LANCASTER, PA — The Christian Street Parking Garage, spearheading the future home of the Lancaster Public Library and 4,500 square feet of new retail space is opening to the public May 16, 2022.

The garage was “christened” during a ceremony on Monday, April 25th with over 100 local and state leaders in attendance. The nine story, 359-space parking garage, located at 151 North Queen Street, will continue to fill a need in the downtown core. Even during Covid-19, demand for parking was strong, with wait lists at most of the authority garages.  The new garage will also serve direct access from the garage to tenants of the 101 NQ building, current home of Cargas and others.

It’s the first finished product in a larger revitalization of what was formerly Lancaster Square on the second block of North Queen Street. The now-named Ewell Plaza in front of the garage is due to open near Labor Day, said Lancaster Parking Authority Executive Director Larry Cohen.

The project, which began in September 2019, endured complications and delays during the coronavirus pandemic.

Those issues included an engineering error when crews surveyed the garage site, supply chain delays, and a lawsuit over the public art piece for the garage’s front-facing facade.

The $29 million project is due to finish $5 million over budget, Cohen said, because of all the construction problems.

It’s been “simply the most difficult and challenging project to manage in my career,” Cohen said at the opening ceremony Monday morning inside the garage. “So, this was not easy and there’s more to come.”

The event space tied to the Holiday Inn Lancaster next door is set to finish by June, Cohen said, and new ground-floor retail space should be ready by the end of the year.

The controversial public art installation for the garage should be completed by the end of this year as well, Cohen said.

Finally, a pedestrian walkway to connect North Christian Street to North Queen Street should open at the same time as Ewell Plaza, by the end of the year, according to Cohen.

Ewell Plaza was officially renamed in August 2019 after Barney Ewell, a McCaskey High School graduate and gold-medal-winning Olympic sprinter.