Historic East King Street
Location: Lancaster, PA
Purpose of Loan: Building Renovations
Impact: Economic Security
Like most small cities in our region in the 1980s and 90s, Lancaster had its share of blocks that had seen much better days. Over the decades, streets that were once bustling with pedestrians and prosperous businesses had declined into rows of dilapidated buildings, many vacant or housing tenants in deplorable living conditions. By the 1990s, East King Street, a major and once robust city corridor, had mostly become an eyesore with little to draw daily workers or visitors.
Seeing a once sparkling diamond in the rough, John Meeder, President of Meeder Development Corporation, began to envision a rejuvenated East King Street. John had a track record of developing commercial offices, mixed-income housing and retail space where few others would have taken the chance. In 2009, John started the revitalization of East King by creating the Historic East King Suites, which transformed a row of blighted buildings into affordable housing. Community First Fund helped John with the acquisition of specific parcels in this project.
Since then, several Community First Fund clients have found a home on East King Street, including Hair at DFB Studios, La Cocina Restaurant, Excelsior and most recently, the new headquarters of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry. These enterprises have created jobs and cultivated further economic growth along this now thriving corridor.