Greencastle to examine downtown infrastructure

Julia Saintz, a native of Boiling Springs, is earning educational credit for her work in Greencastle. She will develop a profile of the community commercial district.

A friendly face will be appearing at each business in downtown Greencastle this summer, conducting a study for Greencastle Downtown, Inc. (GDI). Julia Saintz, a senior at Shippensburg University, is serving an internship to gather information for the borough’s main street organization.

“She will develop a profile, which will assist our efforts in better understanding the current business and residential composition of our downtown, and enhancing our attraction and retention efforts for retail, business and residential,” said GDI member Joel Fridgen, executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce.

Borough manager Susan Armstrong is also overseeing the project.

“This was a main objective, to get a snapshot of what actually exists,” she said. “It’s a tool for the toolbox when you are looking at attracting business, and retention.”

She said the data would be used to apply for grants if buildings needed work, and to conduct an analysis on retail gaps.

Saintz, 21, is majoring in history and geo-environmental studies. She began her walking tour of the community commercial district on July 16 and will work to the middle or end of August. She plans to contact each property owner and the merchants.

“I have a template,” Saintz said. “I’ll take a photo of every building, and ask people the square footage, uses of the space, condition of the apartments, whether there is any vacancy, and so on.”

GDI hopes for widespread assistance from the property and business owners in order to gain information that will allow the borough to strengthen the viability of the downtown for the next three to five years.

“Board members have been waiting for this analysis for several years,” Fridgen said, “and look forward to having this resource available. We feel Julia is the ideal person to do the project.”