
In all, D&D Realty will have invested $4.5 million over the past few years in the construction of 36 high-end apartments in downtown Wilkes-Barre
They are not alone.
In recent years, developers have been busy constructing apartments in the former Wachovia Bank building at 24-32 W. Market St., the former Citizens Bank building at 8 W. Market St., the Luzerne Bank building on Public Square, and the former South Side Bank Building at 264 S. Main St.
Some of the developers said they could not build units fast enough to meet the demand.
Donahue and Dye said they understand why there’s a demand: they live downtown themselves and love the convenience.
“We live in our apartments and we’re friends with our tenants,” Donahue said.
For information on the Alleghany Lofts, visit www.alleghanylofts.com. For information on the Hampton Park developments, visit livehamptonpark.com.