The Crossings at Conestoga Creek: A Highlight Example of Smart Growth Project in Lancaster
A Regional Destination, a Place to Gather
The Crossings at Conestoga Creek is all about a unique, socially-interactive, memorable experience for living, shopping, and visiting. From Wegmans, the grocery store anchor Lancastrians overwhelmingly wanted most, to Main Street-style retail shopping, luxurious apartment living, a seven-screen movie theater, a Residence Inn by Marriott, and more, The Crossings is a unique destination that draws people together.
As the retail landscape evolves, open-air, grocery-anchored centers continue to gain ground with consumers. And Wegmans is the ultimate anchor store. High is extremely pleased to be able to partner with Wegmans—another multi-generational, family-owned company—in bringing its highly distinguished grocery store to Lancaster.
A smart growth project in the urban growth corridor, The Crossings helped preserve farmland while adding approximately 700 direct full- and part-time jobs to Lancaster's economy. The project included $8-9 million in improvements to Harrisburg Pike, and yields some $2 million per year in property taxes.
The Crossings & How It is Constructed Using Smart Growth Principles
How the Crossings is constructed using Smart Growth Principles
High adheres to smart-growth principles that ensure that our development is environmentally sensitive, economically viable, community-oriented, and sustainable. So from the outset, this project was predicated on satisfying overarching smart-growth questions that determine its contribution to making Lancaster more livable and vibrant.
How can the project be integrated into the overall development pattern of the region?
Built within the urban growth corridor, The Crossings at Conestoga Creek is ideally located near existing retail and recreational space and is on the major Route 30 artery at Harrisburg Pike, which is only three miles from Lancaster City. The development is consistent with Places 2040, the comprehensive plan put forth by the Lancaster County Planning Commission.
How is the project sustainable, does it draw and create jobs, grow businesses and serve the community?
The Crossings is an exceptional place due in large part to the extensive work and preparation that helped secure the highest caliber anchor. As they say, there's truly a there there, and it starts with Wegmans.
The project produces $2 million per year in property taxes including $1.5 million per year in new tax revenue for Manheim Township School District, $200,000 in Manheim Township taxes, and $300,000 in Lancaster County taxes.
How can the project protect open space and ensure the best use of resources along the fringes of our communities?
The Crossings is the result of careful market analysis and addresses the growing demand for retail, hospitality, and multi-family space. This helps take development pressure off outlying areas, reducing sprawl, protecting farms, and preserving the character of Lancaster County. The project incorporates best practices for development density and stormwater management.
How can the project protect and upgrade the community's aging infrastructure?
Development projects are crucial for dealing with outmoded roadways, and The Crossings is no exception. Heavily trafficked Harrisburg Pike, the key corridor where The Crossings at Conestoga Creek is located, was already overburdened when the project was proposed. Between $8 and $9 million in off-site improvements now allow traffic to move more safely and easily and included $1.2 million for roads in neighboring East Hempfield Township.
A Vision for Community
For the team at High, working in construction and development offers many rewards, as The Crossings shows, and many lessons including the importance of maintaining focus and staying flexible to meet shifting market requirements.
Eleven years passed between the time in 2006 when the development team at High first had the vision for The Crossings and the day in 2017 when the groundbreaking ceremony took place. Then, it was another year and a half until Wegmans opened.
During those years, the High team worked through the acquisition of the 90-acre site, planning, zoning, and an evolving vision for what the project was to become.
Collaboration is an integral part of everything that High does, and the company worked closely with municipalities and local residents to be sure that the project delivered the maximum benefit to all the stakeholders. Three municipalities come together at the site, which is in Manheim Township, while Lancaster city is across Harrisburg Pike, and East Hempfield Township is across the Conestoga Creek, just behind the development.
Many officials from Lancaster County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania also aided in the successful completion of this project, as did financial institutions, engineers, architects, construction workers, and members of many different High divisions.