Questions to be addressed by the TAP Panel:
1. What is the potential for infill mixed-use development that would both fulfill an identified market need and establish an anchor for the downtown commercial district?
2. What parking solutions are possible for a significant redevelopment project at this location in the center of the commercial district?
3. What partners and resources can the Borough leverage to make something happen at this site that has sat vacant and deteriorating?
Columbia News, Views & Reviews previously reported HERE that the Lancaster County Land Bank (of which Columbia Borough is a member) in conjunction with the Columbia Economic Development Corporation was looking to acquire Hotel Locust/Hotel Columbia.
In addition, the relevant section of the minutes of the April 24, 2018 Lancaster County Land Bank Authority read as follows:
1) The Board approved a Resolution authorizing acquisition of 309-315 Locust Street, Columbia, subject to the terms of the Agreement with the Borough of Columbia and Columbia School District. Mr. Sternberg reviewed photos and details of the two properties, Hotel Locust and Hotel Columbia, in an onscreen presentation.
Columbia Economic Development Company (CEDC) has requested the Land Bank Authority take ownership of the properties from CEDC for redevelopment, as they have been unsuccessful in their marketing efforts over past few years.
Mr. Jim Eby, Board Chair, provided more insights on the buildings’ condition and potential. He noted that behind the facades, there did not seem to be any historic fabric of interest. He provided insights on the buildings adjacent to the two hotels.
Finally, he said that in his opinion, it would be an appropriate project to pull into the Land Bank. He answered a question from Mr. Robinson regarding the nearby location of the earlier-mentioned building with the missing façade.
The motion to approve was made by Mr. Robinson, second by Ms. Lyon Slaymaker, and unanimously carried. (A copy of said Resolution [Apr 18 #3] is attached hereto,
and made a part hereof).
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board of the Lancaster County Land Bank Authority that:
1. The Land Bank is hereby authorized to acquire 309-315 Locust Street, Columbia, PA;
2. Acquisition of this property will be contingent on Land Bank funding, and approval by the Borough of Columbia and the Columbia School District;
3. The Executive Director of the Land Bank is hereby authorized and directed to execute all documents on behalf of the Land Bank which may be necessary or desirable to further the intent of this Resolution.
A few months later, Columbia Borough Council voted not to approve the Land Bank deal.
TO BE CONTINUED