This time, momentum for development of ‘Old City’ is real

Can the “Old City” become a new revitalized part of the City of Williamsport?

Only the future holds that answer.

But we can’t recall a time when there was more momentum to realize the full potential of area east of Market Street than now.

The Lycoming County Commissioners recently approved an agreement that will start the process of redevelopment of the “Old City” section of Williamsport.

The agreement includes Lycoming College as a third party along with the city and county in a partnership to revitalize the area east of Market Street – bounded by the college and Market, Chatham and Via Bella streets.

The college’s involvement, greater than ever, is a major factor that brings optimism that good things will happen.

As part of the city’s East Third Street Gateway Revitalization Commission, a steering committee for the project is being formed and that committee will search for a consultant to put together a master redevelopment plan.

The plan will include everything from scenario-building to market analysis, reinvestment opportunities and types of businesses that would be sought after. It will include ideas for streetscaping, zoning code amendments, an improved south entrance for the college and more.

The goal, according to county lead planner Kim Wheeler, is to develop “a vision and a plan, to create a template for redevelopment that will utilize the area to its full potential.”

We’ve heard these proclamations before.

But there appears to be the infrastructure for planning and sustaining momentum to realize potential this time around.

The plan is due in 18 months.

We will be waiting and expecting big things.