Waiting lists and "real parking problems" might sound like an unusual goal, but that's exactly what the folks behind Downtown Inc are aiming for when it comes to downtown York City.
York's urban core has grown leaps and bounds since Gary Sonke arrived here 16 years ago, he said.
But there's still work to be done, Sonke said.
Downtown Inc, for which Sonke serves as board president, has big plans for the next few years.
For example, the group wants to draw 500 new residents to live downtown through the enhancement of apartments on West Market Street and construction of new homes in the Northwest Triangle development area, executive director Sonia Huntzinger said.
"This is going to be a substantial project, but it's going to be really cool," Sonke said.
There's also plans to create a "linear park" through the extension of the York County Heritage Rail Trail through the city.
Downtown Inc is working with other groups to improve the area's appeal to pedestrians and bicyclists. Plans are also in the works for a major upgrade of Continental Square.
"There's a whole lot more to come," Sonke said.
Downtown Inc is also gearing up to launch its Who Knew? marketing campaign, which aims to capitalize on the surprise so many people express when they discover downtown York. For example, one ad will tell people there are 67 places to eat within a quarter mile of Continental Square.
Sonke and Huntzinger made their announcements Thursday at a ceremony to honor recipients of the Downtown First Awards, an annual event.
Eight businesses, groups and individuals received awards.
The award for outstanding large business went to Glatfelter Insurance Group. Central Market was recognized as the year's outstanding small business, and the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center received the award for outstanding nonprofit.
The outstanding new business award went to Arthur & Daughters, a fashion boutique at 49 N. Beaver St. that opened earlier this year.
The Left Bank, a fine-dining restaurant at 120 N. George St., was named outstanding merchant.
The Better York beautification award went to York Regional Academy Charter School for its new playground.
Melissa Grove, owner of Sweet Melissa's Dream at 51 N. Beaver St., was honored as an outstanding volunteer.
And, the outstanding individual award went to Ben Chiaro of ROCK Commercial Real Estate.- Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org.