Business and technology park planned for Columbia

A big economic development project is coming to Columbia, Lancaster County.The McGinness Innovation Park on Manor Street was one of the winning applications for state money. “This could mean everything to Columbia,” Mayor Leo Lutz said.The borough bought more than 50 acres of property that was once McGinness airfield for nearly $1.5 million.”This is huge for Columbia. This is the last biggest piece of undeveloped, developable land here in Columbia Borough,” borough manager Mark Stivers said.Community leaders had a plan in mind, and it took teamwork to put it all together.The Economic Development Company of Lancaster County applied for and won more than $8 million in grants and loans to build the park.”It will be redeveloped into commercial businesses that will be generating tax revenue for the borough,” organization president Lisa Riggs said.Since the land was home to an airfield, the vision is for the focus to remain on transportation. The innovation park will be developed into a hub for drone technology.”The catalyst for all of this has been the idea of a drone technology center where the use of drones can be advanced here in Pennsylvania. This would be a training center, to research and development, to learn how to do it, to learn how to fly long-distance and hopefully we can attract some other businesses,” Stivers said.It’s also expected to create 114 jobs.State Sen. Ryan Aument (R-36) helped push the project across the finish line.”We’re seeing a resurgence. I think this is going to spur further resurgence in Columbia,” he said.It will take at least another year before the groundbreaking, and it could be at least five years before businesses could move in.Eighteen acres will be set aside for a park.

A big economic development project is coming to Columbia, Lancaster County.

The McGinness Innovation Park on Manor Street was one of the winning applications for state money.

“This could mean everything to Columbia,” Mayor Leo Lutz said.

The borough bought more than 50 acres of property that was once McGinness airfield for nearly $1.5 million.

“This is huge for Columbia. This is the last biggest piece of undeveloped, developable land here in Columbia Borough,” borough manager Mark Stivers said.

Community leaders had a plan in mind, and it took teamwork to put it all together.

The Economic Development Company of Lancaster County applied for and won more than $8 million in grants and loans to build the park.

“It will be redeveloped into commercial businesses that will be generating tax revenue for the borough,” organization president Lisa Riggs said.

Since the land was home to an airfield, the vision is for the focus to remain on transportation. The innovation park will be developed into a hub for drone technology.

“The catalyst for all of this has been the idea of a drone technology center where the use of drones can be advanced here in Pennsylvania. This would be a training center, to research and development, to learn how to do it, to learn how to fly long-distance and hopefully we can attract some other businesses,” Stivers said.

It’s also expected to create 114 jobs.

State Sen. Ryan Aument (R-36) helped push the project across the finish line.

“We’re seeing a resurgence. I think this is going to spur further resurgence in Columbia,” he said.

It will take at least another year before the groundbreaking, and it could be at least five years before businesses could move in.

Eighteen acres will be set aside for a park.