COLUMBIA, Pa. (WHTM) — The 57-acre property behind the Columbia Borough Fire Department is vacant right now, but it may play a major role in the borough’s economic future.
“It’s the last big piece of ground here in the borough that we have a chance to develop in a way that is going to help the economy, help the tax base in the community,” Columbia Borough Manager, Mark Stivers said.
The borough is considering buying the McGinness property, a former airport for nearly $1.5 million.
Stivers said they would likely create a small business park. He said the move was spurred on by when several businesses, including a drone company, said they wanted to move into Columbia.
“There’s a high need for that in the county,” Stivers said. “That’s why we felt confident moving forward. Even if this drone company didn’t work out and we needed to go another direction we knew we would be able to get tenants in here fairly easily.”
If purchased, and revitalized, it would follow other redevelopment efforts in Columbia. Other current redevelopment efforts include the Columbia Market House, and a plan to focus more attention on the Riverfront.
“Tying together what we already have here with what is trying to develop, we see a lot of positive change coming for Columbia in the next five years,” Stivers said.
Stivers said the borough still needs to survey the land before making an offer.
If all things goes well, Sam Shive, who lives near the property, thinks it would be a great idea.
“I’d like to see them buy it and put something good back there instead of just an open field,” Shive said.
If the borough decides to buy the property a deal could be finalized by July.