Small Pennsylvania town buys former airport for $1,495,000 to revitalize their economy via nature, innovation & technology

In Pennsylvania, Columbia Borough (population 10,000) is located in Lancaster County, and is one of the 959 boroughs in the state.

Centrally located between the metropolitan areas of Lancaster, York and Harrisburg, Columbia Borough is the main transportation link connecting the Borough to Lancaster County, and provides convenient access to roadways linking Lancaster County with Philadelphia, New York City, Pittsburgh, Wilmington, Baltimore and Washington, DC.

On August 10, 2021, the Columbia Borough Council approved a resolution to purchase the former McGinness Airport property from the McGinness Family Trust as part of the borough’s ongoing economic revitalization efforts.

Overlooking the Susquehanna River, the property has beautiful views that will be put to good use. The borough’s economic growth strategy blends nature-based and industrial-based revitalization, creating a technology and innovation campus that includes a hiking trail through a nature preserve.

The $1,495,000 deal for the nearly 58-acre tract off Manor Street closed on August 20.

Columbia has a rich history of cultivating industry and attracting residents to Lancaster County,” said council President Heather Zink. “By purchasing this property, the last largest tract of land available in the borough, we feel we are in the best position to control redevelopment and usher in a new era for Columbia.

Located near both bridges on Route 462 and U.S. Route 30, the McGinness tract is expected to play a major role in the borough’s economic future and drive new revenue to support the long-term tax base.

This site has the potential to be a tech innovation hub to attract new companies to our community and benefit our residents and the region. This will foster greater job creation in Columbia, which we believe will spur additional investments across our community for generations to come,” Zink said.

This campus would complement other recent revitalization efforts in Columbia, including the recent reopening of the Columbia Market House. The borough also is exploring opportunities to enhance its Walnut Street corridor through streetscape improvements and bolster its amenities at River Park,” she added.

The borough is looking to redevelop the property into a technology and innovation campus that would include a hiking trail through a nature preserve and other recreational uses for residents. This will take time, so the borough will provide updates on its vision and future tenants as they are available.

Except for featured image (which is from Google Maps), all images courtesy of Land and Farm.

See the Columbia Borough website.

You must be logged in to post a comment