Developer of The Yards decides not to use ARPA funds after all

October 27, 2023

This article originally appeared on OneUnitedLancaster

Ben Lesher is founder and president of Parcel B Development Co. He is planning The Yards, a $60 million apartment complex at the corner of Lititz Pike and Marshall Avenue. The site historically adjoined the Lancaster Stockyards.

Last year, City Council awarded $2 million of ARPA funding to Parcel B, then known as SDL Devco, to support setting aside 45 of The Yards’ 226 units as affordable housing. That means their rent would be capped and they would be rented to households making no more than a certain percentage of area median income.

The county chipped in another $1.25 million from its ARPA funds. Lesher now says he is relinquishing both allocations.

Accepting ARPA would add $8 million to $9 million to his costs, due to prevailing wage and other bidding and construction mandates attached to it, he said. Part of the issue: The mandates would apply to the whole project, not just the affordable portion.

The added cost vastly exceeds the value of ARPA “and is just not viable,” he said in an email. “… I am back to the drawing board with the affordable units, but committed to keep trying.”

Photo Cred: