UNC and Scranton Celebrate Pinebrook ARPA Façade Project

April 29, 2024

Officials from the City of Scranton and United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA (UNC) celebrated the completion of a business beautification project at Nearra’s Pizzeria, 1439 Capouse Avenue, Scranton, on Friday, April 19, 2024. Nearra’s recently completed the project totaling just over $13,000 with help from the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Business Façade Renovation program.

“It’s wonderful to see how owners across the City have tapped into our façade program to make their businesses even more inviting,” said Mayor Paige Cognetti. “The façade program is a great visual representation of our Rescue Plan dollars at work as we improve Scranton through numerous investments.”

In its revised spending plan approved by City Council in October 2023, the City maintained an allocation of $400,000 for small business façade improvements. Applicants can receive up to $10,000 for single stores or up to $20,000 for multiple storefronts, with a 25% contribution from the business. The City’s façade grant administrators are NeighborWorks NEPA, Scranton Tomorrow, and UNC, which helped facilitate the Nearra’s project.

Nearra’s first opened on June 14, 2004, and its name is an acronym of the children of co-owners Tony Piraino and Neil Fiorillo: Nico, Elisa, Alison, Ryan, Rebecca, Avery, and Ava. The façade grant provided a perfect opportunity to improve the longstanding business. 

“We’ve been here for 20 years, and we wouldn’t be here for that long without the community’s support,” Piraino said. “As we approach our 20th anniversary, we took the opportunity to spruce up the business. The grant process was relatively easy, and Holly Yorkonis from UNC helped us throughout the process.”

Among Nearra’s popular specialty pizzas are the Sweetie Pie, with a sweeter sauce and a blend of American cheeses, and their Detroit-style pie. Piraino says Nearra’s was the first to introduce the Detroit-style square tray to northeastern Pennsylvania, complete with cheeses caramelized into the sides of the crust.

The total project at Nearra’s cost $13,261.35, according to grant records, and included new signage along Marion Street, electrical work, and new awning covers. ARPA funds totaling $9,945.66 supported the project with a 25% project match of $3,315.69 paid by Nearra’s. Owners had previously painted the ground flood of the business at the intersection of Capouse Avenue and Marion Street.

ARPA grants have supported other façade transformations at the following local businesses:

  • Central Station Marketplace and Antiques, 1259 Providence Rd., $16,029 project cost supported by $10,000 in ARPA funds.
  • El Buen Amigo, 1016 Tripp Pl., $21,200 project cost supported by $5,000 in ARPA funds.
  • Fancy Parsley, 233 Oakford Ct., $12,650 project cost supported by $10,000 in ARPA funds.
  • Fratelli’s Pizza and Pasta House, 1249 Providence Rd., and McIlwee Carpet Store, 1302 N. Main Ave., $25,979 total muti-façade project cost supported by $20,000 in ARPA funds.
  • Groove Brewing, 1401 Sanderson Ave., $13,545 project cost supported by $10,000 in ARPA funds.
  • LKC Management, 1621 N. Keyser Ave., $19,955.02 total multi-façade project cost supported by $14,955 in ARPA funds.
  • McCarthy – Remick Flowers, 1001 N. Main Ave., $16,500 project cost supported by $10,000 in ARPA funds.
  • Noteology, 537 Wyoming Ave., $3,653.15 project cost supported by $2,740 in ARPA funds. 
  • O’Hora Eye Care Center, 1402 Washburn St., $2,075.23 project cost supported by $1,532.26 in ARPA funds. 
  • POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave., $15, 683 project cost supported by $10,000 in ARPA funds.
  • Providence Motors, 933 Providence Rd., $11,345.65 project cost supported by $9,244 in ARPA funds.
  • Sidel’s Restaurant, 1202 N. Main Ave., $19,093.57 project cost supported by $10,000 in ARPA funds.
  • Spice Asian Market, 343 Adams Ave., $1,522.94 project cost supported by $1,142.20 in ARPA funds. 
  • The Wild Hare, 1402 Pittston Ave., $14,400 project cost supported by $10,000 in ARPA funds.

Information about Scranton’s ARPA plan is online at scrantonpa.gov/arpa

ABOUT THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) OF 2021: ARPA is a $1.9 trillion federal economic stimulus bill. The City of Scranton received $68.7 million in ARPA funds to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts. The mission of Scranton’s ARPA program is to give people access to resources, rebuild the infrastructure systems that impact their everyday lives, and foster equitable wealth generation that targets the needs of Scranton residents.

ABOUT UNITED NEIGHBORHOOD CENTERS OF NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA: United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania (UNC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to assessing and meeting the needs of low-income families, youth, senior citizens, and new immigrants in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Since 1923, the agency has embraced its mission to work together with neighbors to provide services and create opportunities which empower individuals and build strong interdependent communities. The agency accomplishes this mission through five programmatic departments (Community Services, Children and Teens, Community Health and Aging, Community Education, and Community Revitalization) and a Housing/Community Development Corporation. Through this diverse programming, UNC uses an innovative wrap-around approach to address the emerging needs of the community it serves. 

 UNC and Scranton Celebrate Pine Brook ARPA Façade Project | Press Release

Last modified: April 29, 2024

Comments are closed.

Skip to content