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Maintenance crew at the Terrace Plaza in the Hazleton heights is cleaning up space for what's soon to come a gym and boxing club.
In July of 2015, the shopping mall's main tenant, Heritage Fresh Food, closed - ultimately causing other businesses inside of the shopping mall to plummet tremendously.
However, the building's owners are clearing up space for what's soon to come a gum and boxing club.
The cafe, nail salon, dollar store, and flea market will remain in the building.
The already gym and boxing club on Spruce and Vine street is currently in the process of relocating to it's new home at 601 South Poplar street in the Hazleton heights.
The Hazleton Area Boxing Club's president, James Clement, said the club will be rebranded as the Hazleton Area Recreation Program when it moves inside of the Terrace Plaza.
A 10 year lease has already been signed with the building's owners.
In addition, the club will begin to provide training for athletes of all ages in sports from field hockey to professional wrestling.
The club will include baseball batting cages, a workout area with artificial turf, fitness center and an area where children can play while their parents train.
Local school teams can use the center for off-season training and the center’s instructors will offer classes to develop athleticism and prevent injuries.
A grant of $174,000 from the state’s Local Share Account program will help the recreation program purchase equipment and prepare the space that it will lease.
Clement also has future plans to develop an ice rink and an indoor turf field large enough for soccer or football.
Boxing will remain part of the recreation program. Clement will set up a ring, and the 20 to 30 club members will continue to spar.
Clement also expects that instructors in karate, mixed martial arts and other disciplines will gravitate to the recreation program.
For matches, the space can accommodate 300 spectators in folding chairs.
Clement hopes matches and other fundraisers will help the recreation program grow.
Since learning that they received the grant on Friday, Minnig and Clement have started to reach out to school coaches, and they invite coaches to contact them about starting off-season training programs.
On Tuesday, Clement met with State Representative, Tarah Toohil, R-116, Butler Township, at her office to go over plans for the training center.
Toohil is pleased to see what once was a "dying building" be occupied for other uses.
Hered LLC’s Joseph and Raymon Fernandes of New York City own the building and owe $175,000 in taxes, according to the property database of Luzerne County.
However, Clement does tell us that they're in the works of addressing their back taxes.