The Columbia Borough Council and Borough Manager have been working closely with the business community, political leaders, and economic development stakeholders throughout Columbia to develop a comprehensive Economic Development Plan that enhances the quality of life of our residents, fosters job creations, and fulfills an important overarching vision for the continued growth and longevity of our community through stable tax structures.
Our Vision is to provide a strategic plan to guide responsible and inclusive economic development to foster greater opportunity for our entire community by creating a prosperous future for the Columbia Borough while protecting natural resources and historical assets.
Through collaborative efforts, we are starting to see the combined outcomes of partnering developers, investors, economic planners, and members of the community bringing our economic vision to life.
The following projects are in motion, breaking ground and even planning their grand openings, all working together to fulfill the economic vision for the Columbia Borough. We will continue to share updates on this page and with our community.
Columbia Market House Redevelopment
The Columbia Market House, once the epicenter for fresh produce, specialty foods, and Saturday morning market traditions, will reopen in early 2021 with a renewed vision for serving the local community. “We wanted this historic market, first established in 1869, to once again serve the community as it once did by connecting our residents and visitors with local farmers and fresh healthy food,” said Borough Manager Mark Stivers, AICP. The market closed in 2017 and is being revitalized through a private/public partnership with CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health and Columbia Borough and will feature year-round farm stands, a restaurant, and event space.
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New Housing Development at 132 Locust Street
33 apartments are planned in the property, meeting the demand for rental properties in the market. Eberly Myers, LLC is an experienced developer with properties throughout Lancaster. Plans for attractive amenities such as parking and a first-floor commercial space. Monthly rents starting in the $800s for 1-bedrooms.
September 2021 - Eberly Myers broke ground on four-story mixed-use building. Foundation and utility work underway.
October 2021 - Eberly Myers anticipates the start of framing on the building to begin in the middle of November.
Summer 2022 - The goal is to get the project under roof this winter. Construction is expected to take 12 months, with target occupancy by the end of August 2022 or beginning of September 2022.
The Clarion Hotel at The Chip Factory
Choice Hotels International and local real estate firm Cimarron Investments are developing a 60-room, multi-story Clarion Hotel property in downtown Columbia. Murphy Hospitality Management, which is owned by the same group as Cimarron Investments, will own and operate this unique property within a historic potato chip factory, with much of the original 1876 structure preserved.
The Clarion Hotel at The Chip Factory will offer affordable accommodations in the heart of downtown with breathtaking views of the Susquehanna River. A full-service restaurant and rooftop bar will attract overnight leisure visitors and the meeting space will draw business travelers as well, according to Borough Manager Mark Stivers, AICP.
River Park Expansion/Rail Trail Project
River Park has been used for centuries by the community, however, until recently the site has not been accessible to the public. Through strategic planning, the Borough took ownership of 14-acres of land to develop a public park with access to the Susquehanna River, creating an agricultural tourism attraction.
Today, visitation to the Trails Center and River Park has grown to an estimated 100,000 people accessing the River Trail each year. On January 14, 2020, Borough Council continued its commitment and investment with an additional $30,000 to match the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources National Park Service Grant to fund Phase III of the Columbia River Park Development Plan.
Walnut Street Streetscape enhancements
One of the fastest growing business segments is beer tourism, fostered through local breweries that can bring thousands of visitors to our community. Starview Brews is slated to open in early 2021 in a 5,000 square-foot former tobacco warehouse renovated by Cimarron Properties, according to owner Mike Knaub. The new brewery and restaurant located at 224 Locust Street will accommodate 90 patrons and promises to serve up many of Mike’s award-winning brews which he perfected as a longtime homebrewer and beer judge. This type of repurposing of our historic and storied buildings in Columbia is an essential piece of our efforts to preserve our history while also looking ahead to what Columbia needs to remain competitive as a destination, according to Borough Manager Mark Stivers, AICP.
McGinness Property Development ProjectOn Friday, August 20, 2021, Columbia Borough purchased the last remaining large tract of land known as the McGinness Property. A former airport, the redevelopment of this property into a business/light industrial park will play a significant role in the long-range Economic Development Plans for the Borough. This land has the potential to be commercially developed in a way that will spur redevelopment, foster job creation, and drive long-term tax revenue into Columbia. Long-term revitalization of this site is forecasted to offer revenue-producing uses, which the Borough is exploring potential for ongoing to complement the broader economic vision of the community.
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As we look to the future, we continue to assess what economic opportunities may be fostered through strategic outlooks and planning processes to guide our efforts to bring a more prosperous future to our Borough.
Stay up to date on our plan by visiting this page ongoing.