Lancaster, PA positioned to attract businesses
CPBJ Reports: Lancaster is well-equipped to bring businesses and professionals to the area, city business leaders said today.
The city’s proximity to other urban centers and ease of getting to places like Philadelphia and New York via train or major highways is a big reason why many businesses and professional move to Lancaster, said Hunter Johnson, a principle at Lancaster-based Tono Architects. Johnson was a panelist at this morning’s Lancaster City/Township consortium meeting hosted by the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Brickyard Sports Inc.
Lancaster’s metropolitan atmosphere also is a draw, Johnson said, citing restaurants, banks, businesses and the post office all within walking distance of each other.
“It’s urban, but small enough that you know a lot of people, know the community and feel like you’re all working toward something,” said Sarah Lanphier, owner of Nuts About Granola LLC, who recently moved to Lancaster from York County to expand her business.
The physical infrastructure of Lancaster is different than in surrounding cities, Johnson said. The many historic buildings still intact and recent improvements to sidewalks, paved streets and utilities make the city stand out in comparison, he said.
Homeowners who take pride in and care for their properties also lend to the city’s attractive nature, Lanphier said.
“There’s an intangible vibe in the city, a chemistry and culture happening downtown and people want to be a part of it,” Johnson said.
It was good to hear that the city’s efforts — such as infrastructure improvements to attract people and businesses — are working, Mayor Rick Gray said.
Suggestions for further city improvements included encouraging projects within the city to use local service companies and installing more bicycle racks.
“It’s an easy sell — people drive around the city and want to stay,” said Matthew Addy, CEO of Lancaster-based Edward J. & Co., the parent company of LaPorte Jewelers.