WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Developer Joe Amato said he plans to fill more vacant spaces in the East End Centre he owns.
A Sears outlet store will open in the long-vacant Phar-Mor building and the former Chi Chi’s Mexican restaurant is being turned into a medical arts building.
The Sears outlet has signed a lease and is expected to open its 30,000-square-foot store in August, according to Amato and his property manager Liana Kissinger. Sears outlet stores sell discounted appliances, washers and dryers, lawn and garden equipment, furniture, mattresses, tools, sporting goods, fitness equipment, electronics and home decor, according to the retailer’s website.
Amory Medical Associates, a business that provides durable medical equipment, CPAP supplies and machines for sleep apnea, scooters, wheelchairs, power lift chairs and diabetic shoes, plans to move from its current location at 235 Spring St. in Wilkes-Barre into the remodeled restaurant space.
Owner Mike Amory said Amory Medical Associates and sleep apnea testing facility Wilkes-Barre Sleep Solutions doing business as Amory Sleep Solutions will occupy 5,000 square feet of the 7,400-square-foot building. He plans to open in two weeks.
Pittston sleep apnea dentist Dr. Tony Polit, a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, will occupy the remaining 2,400 square feet. He will provide oral appliances for treatment of obstructed sleep apnea. He expects to open in September.
The former Mexican restaurant was gutted and repainted to make way for the medical arts building.
“Mr. Amato has been extremely generous and progressive,” Amory said. “He has the same vision to bring a medical arts building to that center.”
When Amato purchased the 308,000-square-foot East End Centre from Bryn Mawr-based WP Realty for $3 million in March last year, it was largely vacant.
One month later, he attracted discount fashion retailer Gabe’s store in a 50,000-square-foot building that formerly housed Price Chopper. KISS Children’s Theatre has moved into a portion of the former Beiter’s furniture. A Subway also recently opened.
Furniture and Mattress Discounters also plans to open in the East End Centre in late July, Kissinger said.
A laundromat and dry cleaner is coming as well and more potential tenants have expressed interest in space, Amato said. When all the tenants move in, he said the shopping center will be more than 60 percent occupied.
“I bought it cheap enough that we can give low rent and still make out,” Amato said. “People can afford the lower rent.”
In addition to spending
$3 million purchasing the shopping center, Amato said he has invested millions of dollars in fixing up the parking lot and making other improvements.
“You have to spend money to make money,” he said.