POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. — There is a lot of construction work happening at the former Brookdale Resort in Pocono Township.
The place that was once old and rundown is starting to look brand new. That’s because a drug and alcohol treatment center is set to open this year.
“I just hope whatever clientele they bring in there, they can control, and they don’t let them roam around in the middle of the streets and in the neighborhoods,” said Emanuel Conti, Pocono Township.
The project drew a lot of anger and hesitation from people who live in this part of the Poconos back in 2016 when plans to convert the resort were first announced.
But some neighbors have since changed their tune.
“It’s definitely an improvement to the neighborhood. A lot of people were against it in the beginning, but I think it’s going to be alright,” said Vinny Barone, Pocono Township.
Newswatch 16 spoke to Robert Hackenberg, one of the center owners, over the phone. Hackenberg expects the facility will employ more than 120 people within the first three months of its opening.
People who live in this neighborhood tell Newswatch 16 even though they do have some of the same concerns, they do acknowledge how much work the owners have put into this former resort and are going to keep more of an open mind.
“It’s an improvement, and it’s supposed to bring us tax dollars, so in the end, I think it will work out,” said Barone.
Hackenberg says the goal of this center is to provide the best treatment for people who are struggling with addiction.