The City of Hazleton has ushered in a new era as Downtown Hazleton continues to undergo a revitalization that preserves its historic character while creating new opportunities that reflect the changing times.
The community effort is backed by the CAN DO Community Foundation, along with numerous other groups, leaders and businesses. The CAN DO Community Foundation played a leading role in initiating downtown revitalization after holding a communitywide strategic planning session that led to the development of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress [visit site]. This group is continuing its work to determine how to create more economic development opportunities and improve the aesthetics of the downtown area.
Signs of progress in the revitalization became evident throughout downtown Hazleton with the completion of the Broad Street Corridor Project, a major undertaking that added turning lanes, synchronized traffic lights and placed new sidewalks throughout a four-mile area in Hazleton and West Hazleton. New American, Pennsylvania and CAN DO flags were added outside the CAN DO building at Broad and Church streets to complement the new sidewalks, and a downtown overlay district was created to enhance the city’s attractiveness to residents, businesspeople and visitors. And in one of the biggest projects, DHD Realty, led by local business leaders Neal and Paul DeAngelo and George F. Hayden, renovated two office buildings to create office space, jobs and additional economic opportunities.
Members of the CAN DO Community Foundation will be part of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress’ governance committee, helping determine how the group is functioning and how it is meeting the objectives set for itself. They will also assist in raising funds to establish the nonprofit organization.
Another key piece of the revitalization efforts was the creation of CAN DO Community Park at the corner of Broad and Laurel streets, which introduced much-needed green space in the downtown.
In 2019, CAN DO and the CAN DO Community Foundation each contributed funds to purchase the naming rights to the park and CAN DO agreed to assume responsibility for maintenance of the park over the next 50 years.
Today, the park includes a brick area to host events, several wooden benches, and trees and other landscaping. During the holiday season, CAN DO displays a 22-foot SMART Christmas tree with LED lighting.
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