Staff Writer - The (Scranton) Times-Tribune
Excitement is building for a new supermarket in the sullen former Kmart along Birney Avenue in Moosic.
PFMA member and sponsor Bill’s ShopRite, a family-owned chain that serves the southeastern part of Lackawanna County and Poconos region, bought the building last year for $3.85 million.
Sweeping renovations appear to be now underway, and the company recently parked a trailer in front of the spot at 3382 Birney Mall emblazoned with a grand opening announcement.
“It is coming soon. As far as exactly when, I don’t have a positive date, but it is in the near future,” borough Council President Stanley Kania said.
Bill’s ShopRite officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Kania said he believed pandemic-related obstacles had slowed renovations.
See the Birney Mall brochure here.
Kmart in the Birney Mall closed in January 2018 and left a gaping hole in a once bustling shopping center. Now that there’s some action, other businesses in the plaza feel optimistic that they’ll be able to ride the traffic wave a big supermarket will summon.
“I would really find it disappointing if all the businesses already here were not excited,” said Tammy Szajkowski, manager at Holiday Hair in the Birney Mall. “I think that this is really a good thing for the community.”
With a Gerrity’s Supermarket, another PFMA member and locally owned chain that enjoys a fiercely loyal customer base, just a few blocks away on Birney Avenue, that part of town isn’t exactly a food desert. Bill’s, however, offers an alternative, and plugs a hole in an important part of the borough’s commercial real estate portfolio.
“It’s huge — especially an operation like Bill’s ShopRite. He’s a first class operation all the way,” Kania said. “It’s going to be a fantastic facility for the residents of Moosic and the surrounding areas.”
*Republished with permission from The Times-Tribune. Click here for the full story and consider subscribing to The Times-Tribune to support local journalism.