New thrift store and grocer to open in Lancaster this year

Ioannis Pashakis//March 10, 2020

New thrift store and grocer to open in Lancaster this year

Ioannis Pashakis//March 10, 2020

A vacant commercial building on Franklin Street in Lancaster is planned to be the site of a new combination thrift and grocery store for the area’s low-income residents.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Tuesday that the Commonwealth Cornerstone Group
(CCG) completed a $5 million New Markets Tax Credit transaction to renovate an unused building at 515 N. Franklin St. to a 27,000-square-foot retail space.

The new retail space, known as Treasures Market, is expected to open this year and would provide a place to buy discounted groceries, furniture, clothing and other retail items.

The new project would serve more than 31,000 people living within a one-mile radius of the store — 44% of which have low access to food, based on economic mapping data.

“This new store will be a welcome sight for surrounding communities in Lancaster County,” said Wolf. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified three ‘food deserts’ in nearby areas that now will have access to fresh groceries that currently aren’t available. Closer proximity to more nutritious food will improve the quality of life for people there.”

Treasures Market will be jointly operated by two Lancaster nonprofits — Water Street Mission and Treasures of Hope Foundation’s subsidiary, also named Treasures Market.

The market is planned to create 10 temporary, full-time construction jobs and is expected to support 40 employees, with 37 of those positions accessible to individuals with low-income.

“The market’s customers and its employees will all benefit from the creation of this new store,” said Robin Wiessmann, executive director and CRO of the Pennsylvania Finance Housing Agency. “People who weren’t able to find employment elsewhere will get the training and jobs they need to get work experience and become more self-reliant.”

CCG is a nonprofit established by the state Housing Finance Agency to administer funds from the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program. The program was established by Congress in 2000 and incentivizes community development through the use of tax credits.

CCG has invested tax credits from the program in 38 different projects throughout the state, including the 101NQ and Keppel buildings in Lancaster.