Blanda Nace: 2019 brings promise of progress on major projects
Blanda Nace, 47, is director of strategic development at the York County Economic Alliance – which he joined in 2012 – and also serves as project manager for the York County Industrial Development Authority and executive director of the Redevelopment Authority of the County of York.
Nace has a bachelor’s degree in structural design and construction engineering from Penn State.
He lives on the square in downtown York with his fiancée, Sabrina, and Maltese, Lily.
Q: What exciting development will be happening in York County in 2019?
A: The York County Industrial Development Authority will be soliciting construction bids for the redevelopment of the Yorktowne Hotel. We will be seeing all new windows installed and some major construction efforts throughout the year as we get closer to reopening in 2020. We will also see the McAlister Hotel in downtown Hanover start to be developed into market-rate apartments. Throughout the county, many more Main Street efforts will occur as we promote and amplify the assets our boroughs and municipalities have to offer.
2019 will also bring the start of construction for impactful economic development projects such as the Keystone Kidspace redevelopment of the former York Armory and Hollywood Casino York at the York Galleria. The work we have been doing with the city of York and private developers on the Federal Opportunity Zones tax credits should also start to show results in 2019.
Working with YCEA, you are also tuned in to the surrounding counties. What developments do you see in the midstate business community this coming year?
The YCEA has always approached development and business growth issues with a regional mindset and that will only grow stronger as we work with surrounding chambers of commerce and economic development agencies. As a region, we continue to push efforts forward with infrastructure – not only water, gas, electricity, roads and bridges, but also high-speed internet connectivity. Working with our utility providers and transportation officials, plans are constantly being reviewed and revised to encourage good growth. We will also see this year be a great year for entrepreneurs across the region. Just as the economic development teams came together for Rise of the Rest, stay tuned for some exciting events focused on small-business startups and growth.
The new year is a time to look back and make resolutions. That’s easy for an individual, but how can businesses do this?
The beginning of a new year is a good time to do a comprehensive review of last year’s profits, losses and operational opportunities. In the fall, even we at YCEA begin drafting goals for the upcoming year, so we can hit the ground running with a set of targets to meet. We have regular update meetings both internally and with our board of directors so our tasks are on track throughout the year. Just like a personal New Year’s resolution is meant to cause personal improvement, a company’s strategic plan or business goals are a means to affect that business’ improvement and should be done more than once per year.
What new restaurant or activity are you hoping to try in 2019?
I’m really excited to spend more time in Penn Park in York and on the rail trail. We just moved downtown in September and having such big green areas just two blocks from my home is something I need to start taking advantage of.