New training program available for hospitality jobs

The York County Industrial Development Authority, staffed by the York County Economic Alliance, is launching the John A. Lambert Hospitality Training Program.

The initiative, in partnership with Crispus Attucks, York College of Pennsylvania and GF Hotels & Resorts, honors John A. Lambert, one of the Yorktowne Hotel’s most recognized and tenured employees.

Offered at no cost, the training program will prepare individuals for a career in the hospitality industry. Participants who attend and complete the classes and earn a passing grade on the corresponding exam will receive a certificate from the nationally recognized American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, a release said.

The evening and weekend classes – to be held Sept. 12 through Sept. 28 – will be taught by industry professionals and held in the Crispus Attucks computer lab at 605 S. Duke St., York. Classes in Spanish are available upon request.

Training topics include Guest Service Gold: Golden Opportunities; Front Desk Representative; Guest Room Attendant; Restaurant Server; Maintenance Employee; and Kitchen Cook.

The John A. Lehman Hospitality Training Program is financially supported by the Women’s Giving Circle and the Rotary Club of York.

Anyone interested in working for the Yorktowne Hotel as it prepares to reopen is also encouraged to attend the York Hiring Fair from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 15 at PeoplesBank Park and Yorktowne Hiring Days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 19-21 at the York County Economic Alliance, 144 Roosevelt Ave., York.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

York College expanding online learning for nursing professionals

York College of Pennsylvania, a private, non-profit college located in South Central Pennsylvania, has announced the expansion of its online graduate programs to help meet growing demand in fields such as nursing and healthcare analytics.  

The college’s new online programs will enable working nurses and other mid-career professionals to access graduate-level courses to build skills critically needed by hospitals, health care providers, and other employers as communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“With the challenges facing us in today’s increasingly complex healthcare system, improving the quality and accessibility of patient care requires new ways of upskilling and educating the healthcare workforce,” said Dr. Victor Taylor, director of graduate and professional programs at York College of Pennsylvania. “This work is about creating high quality online programs and educational experiences that are tightly coupled with the needs of the healthcare workforce and other key industries.” 

The new online offerings include a Master of Science in Nursing—with professional tracks that include family nursing practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, adult gerontology nurse practitioner, and nurse educator—as well as a Master of Science in Healthcare Analytics, a Master of Science in Data Analytics, and a Data Analytics Certificate. 

According to the school, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a sharp increase in demand for advanced practice nurses, with a 52% increase in openings for nurse practitioners expected between now and 2030. Demand for both registered and advanced practice nurses has continued to increase during the pandemic, amid a growing shortage of primary care providers and increased turnover within the healthcare sector. 

To help meet demand for continuing and graduate education for these high-growth industries, the College has selected iDesign, which has worked with more than 100 institutions to design, build and support online courses.  

A team of instructional designers and educators from iDesign will collaborate with program leaders, administrators, and faculty experts from the college to design and develop the online courses for the new degree programs and certificates. Students who enroll in the College’s online healthcare programs receive clinical placement support as they continue their professional journey. In partnership with iDesign, York College of Pennsylvania will establish clinical placement agreements with regional health systems and other employers who can provide students with essential hands-on experience in a clinical environment needed to advance in their careers. 

The expansion of York’s online programs builds on its existing online degree programs, including the RN to BSN program, which helps experienced registered nurses complete the required coursework to become a BSN-qualified nurse in as little as 12 months. 

“Institutions of every size are demonstrating their capacity to create new and more agile online offerings that are more responsive to the fast-changing needs of the labor market,” said Paxton Riter, CEO of iDesign and a member of the National League for Nursing Foundation’s Bridging Education and Practice Advisory Council. “These online programs will help rising professionals to upskill and accelerate toward career paths that can contribute to safer, healthier and stronger communities.” 


Kinsley Construction starts work on $10M student apartment complex at York College

Next fall, some lucky seniors will have brand-new digs at York College.

The school recently broke ground on a $10 million student apartment complex in the 200 block of Springettsbury Avenue, across the street from the campus.

Springettsbury Apartments, which is expected to open in the fall of 2021, will feature 20 apartments and accommodate 79 students.

The housing project, set between the Gordon Center for Jewish Student Life and Springettsbury House, is being built by Kinsley Construction on college-owned land.

