Long-planned store finally being built
Long-planned store finally being built BY TIM MEKEEL, Business Editor
It's been 12 years since plans first surfaced for a convenience store at the intersection of Route 741 and Barbara Street.
Finally, construction of a convenience store will begin there this month, as part of a small shopping center to be built on the site.
Costing $7 million, Millersville Commons will be anchored by a Sheetz convenience store, a branch bank and up to nine more tenants.
Blackford Development is developing the project. LMS Commercial Real Estate is marketing and leasing the spaces.
"I think this project has benefits for anybody who lives in the area," said Ed Arnold, Millersville Borough manager.
Donna Deerin-Ward, co-owner of LMS, put it this way: "There has been a tremendous amount of growth in the Route 741 corridor and little new retail development."
Completion of the majority of the project is expected by the end of the year.
The 5.9-acre site, mostly in Millersville Borough, has been eyed by a number of potential users over the years.
The reasons are simple.
Next to Penn Manor's Comet Field and diagonal from Lancaster's Martin Elementary School, the land is along busy roads and near numerous homes.
Initially, in 2001, a Wawa was proposed for the busy corner property. Later, a Turkey Hill Minit Market was proposed there.
Blackford and LMS became involved about three years ago, bringing Sheetz to the venture.
The plan that's going forward includes:
n A 6,800-square-foot Sheetz convenience store, its 10th in Lancaster County;
n A 3,800-square-foot branch bank, yet to be leased;
n A 15,000-square-foot strip of retail, restaurant and service tenants, such as a hair salon, spa or dry cleaners;
n An extension of Wabank Road so it runs beside Millersville Commons and connects with Barbara Street.
n Upgrading traffic lights at Route 741 and Barbara Street (to pedestrian-controlled) and at Route 741 and Wabank Road (to four-way).
Blackford acquired the acreage for the development from Penn Manor School District for $1.7 million, according to newspaper files.
To make the project possible, Blackford got a sliver of the site that is in Lancaster Township rezoned from campus/open space to commercial.
The borough portion of the property already was zoned commercial.
Arnold noted Monday that the project site is one of the few commercial tracts in the borough.
As such, its development will add to the borough's tax base without adding much demand on borough services, he said.
Another advantage of the project, said Arnold, is that it will help address a shortage of eateries in the borough.
The lack of eateries, he said, was identified as a concern of the borough in its 2001 comprehensive plan and the plan's 2012 update.
nMillersville Commons will be anchored by Sheetz.