Subway to build new building to move into downtown

Catch Harrisburg International Airport’s marketing manager Stephanie Gehman on this week’s episode of The Lancast.

19 East King, bank drive-through. Future site of a Subway.
19 East King, bank drive-through. Future site of a Subway.

Tim Mekeel reports in today’s Intell that a Subway restaurant is building a new building downtown near the square so that it has somewhere to move into. It will be just east of the vacant Amazon Cafe storefront and just west of the vacant 21 East King storefront. The Subway will go where an abandoned bank drive-through currently sits.

There are some obvious negatives here: it’s a chain restaurant, it’s new construction on a block in need of renovations, and the storefront windows are going to be full of loud, annoying corporate advertisements. Not to mention that there was a Subway restaurant that is now the Green Man Cafe downtown, and hasn’t been renovated to look like anything other than a Subway restaurant.

Do you think there are positives that outweigh those negatives? Will you be eating at the downtown Subway? Where will you go instead? (Isaac’s, which also serves sandwiches, is local, and is just around the corner?)

Lancaster County births in 2008

According to preliminary reports [pdf] from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 7,229 babies were born in Lancaster County in 2008. Only Philadelphia County, Allegheny County, and Montgomery County had more. There were a total of 148,927 births in PA last year, which means that five percent of children born in Pennsylvania last year were born in Lancaster County. August was the month with the most births (677), which I suppose means parents were feeling both festive and pent-up in December 2007.

Here’s a snapshot of the trending of Lancaster County births since 1994.

Lancaster County, PA birth rate, 1994 through 2008
Lancaster County, PA birth rate, 1994 through 2008

Am I a Lancavangelist or what?

I was pleased to find myself quoted today in a Central Penn Business Journal supplement focusing on the opening of the Lancaster County Convention Center.

From page 20 of "Lancaster: A World-Class Destination for Business"
From page 20 of "Lancaster: A World-Class Destination for Business"

The increasing hustle and bustle of Lancaster’s arts and music scene is what led Ken Mueller to move to the city recently from Elizabethtown. It’s nice to live in a place where such a variety of people—from government officials to artists to business owners—share the same committment to the city, Mueller says.

“In Lancaster, there’s a real pride where everyone wants to do what is best for the city,” he says. “I think people coming into the city will be pleasantly surprised about what they find here.”

One such person is Daniel Klotz, who moved with his wife to Lancaster three years ago after living in New York City. The transition was easy for the couple, Klotz says, because Lancaster offers all the amenities of a big city without the cost and lengthy commutes.

Klotz believers there is a critical mass of talent and investment in Lancaster and that the good things going on in the city will only continue to grow.

“It’s all starting to come together,” he says. “I think there’s an opportunity for something really big to happen here.”

Thanks to Christina Reardon for writing this story, and for the opportunity to appear in it.

What Is Growing in Lancaster City

Here are a few of the things going on in the city that I think will only continue to grow:

What else would you add to this list?

New York Times Magazine Includes F&M Prof in ‘Year in Ideas’

Each year, the New York Times Magazine captures the defining ideas of the past twelve months. “The Year In Ideas 2008” issue comes out tomorrow, and guess what they included?

The aptly-named Trexler Proffitt deserves kudos. Photo courtesy of F&M's newsletter, The Diplomat.

They included the work of Franklin & Marshall College’s Trexler Proffitt, the Lancaster professor who conducted a feasibility study this year on establishing a Lancaster stock exchange that would serve seven counties in Central PA. The Times categorizes the idea under the phenomenon of “locavestors.”

Most of my day is spent dealing with minutiae, but I’m very fortunate because it’s often very meaningful minutiae. I arranged for Prof. Proffitt and two of his students to meet for an in-depth discussion with the man who puts the “executive” in my “executive assistant” title (Tom Baldrige, president of The Lancaster Chamber) earlier this year as part of their feasibility study. It’s nothing boast-worthy, but it is an affirmation that what I am contributing, I’m contributing toward something good.

Here’s to the world’s foremost newspaper identifying Lancaster as a place that is germinating innovative ideas!