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Lancaster City Alliance is a non-profit that cultivates partnerships with business, local communities, the arts, education, non-profits, and government to ensure Lancaster is a clean, safe, and vibrant City for all.

Building On Strength

City of Lancaster Economic Development Strategic Plan

Project Overview & Purpose

In 2014, the Lancaster City Alliance sought out to develop a long-term economic development strategy for the City of Lancaster to ensure an appropriate environment for continued economic growth and quality of life enhancements. The City of Lancaster had entered into this planning process from a position of advantage, largely the result of over 15 years of coordinating and implementing the strategies identified in the Lancaster Economic Development Action Agenda (LDR Plan), produced in 1998. Today, following a track record of successful endeavors, Lancaster is characterized as a good place in which to invest, a community with access to numerous amenities, and is recognized for its thriving arts community and strong entrepreneurial spirit. This Plan is a fresh look at Lancaster and a tool for attracting continued investment. Navigating from a position of advantage, Lancaster is today Building on Strength. This Plan strives to create an environment that fosters growth and development, elevates the economic wellbeing of Lancastrians, and sets a foundation for healthy urban economic development for the coming years.

Building On Strength Progress Report, Winter 2020

Because of your support we are now halfway through year five of implementing the Building On Strength 15-year Economic Development Strategic Plan for the City. With your investment, 29 of the plan’s 33 recommendations are now underway. We are pleased to report that private-sector-led investment continues across the City with $829 million in investment completed, underway or planned; a $62 million increase since our 2019 summer update.

Significant projects include the Stadium Row Apartments, Southern Market Center Food Hub, Best Engine Works, Conestoga North affordable housing, and the nearly complete 101NQ. These projects bring mixed-income housing, goods and services, and businesses to the City. Your support is vital to the continued investment in the City to ensure they provide opportunities for all.
In 2020, we are seizing the opportunity to better align the aspirations of Building On Strength with the Coalition to Combat Poverty’s One Good Job plan. While poverty decreased in the City for the second year in a row, much work remains to be done. Donor support has given us the opportunity to play a lead role in streamlining the community’s work, eliminate duplication, and look at efficiencies to enhance the quality of life for everyone in Lancaster City.

With our community partners, we continue to support entrepreneurs, complete neighborhood and property enhancements for businesses and residents, and address issues around affordable and mixed-income housing. We are pleased to share with you the good work that is being done, read on to learn more and donate today to help us continue the City’s momentum.


Marshall W. Snively
President, Lancaster City Alliance

Front STEPS advancing

Front StepsSix façade improvement projects are completed, five are underway, and another 48 are in the planning stages. Learn about the challenges facing Front STEPS and hear from property owners who have benefitted.

New Housing Coming to Lancaster, but Despite the Strong Market, Challenges Remain – Especially to Create Mixed-Income Communities

Conestoga North Townhouse SiteLocal non-profits, public institutions, and private developers are working to address housing needs in Lancaster. Learn about recent success and the challenges that remain.

CRIZ funding helps small businesses invest

The City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) Small Business Finanical Assistance pilot-program now provides grants to entrepreneurs setting up, improving, or expanding a small business within Lancaster City’s designated improvement zone.

Cultivate and Cultivar support City entrepreneurs

CultivateCultivar Hispanic Business Owners Breakfast has been added to the Cultivate Entrepreneurs series to better support a wide range of local entrepreneurs.

2020 Outcomes Dashboard

Building On Strength Outcomes Dashboard - Lancaster City Alliance

The community has made remarkable progress toward the 2030 Building On Strength goals since the plan’s launch in 2015. Over half a billion dollars of privately led investment is completed or in the construction phase, with an additional $287 million anticipated. Nearly two-thirds of the desired 300 new hotel rooms have been built. This includes the summer 2019 opening of the new East Tower at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and the Holiday Inn Lancaster.

With 10 years still to go in the plan’s implementation, the community has exceeded the goal of “100,000 square feet of new or renovated retail/restaurant space” and “300,000 square feet of new office/flex space.” This includes the recent completion of the ground-floor shops at 101NQ and restaurant and entertainment space at Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse. The office/flex space goal also advanced with the completion of office space at 101NQ, the Fulton Financial Corporation’s expansion, and the City Gate Corporate Center.

The goal of “2,500 new residential units of all types and price points,” stands at 27 percent of the goal. Units under construction or completed include the Stadium Row Apartments, townhomes at Conestoga North, and residential condominiums at 101NQ. The City continues to see a significant increase in its per capita income. Measuring a seven-point increase from just before the adoption of the Building On Strength plan.

Private Led Investment Since July 2015

Building On Strength Outcomes Dashboard - Lancaster City Alliance

As of January 2020, approximately $829 million in privately led investment is underway in the City of Lancaster, with nearly two-thirds of that investment occurring within the Building On Strength plan’s targeted commercial hubs. More than half of this investment is occurring in two areas that saw tremendous growth in the decade prior to the development of the Plan, the Downtown Core (>$337M) and Harrisburg Avenue/NW Gateway area (>$84M).

More than $59 million of the new investment is concentrated along key corridors that have not seen substantial investment in decades, including E. Walnut, S. Duke, S. Prince, S. Queen, East and West King, and Manor Streets. Recent contributors to this new investment include the Best Engine Works mixed-use redevelopment, the development of new retail at Conestoga River Plaza, new housing in the S. Duke Street area, and nearly $500,000 in façade improvements on Manor, S. Prince, S. Queen, and W. King Streets.

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