Request for Proposals: Site Acquisition 304 Cherry Street Columbia

Lancaster County Land Bank Authority

Site Acquisition Proposal – 304 Cherry Street, Columbia, PA


The Lancaster County Land Bank Authority seeks a qualified developer or contractor (Applicant) to acquire and rehabilitate a blighted property at 304 Cherry Street in Columbia Borough.
In order for the Land Bank Authority to consider a proposal to acquire the property, the Applicant must complete the attached application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the Land Bank Authority.

Scope of Work

The following issues must be addressed:

1) Fire separation from adjoining buildings, to the underside of the roof sheathing.

2) The rear addition on the first floor is a bathroom with questionable plumbing and ground clearance. Renovation must include either improving the ground clearance or raising the floor.

3) The building must be made lead-safe and radon-safe. The Land Bank Authority has tested for both conditions and the results are available on request.

4) The building must be made weather-resistant and weather tight; deficiencies with the gutters must be addressed.

5) The electrical system must be upgraded to 200 amps if electric resistance heat is used.

6) Appropriate floor coverings must be installed in all areas not currently finished. Impervious vinyl or other impervious flooring in the kitchen, bath and laundry/half bath is acceptable.

7) Work must meet Columbia Borough code and result in a Certificate of Occupancy.

The following issues may be addressed at the applicant’s discretion:

1) Construct a hall to convert the rear bedroom on the second floor into the upstairs bathroom, opening the current bathroom as a third bedroom without a privacy violation.

2) Enlarge the attic windows to allow the two rooms to be used as bedrooms rather than storage.

3) Install a gas fired forced air HVAC system. This may be split into two units, one for the first floor and one for the second and third floors.

Addressing these three items is not required but will enhance the proposals ranking.

Site Inspection

The building will be open for Applicant inspection on Thursday, March 9, 2017, from 2:30 to 4:30 PM.

Minimum Bid

The Land Bank will consider a minimum bid of $15,000 (fifteen thousand dollars) for the property.
The transaction will be documented by a Purchase and Development Agreement defining the scope of work and timetable agreed to by the developer.


Statement of Qualifications
The Land Bank Authority requires all applicants to provide evidence of their experience in the renovation of residential/commercial properties. Through a Statement of Qualifications process, the Land Bank Authority will review the applicant’s specialties and areas of competence, biographies of the individuals overseeing the performed work, examples of past similar projects, and references from private or municipal clients.

Preferred Property Use
Columbia Borough has a strong preference for homeownership. Priority will be given to Applicants who propose resale of the renovated building to a homeowner, all other qualifications being equal. However, the Land Bank Authority recognizes financing and market conditions may, for some Applicants, better support a rental alternative. Proposals will therefore be accepted for both homeownership or rental outcomes.

Contents of Proposal

Proposals should include the following elements:

1) Exhibit 1 – Statement of Qualifications if a submission has not been completed and approved by the Land Bank Authority.

2) Land Bank Application

  • The purchase price being offered by the Applicant
  • Development Narrative and Budget
  • Development Schedule and Milestones
  • Financial Summary

Submission Process

Proposals must be submitted to the Land Bank Authority by 4:00 PM on Monday, April 03, 2017.

Applicants must submit one (1) electronic copy and one (1) hard copy.
Attention: Matthew T. Sternberg
Lancaster County Land Bank Authority
28 Penn Square, Suite 200
Lancaster, PA 17603-4297

Call for Statements of Qualifications – Developers

Call for Statements of Qualifications

The Lancaster County Land Bank Authority (Land Bank) wishes to establish a roster of prequalified contractors and developers from which to solicit bids for renovation of blighted properties as they become available through the Land Bank. Typically, these will be smaller residential or commercial properties, some in townships and some in boroughs, that have been acquired by the Land Bank. Many have been certified as blighted or condemned by the municipality as unfit for human habitation. Some may have environmental problems or other conditions that fail to meet code. The purpose of this program is to make properties available to qualified developers who will renovate them and return them to active use.

Background on the Land Bank

The Land Bank was established in June, 2016 by an ordinance of the Lancaster County Commissioners. It is an independent public authority charged with remediating blight and preparing obsolete land uses for redevelopment. Only properties within municipalities that have joined the Land Bank are eligible for acquisition.

Administrative support for the Land Bank is provided by the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Lancaster. Statements of Qualifications should be submitted to:

Justin Eby
Director, Housing and Community Development
Redevelopment Authority of the County of Lancaster
202 N. Prince Street, Suite 400
Lancaster, PA 17603

The process will be open ended; firms may submit qualifications at any time following issuance of this notice.

Questions may be addressed to Mr. Eby at (717)394-0793 Ext. 225 or by email at

Redevelopment Standards

Upon acquiring a property, the developer will enter into a Redevelopment Agreement with the Land Bank stipulating the preferred uses for the building and standards for renovation. The agreement will include benchmarks for completion and other performance guarantees as appropriate. If these standards are not met, the property may revert back to the Land Bank.

Disposition Process

Properties may be put out for bid individually or in groups, as deemed appropriate by the Land Bank. The first opportunity to bid will be granted to developers who have responded to this Call for Statements of Qualifications and have been prequalified by the Land Bank. A general request for bids will only be issued if a developer is not found among the established roster.

The award of projects will be decided at the discretion of the Land Bank. Inclusion on the roster will assure the developer will have an opportunity to bid, but the Land Bank reserves the right to award the project to whichever firm they deem best qualified, whether listed on the roster or not.

Standards for Qualifications

The Land Bank will give major consideration to the following factors:

  1. An overview of the firm’s specialties and areas of competence, including a statement of technical areas for which they would like to be considered.
  2. Biographies of principals and specialists who would oversee work performed by the firm.
  3. The developer’s proven track record of renovating comparable blighted or obsolete properties in Lancaster County. Samples of past work should be submitted.
  4. References from private or municipal clients attesting to the developer’s reliability and quality of work.
  5. A statement confirming that the firm is fully insured.

Subsequently, each bid received for an individual property must include updated proof of financial ability to perform, as well as confirmation of the ability to execute the project in a timely manner.

Ordinance No. 120 – Creation of the Lancaster County Land Bank Authority

On Wednesday June 22, 2016, the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners authorized Ordinance No. 120, thus creating the Lancaster County Land Bank Authority.  The Land Bank’s mission is to deter blight and to return vacant property to productive status using an unified, predictable, and transparent process, thereby revitalizing neighborhoods and strengthening the County’s tax base.

View Lancaster County Land Bank Authority Ordinance: Lancaster County Land Bank Ordinance (No. 120) and amended Ordinance No. 122