City neighborhood’s permanent momentum depends on residents

The former Brodart warehouse, vacant for years, is gone and just a memory, replaced by cleared land and the beginnings of a foundation for apartments and townhouses.

But even before Memorial Homes is constructed, there seems to be a lot of positive momentum in the city neighborhood near the site of the former warehouse.

State officials visited the neighborhood last week and were impressed by what they saw and the optimism for the neighborhood that came from residents.

They bolstered that optimism with a check representing a $500,000 state grant toward streetscape improvements in the neighborhood.

A rearrangement of the awkward nearby intersection of Beeber, Oliver and West Fourth streets is planned eventually.

The housing, streetscape improvements, intersection modernization and elimination of blight, taken together, are meant to “reinvent” the neighborhood in the words of Kim Wheeler, lead planner with the Lycoming County Department of Planning and Community Development.

And the momentum certainly appears to be present to make that happen.

But all this revitalization merely creates the elements of a thriving neighborhood.

Ultimately, the people who live in the neighborhood, both now and in the future, will determine it’s long-term quality. They will determine whether these improvements are temporary or long lasting.

The opening sense of revitalization is encouraging. Let’s hope it sticks.