Construction of the long-awaited Panera Bread in Wilkes-Barre Twp. could finally be completed by June, said Wilkes-Barre Twp. Zoning Officer Tom Zedolik.

That would mark three years after a tornado destroyed the popular restaurant and other businesses in a strip mall in Wilkes-Barre Twp.

Sordoni Construction completed the exterior work for the new stand-alone Panera Bread restaurant that will include a drive-thru and a contractor is completing interior work.

The project has faced delays, Zedolik said. After Sordoni Construction received a permit early last year to start the construction, it was delayed when Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the construction industry shut down during the pandemic.

Construction also is moving forward in other parts of Wilkes-Barre Twp.

That includes work on a four-story Residence Inn of Highland Park Boulevard near Mohegan Sun Arena and a four-story Home2Suites by Hilton hotel with 106 rooms on more than four acres of land next to Highland Park Senior Living.

Zedolik said both could be completed by the summer and a new Planet Fitness also could open in June. Work continues to transform the building next to Kohl’s that temporarily houses Spirit Halloween during the fall into the new fitness center.

Also in Wilkes-Barre Twp., Zedolik recently issued an occupancy permit for Pet Supplies Plus to move into Wilkes-Barre Twp. Marketplace where Shoe Carnival closed near Walmart. Pet Supplies Plus is relocating from Scott Street in Wilkes-Barre.

Flaming Crab Cajun Seafood plans to open a restaurant in the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Marketplace next to Party City.

Zedolik also recently issued a permit for work to start for the new restaurant Blaze Pizza next to Mission BBQ on Mundy Street