Permits, environmental issues among project roadblocks

Projects and business deals constantly are being pitched
throughout Central Pennsylvania. York County
has many of its own.

Projects and business deals constantly are being pitched
throughout Central Pennsylvania. York County
has many of its own. Some of these projects are not moving forward because of
issues with obtaining various permits, others because of the hefty price tag of
environmental remediation or the economy.

Graybill property

During its roughly 40-year lifespan, the Graybill building
served many purposes. It has been the home of a candy manufacturer, a metal
salvage and recycling operation, an electric-sign manufacturer and more, said
Kevin Schreiber, deputy director of economic development and the redevelopment
authority for York

By 2006, the building at 200 N. Broad St. in York was
deteriorating and in need of environmental remediation work. The work was
completed, and in August 2007, the building was demolished. Since then, the
vacant, fenced-in, 3-acre lot has been waiting for development, Schreiber said.

Within the past couple of years, a handful of proposals have
been submitted for the property – including a grocery store project – but
nothing has come to fruition.

“There’s no shortage of ideas, but we’re really trying to
find the right developer that can bring the right idea to the table,” Schreiber

Woolworth building

The 19,000-square-foot Woolworth building at 44-50 W. Market St.
in York has
been vacant since the 1980s, Schreiber said. The York Redevelopment Authority purchased the deteriorating building in 1998. 

A plethora of plans have been presented to the authority
over the years, from a fresh-fruit market to a fitness center. But in the end,
the cost to environmentally remediate the facility has kept developers from
moving forward, he said.

Last year, the authority completed analyses to reveal what
contaminants exist in the building and how much it would cost to remediate the
site, Schreiber said. The group hopes to secure funding to complete the
remediation work itself to make the building more marketable and ready for
development, he said.

Shops at Old York

Connecticut-based Developers Realty Corp. began building a
retail development in May 2007 at the intersection of Fishing Creek and Old
York roads in Fairview Township, York
County. Nearly two years
later, the project has yet to be completed.

The township approved land-development plans – which
included a strip retail center, a bank, a restaurant and a pharmacy – for the
roughly 18-acre site, said Stephen Waller, codes administration director for
the township. To date, the only store that has been built is a 13,000-square-foot
CVS drugstore, which opened later in 2007.

The developer has not come to the township with
site-specific plans for the remaining land, Waller said. Developers Realty
Corp. could not be reached for comment. 

Summit Business

A developer proposed a business center for Fairview Township,
York County, in November 2006 near the
Pennsylvania Turnpike at exit 39A off Interstate 83. But Cumberland
County-based CJSPT has yet to break ground on the 16-acre center.

The firm plans to construct two restaurant sites, a
20,000-square-foot retail strip center and four office buildings, with
approximately 85,000 square feet of leasable space. The township approved the
company’s preliminary land-development plan, but the project has been delayed as
the firm works to obtain a highway-occupancy permit, said Zack Bond, manager of

No tenants have been identified, but CJSPT hopes to receive
its permit and begin construction this year. However, the project’s timeline
depends on the economy, Bond said.

“If the economy turns around, it will be this year,” he
said. “If the economy does not turn around, then we’ll just sit and wait.”

Queen Street Market

At the turn of the New Year, York Township received plans for a shopping center officials had heard whispers of for at
least six months, said Elizabeth Heathcote, township manager.

Queen Street Market is being proposed for a roughly 10-acre
site near Route 74 by a North Carolina-based developer, who could not be
reached for comment.

The developer – Queen Street Retail Investors – was expected
Jan. 27 to attend a zoning-hearing board meeting at the township to request a
special exception for permission to establish a shopping center on the property
on South Queen Street, Heathcote said.

If the exception is approved, the developer will follow up
with land-development plans. The process has been delayed due to traffic
issues, she said.

Bridge and Heritage Hills

Two traditional neighborhood developments were proposed for York Township
in 2007, Heathcote said.

Bridge is being proposed
by Lancaster County-based Charter Homes & Neighborhoods and Heritage Hills
by York County-based Heritage Hills Associates. Each development would include
about 300 single-family houses, condos and more, as well as some commercial

Bridge would be built
near the intersection of Springwood
Road and I-83, while Heritage Hills would be near Mount Rose Avenue.
Township officials were expected to make a final decision to approve or deny
conditional-use permits Jan. 28 for Heritage Hills and Feb. 9 for Stone Bridge,
Heathcote said. York
Township is new to
conditional-use applications, which has slowed the approval process, Heathcote


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