York Traditions unveils plans for long-sought downtown branch
After years of flirting, York Traditions Bank and the City of York are making their relationship official.
York Traditions is opening its first downtown York branch on the first floor of 100-102 N. George St.
The more than 2,000-square-foot space last housed Marquette Bail Bonds and Euphoria Tattoo Emporium, which is still there but looking for a new location. York Traditions plans to begin renovations in late 2017 and open to customers in spring 2018.
The York Township-based bank has hoped for years to have a branch in downtown York, said Mike Kochenour, who co-founded York Traditions in 2002 and currently serves as chairman of its board.
Bank officials spent years looking for the right location. Despite delays, including ones caused by the Great Recession, the bank took measures to cultivate a relationship with the city in those years, investing in various downtown events and businesses.
The bank's love for the city was not unrequited.
During a press event Tuesday, York Mayor Kim Bracey recalled times when Kevin Schreiber - then a city employee and current head of the York County Economic Alliance - would drive Kochenour around York looking at potential locations. Each time Schreiber returned, she would ask excitedly, "Did you get them?"
"It gives me great pride and honor to say, 'We got 'em,'" Schreiber said Tuesday.
The space at 100-102 N. George St. finally seemed like the right fit, Kochenour said. Across the street from The Appell Center for the Performing Arts and just a few blocks away from Central Market, the building is a bustling center of activity.
Dylan Bauer, partner and development director for building owner Royal Square Development and Construction, described it Tuesday as a kind of secondary square for the city.
York Traditions plans to hire up to five new employees for the new location. They will be cross-trained to handle everything from transactions and account openings to loan processings.
The bank signed a 15-year lease on the space, with multiple renewal options.
"We plan to be here for a long time," York Traditions president and CEO Gene Draganosky said.