Developer's plan for high-end apartments wins preliminary OK from Springettsbury officialsTownship planners support Old East York plan, despite concern from neighbors about more growth in neighborhood
A plan by a York-area developer to convert a church just east of York into a 12-unit apartment building has received the preliminary backing of Springettsbury Township officials.
Despite concerns from dozens of neighbors in Old East York that the plan would open the door to larger development in their area, developer Seth Predix got the backing of the suburban township's planning commission on Thursday night.
Predix, who specializes in renovating older buildings into apartments and now has a total of 250 apartment units he oversees, told the 50 or so township residents there for the debate at the commission meeting that he will be a good neighbor.
He wants to renovate a building at 2309 E. Philadelphia St. into 12 high-end apartments, four of them two-bedroom and eight one-bedroom, he said.
Predix, owner of Predix Properties, is asking Springettsbury to rezone the building from R-7 residential to a mixed-use zoning. Neighbors said they were worried that would open the street, a quiet road off of East Market Street and near Interstate 83, up to other possible development.
But Predix said he would keep his word and only develop apartments at the property, initially built in 1912 as a school and now operating as a church, Emmanuel Christian Fellowship.
With the planning board's support, the plan now goes to the township supervisors for their consideration. The supervisors are expected to consider the rezoning request in December, Predix said after the hour-plus debate on his plan.
"Once that property is mixed-use, it's open to all kinds of things," said one neighbor, Gilbert Malone of East Philadelphia Street. "The apartments may be your intention, but you won't be here forever."
A dozen or so residents spoke to the planning board about the project, with most voicing concerns that it will add to traffic in Old East York. Some others, however, said Predix has a good reputation and said his apartment plan may be the best proposal the neighborhood will see for the school/church building.
Predix, whose projects have included downtown York’s Keystone Color Works apartment building, could start work on the apartments in January and have them ready for occupancy in early 2018. He declined to give a cost for the project, but does expect rents to range from $850 to $1,200 a month for the apartments.
The York County Planning Commission also has recommended support for the rezoning, Springettsbury planning board members said.
"This is your best bet you're going to get for this building," Predix's attorney, Alex Snyder, told the audience. "He keeps his word, and it's going to be a good product."