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Colleges, city look to work together on revitalization

SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

A college book store, more diverse restaurants from various cultures and cuisines and small upscale shops.

These were among the ideas and updates shared with City Council’s economic revitalization committee Friday.

Kent Trachte, Lycoming College president, and Patrick Marty, chief of staff at Pennsylvania College of Technology, offered some ideas for the committee chaired by Councilman Dave Banks.

“Our plans envision some attraction of mixed-use investment into the area west of Basin Street,” Trachte said.

Recently, a letter of intent has been signed and the developer has a vision the city would find attractive, he said.

The scale includes street beautification, shops and a possible UPMC Susquehanna facility.

“The college is open to outsourcing health services for the students,” Trachte said.

“We are open to outsourcing the campus store operation,” Trachte said.

Trachte added some information on the west side development of Market Street.

“We have tried to put our footprint onto Fourth Street with the move of the art gallery and partnership with Community Arts Center and Penn College to larger performances and other events at the CAC,” Trachte said.

Clearly, once COVID is over the college is hopeful to get back to using the Community Arts Center and working with friends at Penn College to have a Lycoming College presence at the facility, he said.

“We would anticipate making that a more active and vibrant location,” Trachte said.

Penn College, likewise, would welcome private developers looking for opportunity along the Maynard Street corridor.

More physical impediments exist for the college’s students to get downtown.

“College students are students … a lot of the same amenities (as Lycoming College neighborhood has planned) makes sense,” Marty said.

If a developer had a “mixed-use plan” similar — “I think anything would be on the table,” Marty said.

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