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Ground broken on Lancaster County retail development

MANHEIM TWP., Pa. - Community leaders broke ground on a $120 million mixed-use retail development Thursday that will bring more than 200,000 square feet of retail space near the city limits of Lancaster.

The Crossings at Conestoga Creek will host the county's first Wegmans supermarket, as well as a Residence Inn by Marriott and more than 250 apartment units.

"It's just going to be a great gateway project for Lancaster city, bringing a lot of people from the community in to see the Crossings and also making it a lot easier for them to get into Lancaster city," Mark Fitzgerald of the High Real Estate Group said.

Representatives from Wegmans said they had heard from Lancaster County residents for years wanting the grocery chain to place a supermarket in their community. and that wish is finally on its way to being granted.

"Anytime we can come into a market and provide a choice that customers don't have, that's great for everybody," Gary Fechter, a VP of operations for Pennsylvania with Wegmans, said. "We've heard loud and clear that [for] everyone living in Lancaster, it's tough sometimes driving to Mechanicsburg or Downingtown."

Some residents say they are looking forward to the additional shopping in the area.

"I love all the stores being in the area, there's a lot of shopping going in Lancaster County, and it's developing around here a lot of jobs," Austin Fahnestock, a county resident, said.

Other residents have mixed feelings about it.

"My grandfather actually worked on that farm since 1948, so, sad to see it go, happy that Wegmans is coming in, but I feel like they could have used the existing infrastructure in Lancaster County," Jon Markley, a Lancaster resident, said.

The shopping center is expected to open in fall 2018.