A Pittsburgh-based developer is planning a mixed-used project designed to bring life back to a neglected corner of Queen Street in downtown Lancaster.

Zamagias Properties is converting the former Bulova building at 101 N. Queen St. into a mix of retail, office and residential space.

It plans to renovate more than 150,000 square feet of the four-story building, with retailers, restaurants and other service-oriented businesses on the first floor, and office space on the second and third floors. Luxury condos are planned for the top floor.

Zamagias has partnered with many Lancaster companies on the project, including Lefever Funk Architects, Community First Fund, RGS Associates and Warfel Construction, to name a few.

PPM Real Estate Inc. will lease and sell space inside. PPM is already in discussion with potential tenants that are a combination of local and national retailers, according to Corinn Kirchner, vice president of sales and leasing.

Renovations will begin this year, and the project is set to open in 2019.

Zamagias bought the building last year during an auction. It has been vacant since 2008 when Bulova Technologies, a one-time subsidiary of the Bulova Watch Co., moved out.

A former department store as well, the building has been identified for several years as a target of redevelopment efforts in Lancaster, and is “arguably the centerpiece site in downtown Lancaster,” according to Lisa Riggs, president of the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County.

“There’s a high priority to make sure that the building, and the block as a whole, can be redeveloped,” Riggs said.

The mix of retail, office and residential space fits into what Lancaster City Alliance has outlined in its economic development strategic plan for Lancaster City, and the North Queen Street location in particular, according to Marshall Snively, CEO of the alliance.

“Obviously we’re very excited about the renovation and the adaptive reuse of what’s been a long-standing, frankly, eyesore, in the middle of downtown,” Snively said.

Zamagias has invested in other properties downtown, such as the Keppel Building. A regional developer continuing to invest in Lancaster speaks volumes for the city, Snively added.

“The city of Lancaster is a special place,” David Martens, president and CFO of Zamagias, said in a statement. “We are very happy to be part of making it even more special by giving new retailers, restaurants, office tenants and residents the opportunity to part of that excitement.”


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