In their words: If you build it …

ambitious Northwest Triangle project hopes to bring a combination of
residential development and retail and commercial space. In any downtown
project, which type of redevelopment should happen first – the
retail/commercial or the residential?

ambitious Northwest Triangle project hopes to bring a combination of
residential development and retail and commercial space. In any downtown
project, which type of redevelopment should happen first – the
retail/commercial or the residential?

… If the location is a surging, bustling location that
already has vast growth with numerous up-and-coming retail/commercial
enterprises, it’d make sense to build the residential portion first to
encourage a living/working city … If the downtown location still has a lot to
do in the way of economic growth, it may be a good idea to entice business into
the city by building up the retail/commercial portion first.
Tynan, leasing consultant, Beacon Residential Management

Retail/commercial (first). A city must be attractive and
thriving to catch the attention of potential residents.
-Abby Achey, chief
executive officer, Lancaster
Red Rose Credit Union

… The residential should lead the commercial/retail
development. The business community will want to respond to the buying power of
the downtown resident and offer services to cater to that demographic. That
being said, if a developer can pull off both sets of investment at the same
time – terrific!
-Peter Whipple, borough
manager, Elizabethtown

Our feeling is commercial first. This is what brings
residential rentals or ownerships for people who want to live “among the
-Robin Hemperly, borough
manager, Myerstown

… In certain cases, creation of a residential neighborhood
will establish the need for retail shopping and attract commercial projects. In
other areas, the development of the commercial projects will attract retail and
residential, as people decide to live and shop close to work. The most
important element for a downtown redevelopment project to be successful is a
public/private partnership …
-Diane Voda, vice
president, Crossgates Inc.

…I think that the question as asked is impossible to
answer because the commercial development should precede the retail, and the
retail will become more viable (again, there are a lot of variables), as the
commercial and residential development bring people into the area.
-Martin Murray, partner,
Conewago Industrial Park Associates

In my opinion, residential development should come
first.  Retail/commercial needs shoppers
and clients to exist.
-Douglas R. Heineman,
broker/Realtor/residential appraiser, B-H Agency Inc.

Both. Retail/commercial can’t survive for long without a
strong residential base.  A strong
residential base needs retail and commerical services.  They need to go hand-in- hand.
-J. Alex Hartzler, president,
 WCI Partners

… With a downtown project, the commercial element is often
needed to support the residences, but often developers want to get the
residential established first to get some capital flowing. The other concern is
that they build one and then fail to complete the other for a number of
reasons, and the community is stuck with a partial project. I would say phase
the project, with at least the first two phases having a mix of retail and
residential …
-Mark Stivers, director
of planning and development, East
Hempfield Township

In my marketing opinion, commercial office space is a
stand-alone product that doesn’t need to be surrounded by residents or
retailers to function or survive. Start building and renting commercial office
space. This becomes a funding resource to financially support phase two. Phase
two is residential. If you want retailers, you must provide consumers. The
combination of a thousand office workers and then another thousand residents,
all within walking distance, should automatically attract retailers, food
courts, etc.
-Jim Starr, director
of marketing and media, PA Central Credit Union

Cities, like any other business, can only grow when you
invest time and money into that goal. Development of urban centers is key to
keeping life in our downtown area.
The Northwest Triangle is a natural step to closing the loop
of investment from the new baseball stadium, through downtown investment in
government buildings and the Strand-Capital, and along the Codorus Creek
corridor to the York
College campus. Many
private investors have stepped up to the challenge as well. The key will be
keeping the ball rolling.
-David Keech, partner
and president, Rock Commercial Real Estate

If you put the residential in first, the demographics may
result in better commercial/retail tenants coming to fill the commercial/retail
space.  My intuition says go with the
residential first.
-Michael Heller, commercial
relationship manager, M&T Bank

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