Grow Lebanon Economic Development Strategy
City of Lebanon, PA
Lebanon, PA is a city of about 25,000 located in central Pennsylvania. The city recognized the opportunities (and risks) for smaller cities like theirs to attract new investment, residents, and visitors. Both the City and County of Lebanon had solid economic growth and investment with many positive outcomes, and they wanted to capitalize on that growth to ensure their continued success.
The City of Lebanon, Pennsylvania engaged Fourth Economy Consulting to assist in composing an economic development action agenda (its first ever), downtown improvement plan, media event and public launch.
The process included extensive stakeholder engagement, working group meetings, a public survey, and a detailed economic structure analysis. The City adopted the plan, which included eight key recommendations and more than thirty detailed action steps to guide programmatic and real estate asset development for the next five years. Fourth Economy developed performance metrics that included both measures unique to Lebanon’s conditions and context, as well as indicators that align with higher performing regional cities.
Mayor Capello has implemented almost all of the recommendations from the plan, including creating a Business Improvement District and a Land Bank, and has started the process of moving the city’s offices downtown and building a new parking garage. Furthermore, every catalytic parcel identified in the plan has since been redeveloped.
Mayor Cappello won an award from the PA chapter of the American Planning Association for her leadership in implementing the plan. In a recent conversation she shared that the cover of her plan was tattered and falling off from using it to make a point at so many meetings.