Lancaster's Central Market

How Lancaster, PA is Growing—and the Future Outlook

There’s no doubt that if you’ve been living in Lancaster for more than ten years, you’ve seen some changes. A lot of changes. Areas like Downtown Lancaster have gone through a huge revitalization with the addition of businesses, restaurants, and even a convention center at the heart of Downtown. With all of these changes and the continual improvement of neighborhoods and city streets—thanks to the fine dining, nighttime hotspots, and bustling tourism—Lancaster has practically been reborn. And, if the last several years are any indication, Lancaster doesn’t show any signs of stopping that growth.

This time-lapse of Lancaster County shows you just how much the area has changed since 1984. Looks aren’t everything, though, and there’s more to the revitalization of this wonderful county than meets the eye.

The changes aren’t just skin deep

Yes, there are plenty of new buildings, businesses, and homes all across the county. You can see as much from the time-lapse above, but the nature of all those new additions has only enhanced Lancaster County’s ability to attract others.

Lancaster’s Central Market has continued to grow alongside the rest of the county. The list of vendors has grown, and the area surrounding the marketplace has been developed to include a variety of new, local businesses, a convention center, hotel, and many, many restaurants. The community has really come out to make the city what it is today. The nightlife, the pop-up park on Prince Street, First Fridays, and more all encourage locals and visitors to come out and enjoy everything the Downtown area has to offer.

All it takes is one night to see how warm and inviting the community is.

Community growth spurred by economic improvements

Lancaster County is one of those places that has always mirrored the personality of those who live there. As new businesses, small and large, have set up shop and other revitalization efforts have taken place alongside, it’s always been the people who truly make Lancaster a place worth spending time.

To put the Lancaster County community into perspective for you, let’s remember that it has the fourth largest population growth in the state of Pennsylvania as of 2016. That would put the county’s population toward 550,000. Also, consider that Lancaster is only 160 miles from places like New York City, and half that distance from Philadelphia and Baltimore. Some of the largest metropolitan markets on the East Coast are right next door to Lancaster County. Putting it another way: 50% of the country’s population now lives within 500 miles of Lancaster County.

All of those numbers mean two things:

  1. The population is steadily growing, which means a larger community and more opportunities
  2. The proximity to other major metropolitan marketplaces provides access to other wonderful communities and attractions

The steady growth of both the population and businesses in the area paint a bright picture of Lancaster County’s future. The area is very much a melting pot with an open and engaging cultural scene, easily enjoyed by the young and old alike.

Lancaster County continues to adapt to the needs and interests of the local community

There are some who think the growth seen so far could be detrimental to the image of Lancaster County if it continues. They’re worried that the sweeping farmlands and open spaces could be set upon by development. No one can say whether or not that will actually happen; however, the changes have all been met with overwhelming positivity thus far.

In case you’re worried about farmland disappearing, Lancaster County had over 100,000 acres of farmland legally preserved as of 2013. This allows that land to be saved solely for farming, and prevents others from purchasing the land and turning it into something else. Lancaster County is also a huge agricultural hub both statewide and nationally.

It’s also safe to say that those who appreciate what the area has to offer know how important agriculture, the Amish, and its fertile land are to the future prosperity of Lancaster County. Those things are part of Lancaster’s culture and heritage, and they made the county what it is today. Rather than forget this, the people who live and visit honor that past every day by contributing to the economy and community in equal measure.