Borough of Columbia,  Lancaster County PA

308 Locust Street
Columbia, PA 17512
Phone: 717.684.2467

Columbia Borough secures $1M state grant for McGinness redevelopment

Sen. Aument meets with borough leaders at site of future innovation and technology campus

COLUMBIA – November 22, 2021 – Columbia Borough has received $1 million in grant funds from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to support early site preparation and infrastructure work at the former McGinness airport property.
The borough acquired the long-vacant 58-acre site in August to redevelop the property as an innovation and technology campus to support ongoing economic revitalization efforts in Columbia. Together with the EDC of Lancaster, Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority and the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, the borough seeks to attract STEM-oriented industries and advanced manufacturing companies that can help expand the tax base and create more highly skilled jobs.
The DCED funds will be used as part of the borough’s engineering and site plans, including initial costs to get utilities on site and prepare for access roads, as well as support demolition of former airport structures begin excavation work.   
“This is another key step in our early redevelopment efforts and preparing the property for shovel-ready sites for future tenants and driving new tax revenue into the borough,” said Heather Zink, Columbia Borough Council president.
Borough officials, along with representatives from Argos Unmanned Aerial Solutions and local and county economic development representatives, gathered at the site on Friday with state Sen. Ryan Aument, R-36, to review the early progress as final infrastructure costs and construction preparations are expected to continue this winter.


“Columbia continues to make big strides to carve out a path for long-term prosperity for its residents and the surrounding community,” said Sen. Aument. “This former airport property has the potential to transform this part of Lancaster County into a drone and tech innovation and research hub, creating significant economic benefits for the families that live and work in our local and regional communities. I am thrilled to see the early progress and look forward to seeing this site evolve as a catalyst for sustained growth over the months and years ahead.” 
The borough has experienced a surge in economic activity and significant investments in development projects over the last few years, including new housing and mixed-use buildings and growth in retail and hospitality ventures as Columbia continues to attract thousands of people each year for recreational activities, antique shopping and museum visitation. Earlier this year, the Columbia Market House reopened after a major overhaul and the borough is exploring opportunities to enhance its Walnut Street corridor through streetscape improvements and bolster its amenities at River Park to drive further community investment.
“We might look back and say this was part of the beginning of Columbia’s renaissance,” said Bill Kloidt, Executive Director of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation. “The McGinness property will create an abundance of new jobs and these employees will need to eat lunch and the employers will need to entertain clients over lunch, and hopefully they will all come into our downtown to satisfy these needs. While these new businesses and their  clients discover our downtown district, it is hoped that afterward they will then want to return and further explore this area that contains many restaurants, shops, antique markets and museums and the historic Market House that are established here."