Conceptual Development Program
The Lancaster Boroughs Collaborative launched a pilot Conceptual Development Program to assess the redevelopment potential for the Wenger Feed Mill located along the Ephrata Rail Trail between East Main Street and East Franklin Street. The program is a two-day event that brings together professionals from around the County with backgrounds in real estate development, construction, finance and business development. This team of volunteers is tasked with assessing the feasibility of redevelopment and the opportunities for the community.
The Economic Development Company of Lancaster County (EDC) established its Boroughs Collaborative in late 2015 to engage Lancaster’s 18 Boroughs and bring value to their pursuit of economic development. While markedly different, the Boroughs have a common desire for redevelopment that generates economic activity. Several borough properties have been identified as key redevelopment opportunities, but face various challenges, including deteriorating conditions, limited functionality, obsolete design/layout, or lack of parking. Redevelopment of these properties have potential to add value to communities and generate energy around economic development.
Utilizing the strengths of the Boroughs Collaborative, EDC, its Membership and many professional partners will target borough properties that have been identified as key redevelopment opportunities by local leaders for inclusion in a pre-development assessment and concept review. The Collaborative will:
- Identify projects that are supported by the host borough and have: little/no activity now; willing/engaged ownership; a likelihood of success; and the greatest potential impact on the community.
- Work with the property owner, the host borough and other professional development partners on predevelopment activities to reposition the property as a viable reinvestment opportunity.
Wenger Feed Mill
The former Wenger Feed Mill was identified as a key redevelopment opportunity in Ephrata Borough. It was targeted for the pilot Conceptual Development Program. Click the link to review the program details, including the team of volunteers, public engagement opportunities and background information on the former feed mill.
About the Mill
27 East Main Street, Ephrata
The Wenger Feed Mill is located along the Ephrata Rail Trail between East Main Street and East Franklin Street. The facility is comprised of two buildings – a three-story building, which was constructed in the early 1900’s, along with a five-story building and eight concrete silos constructed later on. Mill operations ceased in 2006 and Ephrata National Bank acquired the mill to utilize the surrounding area for parking and auxilary bank needs.
The mill sits in the middle of Downtown Ephrata and provides a unique redevelopment opportunity for the community.
The pilot Conceptual Development Program, sponsored by EDC and the Boroughs Collaborative, will be undertaken in close partnership with the Ephrata Area Chamber of Commerce, Ephrata Borough and Ephrata National Bank (building owner). The review team members are contributing two days of their time to evaluate this key vacant building in the heart of Ephrata Borough and will complete a preliminary review of the viability of redeveloping the building. The review process will include:
- Touring Ephrata and the Wenger Feed Mill to understand its place in the community
- Evaluating studies, plans, ordinances, and other materials that impact possible redevelopment
- Facilitating stakeholder interviews and a public meeting to seek out uses for the building that would be supported by the market and the community
- Performing a SWOT analysis of the property
- Developing a pre-development report discussing the viability of redeveloping the property and outlining a path to achieving that redevelopment
In considering a viable path to redevelopment of the mill, the Conceptual Development Team (CDT) is asked to address the following questions:
- What uses of the site and building would be supported by the community and the market?
- What is the site/building capable of becoming/supporting?
- What are the financial, marketability and other impediments that need to be overcome and how/can they be overcome?
- As an end-product, can the CDT outline a viable path to redevelopment? – Briefly addressing planning/entitlements, marketability, financing, constructability, and other key considerations
Conceptual Development Team
- Rick Jackson, ELA Group – Lead
- Don Banzhof, Warfel Construction
- Rebecca Denlinger, Rising Tide Collaborative
- Justin Eby, Lancaster County Housing & Redevelopment Authorities
- Dan Fichtner, Providence Engineering
- Michael Hession, Denver Borough
- Lyle Hosler, EDC Finance Corporation
- Ed Kaminski, Housing Development Corporation MidAtlantic
- Peter Kerekgyarto, Beers + Hoffman Architecture
- Jessica King, ASSETS
- Anne Kirby, The Candy Factory
- John Biemiller & Laura Gebhart, Economic Development Company of Lancaster County
- Andrea Glass & David Boland, Ephrata Area Chamber of Commerce
- Bob Thompson & Nancy Harris, Ephrata Borough
- Jim Brown, Director of Facilities, Ephrata National Bank
- Corey Brown, recent graduate – M.S. City & Regional Planning, Temple University
An integral part of the program is to understand the community’s vision for the Wenger Feed Mill. On the first day of the two-day event, the Conceptual Development Team will conduct stakeholder interviews. At the end of the first day, the Team will host a public meeting.
PUBLIC MEETING – APRIL 27, 2017
TOPIC: If the former Wenger Feed Mill were redeveloped, how would you envision the building being re-used/re-purposed? Come and share your ideas!
DATE: Thursday, April 27th
TIME: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: Brossman Building Business Complex, 124 E. Main Street – 3rd Floor, Ephrata
PUBLIC REVEAL – MAY 1, 2017
TOPIC: The Lancaster County Boroughs Collaborative will report on the findings of its two-day planning workshop on the former Wenger Feed Mill, including viable ideas and strategies for redeveloping the property into a meaningful part of Downtown Ephrata.
DATE: Monday, May 1st
TIME: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: Ephrata Borough Municipal Building, 124 S. State Street, Ephrata