Lehigh Valley

Wilson residents want something done at Dixie Cup plant

The property owner says he plans to renovate

WILSON BOROUGH, Pa. - If you've driven through the borough of Wilson over the last decade or so, you've probably noticed the old Dixie Cup manufacturing plant sitting vacant.

The current property owner says he plans to renovate the building but not in the near future.

Frustrated residents call the site an eyesore and are now calling on the Wilson Council to do something about it.

A ghost of industrial past.

"It's been 35 years or more it's just been sitting there rotting away," said Wilson resident, Dave Haupt.

The Dixie Cup manufacturing plant, in Wilson, sitting mostly vacant for decades. The paint faded and windows shattered.

Many describe the building as an eyesore.

"Just feel sad about it," added Kevin Jacoby.

Just this week property owner, Joseph Reibman, updating borough officials and residents on the status of his plans to renovate the plant.

He says don't expect to see changes any time soon after an environmental consulting firm found the site needs asbestos and lead paint remediation before it can be redeveloped.

"He ought of either do it like he wants to do it and get it done or tear it down," said Haupt.

The news, disappointng to some who say they're sick of seeing the wasted space.

"Either some kind of housing thing if possible or multiple garages or multiple businesses put in it," said Jacoby, who also lives in Wilson.

Reibman maintains it will be more cost effective to renovate the building rather than rebuild it but neither option is cheap.

Wilson Council members estimate it would cost $6 million to fix the broken windows. He told council he plans follow through on a proposed $50 million residential housing project but needs funding.

"I think the building is worth saving, it's a landmark at this point," added Jacoby.

As frustrations continue to build and the plant continues to deteriorate. Many are hoping the Wilson Council will help speed up the process.

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