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Fairfield Business Monthly Articles
January 13, 2017
Downtown developments expected in 2017

David Scheffler, Executive Director, Destination Downtown Lancaster
While 2016 was a dynamite year for Downtown Lancaster, 2017 is shaping up to be just as exciting. We look forward to new businesses, building rehabilitations, expanded events and lots of activity.

North Columbus Street will lead the way with two early February developments. Santino’s (formerly Cool Cravings) will be opening their relocated restaurant at 122 North Columbus Street. The new eatery features completely renovated space and will enhance downtown dining choices. Across the street at 131 North Columbus, Rustic Gals Boutique will be expanding into the suite next door to their current location to double their retail space. These additions will add more zing to this already thriving neighborhood.

The new restaurant in the former Lodge at 129 East Main Street is shooting for an early April opening. Maria’s will offer a mix of Mexican and typical American fare. The event space and outdoor patio will be busy with regular live music and other activities.

The Shaw’s ground floor remodeling will commence by winter’s end and will include a new layout for the restaurant and bar and the addition of a bakery and coffee shop, all operated by Susie Cork-Krutsch. The upper floors, formerly hotel rooms, will be converted to apartments.

Downtown Lancaster will soon be able to claim its own microbrewery. Mosaic Brewing is considering several buildings in downtown for its brew house and a 70-seat taproom. Early production, beginning later this year, will focus on supplying the taproom before pursuing outside distribution.

Brad Hutchinson has two Downtown rehabilitation projects underway, the former Mithoff Hotel at West Main and South Columbus Streets and the former Mill on South Broad Street. Interior work replacing the joists and decking of all three floors continues at the Mithoff, with a new roof soon to follow. The stair towers and elevator shaft on the rear of the structure are nearing completion. The exterior will undergo a dramatic change of appearance before the end of the year.

The Mill, which will house an event center on the ground floor accommodating up to 300 (The Old Mill Event Center), will be open by June. Banquets, meetings, concerts and weddings will be the target users of this beautiful restoration. Four 1,100 - 1,200 square foot apartments on the second floor (The Lofts at the Old Mill) will be ready by July.

The popular but long-absent Lancaster Festival stage, formerly set-up on Broad Street at the Main Street intersection during the Festival, will be making a return this year. The Lancaster Parks’ staff is working to restore the storm damaged structure. A fund raising campaign currently underway will pay for the repairs. Expect to see the stage at Downtown events in addition to the Festival.

The new county Public Safety Facility will open in early summer adding an attractive boundary to Downtown’s west side. The operation will centralize 140+ sheriff’s office employees in this headquarters location convenient to downtown dining and shopping establishments.

Destination Downtown Lancaster and the Lancaster Parks Department are working on plans for an outdoor Downtown New Year’s Eve celebration to include fun activities, entertainment and an appropriate spectacle to mark the arrival of midnight.

This new year brings many exciting changes for Downtown Lancaster with multiple dining, shopping and entertainment enhancements to make our city center the place to be. We’re Downtown and we hope to see you here.

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