Weekly Feature

2018-08-09 / Editorial

Village primed for business district change

Bee Editorial

The heart of Lancaster will likely look quite different five years from now, thanks to a plan in the works to completely overhaul the central business district in the village.

For residents who don’t remember anything but a parking lot, it’s exciting to see changes take shape for a walkable, small town-centric feel with plenty of green space to enjoy. For those who do remember a different aesthetic in that area, it’s probably still exciting to see what a fresh concept will bring to the area.

“My whole life, I’ve known a parking lot. There has never been anything. Anyone of my age has known nothing,” said Lancaster Village Trustee Lynne Ruda.

“And then you have people that remember it all the way through as this bustling district. We are going to get back to that, we are determined as a board to support this project so it gets back to that.” The $15 million project is a huge undertaking for Lancaster, but that doesn’t mean officials are shying away from the work. On the contrary, community leaders are ready to get things going.

The Lancaster Village Board, Glassco Management, Lancaster Community Development Corp., Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce, fourth-generation Lancaster resident Dick Young and many other parties involved have been highly motivated to see the space between West Main and North Aurora streets turned into a hub of commercial and community activity.

A heady prospect for big change can be overwhelming, and so it’s refreshing to see a developer who is not looking to rush into anything without doing due diligence first. Thanks to new businesses taking over West Main Street, Tom Sweeney, of Glassco Management, has said he won’t have to rush in and make big changes right away. As an alternate for the Historical Preservation Committee, Sweeney is already aware of the historical aesthetic needed for the area. He’s not just coming in with his own plans and steamrolling over what community leaders think would work in the area.

Residents should expect to be involved in the process as things move along, especially when the project gets to the Planning Board stage and site plans start to be filed.

Outreach events have already taken place to gauge what people want to see in the area, according to Ruda, and there may be more for people to attend when details are being ironed out. Keep an eye on The Bee’s business section for any updates on the project and community involvement.

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