Demolition begins at historic Yorktowne Hotel

Cost expected to top $30M; reopening pegged for summer 2019

Remediation and demolition of the Yorktowne Hotel are underway as the cost of the overall renovation project, which carried an initial price tag of $20 million, has now topped $30 million.

The renovated hotel is expected to open in late summer 2019.

“This is a new bar we are setting in York County and a new path we are creating with this project and future projects,” Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance, said following a press conference held at Crispus Attucks Tuesday afternoon. “It is not often we have $30 million being invested in our city in one project.”

Funding for the project is coming from multiple streams. The state is kicking in a $10 million grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Nearly $10 million is being raised from local donors. 

The remainder will come from “some form of conventional debt on the project,” Schreiber said, noting the project is likely to cost “over $30 million.”

Also in flux has been the look of the final product

Jack Kay, chairman of the York County Industrial Development Authority, which owns the hotel, said the original description of the project was very conceptual. The design has since evolved after local feedback on what is needed in terms of meetings, technology and access.

“They have a much clearer scope now,” he said. 

One element that has changed is the residential section, which is no longer part of the project. After an analysis of the market, Kay said the hospitality portion will be expanded. The Yorktowne, he added, will be a full-service hotel with both regular-stay and extended-stay rooms. The hotel will also provide access to the rooftop for events for both guests and the public. 

As work ramps up, officials want to let people know how to bid on the project and take part in its construction. Officials hope to do just that at an event scheduled to run on March 20 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Crispus Attucks at 605 S. Duke St. in York city.

The development authority and Kinsley Construction – which this spring was chosen as construction manager for the hotel renovation – are hosting a “Get Connected to the Yorktowne” networking mixer for contractors and businesses to learn more about the project.

“It is our goal to ultimately create new pathways for participation in this, and hopefully, future projects to enhance the capacity and talent,” Schreiber said. 

State and local officials will be in attendance to assist businesses in learning about being certified as minority-owned. Attendees can register here

Yorktowne Hotel Project Manager and York County Economic Alliance Vice President of Community Affairs Blanda Nace estimates the project will need between 20 to 30 contractors and stressed the desire to keep spending local and to include a diverse mix of businesses.

“The IDA feels extremely strongly about the inclusion of minority-, women-owned and local-owned enterprises,” he said. “It’s very important to us that the money stays local and everyone has a right to participate in the project as much as possible.”

This past month, officials also announced a partnership between the York County Economic Alliance and the York College hospitality management program, which will involve students in a project leading up to the grand opening of the new Yorktowne Hotel.

As part of a supervised independent study program, three students will have front-row seats as investors, architects, designers, contractors and hotel management professionals work together during the development process and pre-opening stages of the multimillion dollar hotel complex.

At the end of the semester, students will present their findings and recommendations to stakeholders in the project.

In the meantime, demolition has begun in the rear portion of the Yorktowne and is expected to take six months to finish.

EHC Associates Inc., based in Upper Leacock Township, will work on asbestos abatement and selective interior demolition; Terra Technical Services of Downingtown will take the bulk of demolition of the parking garage and the hotel above the garage; James Craft & Son Inc. of Newberry Township will handle the mechanical systems capping and demolition; and I.B. Abel Inc. of York will handle electrical demolition.

Next week, Nace said a crane and tractor will be on scene for demolition.

Starting Thursday, South Duke Street will be restricted to a single lane and will not reopen until the project is complete. The project is slated for completion in the late summer of 2019.

When the hotel closed in 2016, officials had said it could reopen in late 2018.

Emily Thurlow
​Emily Thurlow covers York County​ for the Central Penn Business Journal. Have a tip? Drop her a line at ethurlow@cpbj.com.

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