Summer changes to downtown Lewisburg

Lindsay Byrnes, Staff Writer

Over the summer, many changes occurred in both downtown Lewisburg and East Buffalo Township. The downtown CVS store moved into the newly-built Penn House Commons, located across Route 15 from Green Park. Penn House Commons now boasts a Giant supermarket, Peking Garden, and the new CVS.

“Healthy, vibrant downtowns are a mixture of places to work, places to live, places to have fun, and places to shop. Keeping the vibrant shopping district is the most difficult part of that formula. In order to have a strong downtown district you need both convenience and specialty good stores. Convenience stores provide goods that people need every day, and for downtown Lewisburg, CVS was the largest convenience store and an anchor store. CVS was important because it brought a lot of people into the downtown area, and without it, people will need to go elsewhere to purchase their convenience goods. For downtown to continue to function well, it is important to fill the niche that CVS has left behind, and the person who owns the lot is actively working to fill it,” Linda Sterling, Executive Director of the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership, said.

It is confirmed that the downtown state liquor store will also be moving to Penn House Commons later this year, leaving another empty lot in the downtown area.

“The state liquor store moving is also an issue because it is another convenience goods store. Everyone who wanted to go into the state liquor store for the area had to come into downtown Lewisburg to do so,” Sterling said.

Instead of looking at the move of CVS and the liquor store as a loss, Sterling is hopeful that the vacant spaces will soon be filled and able to bring new convenience businesses to downtown.

“We need to recruit new convenience stores into downtown to keep everything functioning properly. People want business districts and convenience stores that are within walking distance from their homes. We did a survey of downtown residences that showed people want a grocery store in the downtown region. These vacancies definitely are challenges, but they are also opportunities. We’ve lost businesses that were important to downtown before and successfully replaced them, and we are going to continue to do that,” Sterling said. 

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