A group of about 25 business, higher education, development and government representatives met last week to discuss the future of the former Citizens Bank building on York's Continental Square.
During the brainstorming session, a number of ideas were kicked around for potential uses, according to Leonardo McClarty, York’s community and economic development coordinator. That includes restaurants, offices, a niche movie theater, an event space, a winery or distillery, or an art space or museum.
The group also determined the worst potential uses for the space would be residential, nonprofit or some form of cheap retail.
The Redevelopment Authority of the City of York purchased the building on the northeast corner of the square on July 9, McClarty said. The building was bought for $515,000 from a unit of Inland Real Estate Group of Companies.
“The RDA wanted site control so that it could better direct the future use of the building,” McClarty said in an email. “While I cannot speak to whether there were other interested users, I can say that we didn’t want a use there that some might deem questionable.”
He said the building piqued the authority’s interest because of its visibility, location at a key downtown intersection and historic implications. The original portion of the bank dates to 1924. The total space is more than 25,000 square feet. The branch closed in 2012.
The next steps are for the redevelopment authority to review the building for code violations and fix any and to explore the feasibility of subdividing the building. The RDA also will look at aspects of locating a restaurant in the space, including room for deliveries and the potential of outdoor seating.