More development of former ‘Y’ property a big downtown step

When the Liberty Arena was built, one of the most important parts of the vision for the property at West Fourth and Elmira streets was development plans for the remaining part of the former YMCA building.

The arena is operational and busy.

And now it appears development plans for the former YMCA building are on the cusp of reality.

City Council has approved land development plans for an extension of the arena that will include a restaurant, an arcade and a bowling alley.

While the timetable for construction is not yet certain, the prospects for complete reuse of what had been an aging area is very encouraging for the city. Construction creates jobs and the completed project will bring fresh tax revenue to Williamsport.

Beyond those tangible benefits, there is a natural feel of renaissance for center city every time an aging, vacant exterior is replaced by new construction and development that brings activity.

Construction by the Liberty Group has created an arena that has become a hub for indoor recreation, especially this time of the year.

But the second part of the plan is just as important and approval of the development represents a future reality that promises a new look to a very visible part of downtown Williamsport.