The company, headquartered in York, is known for its work in the mid-Atlantic region. Among its previous projects at York College are construction of the Grumbacher Sports and Fitness Center and renovation of a former athletics facility into the Waldner Performing Arts and Humanities Center.

Nineteen of the apartments will have four bedrooms, two full baths and a kitchen; one unit, because of space limitations, will include three bedrooms.

The apartments were designed with student input. Examples of that include single bedrooms, more than one full-size bathroom, dishwashers in the kitchens, luxury vinyl tile-style flooring, and soft seating in the living rooms, York College spokeswoman Mary Dolheimer wrote in an email.

Springettsbury Apartments “is aimed at rising seniors, though juniors could live there,” she added.

The school’s chief communications and marketing officer, Dohlheimer told the York Dispatch in February that updated housing is needed as colleges contend with declining enrollment. “Clearly we’re in a market that’s very competitive,” she said at the time. “We know that prospective students do take into account the quality of housing.”

Enrollment at York College is 4,000 full-time undergraduate students and 300 graduate students, Dohlheimer said.

A news release on the school’s website said Springettsbury Apartments will have onsite permit parking for residents, laundry facilities, closed-circuit TV surveillance and gated security fencing.

This new student housing means the school can shutter some of its older stock.

“We are tentatively planning to close some apartments in Country Club when Springettsbury opens; the number has not been determined,” Dohlheimer said. Those units were originally built in the 1940s.

Compressed schedules, remote work and grab-and-go meals are all ‘normal’ Fall 2020 college experiences

There are likely as many models for higher education in response to the Covid-19 pandemic this fall as there are colleges and universities across the country. In fact, in eastern and central Pennsylvania schools are offering classes entirely online, entirely on-campus and just about everything in between.

York College, for example, brought the majority of its approximately 4,000 students back to campus a little bit early this fall and plans to end the semester earlier than it typically would, with the students finishing classes and taking final exams remotely, according to Mary Dolheimer, chief communications and marketing officer.

“We compressed the fall semester,” she explains. “We removed any breaks. When they pack up for Thanksgiving they won’t be returning to campus. We wanted to get them through the semester with as few gaps as possible to reduce the chance that we would transition to remote due to a resurgence (of Covid-19).

”Harrisburg University, on the other hand, is operating remotely for the fall 2020 semester, which began on Aug. 31, and it is a transition for which the institution and its faculty were well-prepared, says University President Eric Darr.

“We have been delivering blended online to thousands and thousands of graduate students for a lot of years now,” Darr says. “The infrastructure is the same. The technology was there. The faculty was already educated on the platform. All the training and education had already been done and the investment in the technology had already been done. For us it was not too much of a change.” The biggest challenge in making the transition, he adds, was making sure the science courses for which the university is known would continue to meet their learning objectives in a virtual format.

The university will be bringing 12 senior biotechnology majors back to campus for a week in October for a required lab class that the faculty simply could not find an acceptable way for the students to complete remotely.

Bringing students back to York College safely required effort on several different fronts, Dolheimer says. For example, implementing social distancing in campus facilities meant moving furniture and marking furniture not to be used. Plus ventilation systems were checked and everything was cleaned top to bottom with approved cleaning agents. And, capacity has been greatly reduced in the dining hall, the library and common spaces, she says.

Classrooms were also equipped with microphones and cameras to enable remote learning for those students who were not able to return to campus due to documented medical issues.

“We’ve added outdoor seating to provide additional space,” she says. “We’ve closed the dining hall to most seating accommodations. We are offering more of a ‘grab-and-go’ option so you no longer have to go through the line and pick what you want.”

Bethlehem-based Lehigh University, which is offering both on-campus and remote classes this fall, also needed to take a look at its campus facilities to make things as safe as possible for returning students and faculty, according to Lehigh Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Nathan Urban.

In addition to spending the summer assessing the university’s physical spaces, Urban says, Lehigh put together many opportunities for faculty to get some additional training about best practices for remote instruction. “We wanted to make sure that faculty knew what had worked well in the spring and knew best practices from other universities and what our local experts could tell them as well, including experts from our College of Education,” he says.

Lehigh only offered on-campus housing to first-year students for the fall semester and allowed all students to choose between fully remote or on-campus learning. Those who opted for fully remote learning — even if living in nearby off-campus student housing — have no access to campus buildings other than the student health center.

