CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – State and Cumberland County officials broke ground Wednesday on a vacant property destroyed five years ago in a raging fire. Now plans are underway to redevelop the land.
A fence lines a bare field in Carlisle, but leaders expect redevelopment of the 48-acre Industrial Brownfield to have a huge impact on the local economy.
“I grew up a few blocks from here. I remember this. This was an active factory. You had folks coming to work every day,” said Mayor Tim Scott, (D-Carlisle).
That all changed in May of 2012 when a massive fire tore through the old Masland Factory. New life was dug into the ground where hundreds of people used to work with a row of golden shovels.
“What you’re going to see is a transformation of an old brownfield and factory into housing, retail, commercial space, and a hotel,” Scott said.
Leaders expect building the project will bring $60 million into the economy.
“What that means on an annual basis is there’s numbers that show it over $20 million in economic impact annually, and that’s through the payroll. That’s through construction,” said Jonathan Bowser, CEO of the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation.
“It’s going to add to our tax base,” Scott said. “It’s going to address our stormwater problem, and it going to provide more amenities for our residents, visitors that come to the car shows, folks that have children at Dickinson College or the U.S. Army War College. It’s going to be an economic hub for Carlisle.”
Redeveloping an empty lot of rocks and dirt will also help kids and the environment.
“The project includes a playground and a water park. We’ll help manage the water by creating a green space that helps collect stormwater but at the same time have a green space for kids to play in,” Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
“This will be a huge economic driver for Cumberland County, which is really growing at a very fast pace,” Bowser said.
Construction is expected to kick off in the spring of 2018 and take 10 to 12 months to complete.