A new, small piece of the Lancaster Parking Authority’s $34 million renovation of the former Lancaster Square will be in place today with the official debut of Imperial Terrace, a 5,000-square-foot, partially covered second-floor patio connected to the Holiday Inn Lancaster.

Overlooking the walkways and patios taking shape below in Ewell Plaza, the Imperial Terrace joins Christian Street Garage on the list of “completed” features of the downtown revitalization project that began in September 2019 and will eventually include new retail space and a new home for the Lancaster Public Library. The library is set to debut by next spring.

At the north end of Ewell Plaza, Imperial Terrace offers seating for up to 160 people. Half of the open-air terrace is covered by a green roof and the area has a mixture of planters, benches, couches and dining tables.

While the Imperial Terrace may occasionally be open for hotel guests, it will primarily be used for private events. It is not an extension of the Imperial Restaurant on first floor of the hotel at 26 E. Chestnut St.

The Imperial Terrace was developed by John Meeder and Sam Wilsker, majority owners of the Holiday Inn Lancaster at the corner of North Queen and East Chestnut streets.

“With so many delays and shortages due to COVID, it has been a real challenge to finally see everything come together in such a beautiful, positive way,” Meeder said. 

In conjunction with Celebrate Lancaster, a public open house will be held today from 4 to 10 p.m. at Imperial Terrace where picnic items and beverages will be sold.

Several features will be added to the Imperial Terrace sometime later this year. Those include a 25-foot bar to be built along the back wall, a pergola with a grill and a pizza oven, and a water fountain large enough to be seen from the street.

Imperial Terrace was built on part of a concrete superstructure Meeder and Wilsker retained rights to after selling property in 2019 to the parking authority for its new Christian Street Garage. Meeder estimated it cost $2 million to construct the section of buildings that contain the terrace, which includes the terrace itself as well as the retail spaces below and the green roof above.

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