This hybrid approach means that most Lehigh classes are being taught to students in a classroom on campus and students participating via remote learning simultaneously.

While no one has a crystal ball to help predict what the future will hold with respect to the pandemic, York College’s Dolheimer says the school has already altered its spring 2021 calendar with the safety of its students and faculty in mind.

“We’ll return to campus a little later than usual and be operating with a compressed schedule as well,” she says. “We’re not coming back until Feb. 1 and we usually return a week or two before that. Right now we have scheduled some holidays and breaks but that will be under consideration. We’ll see what it is like in the spring.”

York College Knowledge Park planned at former Schmidt & Ault Paper Company site

York College’s Knowledge Park project is moving one step closer to completion.

On Tuesday, July 28, the college announced a partnership with the York County Land Bank Authority. The Land Bank Authority is staffed by members of the York County Economic Alliance (YCEA).

“The York County Land Bank Authority is a proud partner in this demolition and is excited to help get the College’s Knowledge Park plans kicked off,” said Tom Englerth, chair of the Land Bank Authority. “The funds for this project came from the demolition funds established by the County Commissioners in May of 2018 when the Land Bank was established.”

The Knowledge Park project has been in the works since 2008 when York College purchase the former Schmidt & Ault Paper Company at 427 Kings Mill Road. The mill had been vacant since 2000.

York College’s Knowledge Park project consists of converting three of the four buildings:

  • The King House will be used as an administrative support center
  • The West End warehouse will be used as the main entrance into the complex and focal point.
  • The King’s Mill warehouse will serve as the interior crossroads of the complex with connecting elevators, skylights and multi-use space

The Land Bank Authority will help with demolition, according to the press release. In August 2019, York College was awarded a $6 million RACP grant for the Knowledge Park redevelopment.

“The development of the Knowledge Park … will add an element of diversity and opportunity to the York Community’s economic landscape,” York College president Pamela Gunter-Smith said in a statement. “The Knowledge Park facilities to be an attractive environment to operate while enriching the learning experiences for our students.”

The redevelopment of the former paper mill is one of two land projects the college has begun undertaking. Since Jan. 2018, the college has spent over $8 million acquiring land along North George Street near the York WellSpan Hospital for its Land Use and Campus Enhancement Plan.


Central Pa. projects receive millions in state grants

More than two dozen projects in Central Pennsylvania were awarded millions of dollars in matching grants from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), supporting both public and private construction and renovation projects across the state.

The local grants are part of a broader package of grant awards $275 million for 214 projects statewide, according to a report released by the Office of the Budget.

Administered by the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget, the RACP is designed to help acquire and construct improvement projects deemed to be of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and/or historical importance and can generate new increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues and other economic benefits.

In state Rep. Carol Hill-Evans’ York County district alone, three projects received nearly $10 million in matching grants, including $2 million for renovation at York County Libraries and $1.8 million for Royal Square Development and Construction as part of York’s

York College of Pennsylvania will get $6 million to convert three buildings that formerly housed the Smurfit-Stone containerboard factory at South Penn Street and Kings Mill Road into the Knowledge Park at York College of Pennsylvania, part of the school’s J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship business incubator program.

The King House, a historic manor house on the property, will be converted into an administrative support center for the complex, while the two large warehouses will be renovated for large meeting space, assembly and office areas.

“This new venture would allow us to grow our partnerships with companies, agencies, nonprofits or organizations that will provide programmatic connections to York College through student experiential-learning opportunities and collaboration with our faculty,” said York College President Pamela Gunter-Smith. “Joining forces with Knowledge Park partners gives us the opportunity to create a project-based learning laboratory on our campus.”

The $6 million grant to York College was the third-highest award among this year’s recipients, coming in behind an $8.5 million grant to Aramark Services to help relocate its corporate headquarters to the Schuylkill River corridor in Philadelphia and an $8 million grant to AmerisourceBergen Corp. to consolidate its drug wholesale business into a new building in Conshohocken, Montgomery County.

Other Central Pennsylvania projects include:

Cumberland County

  • Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet redevelopment project: The Cumberland County Industrial Development Authority received $1 million to add a 5,500-square-foot addition and renovate 24,345 square feet of the existing building in Carlisle, reconfiguring studio and performance space to accommodate growth.
  • Former Lemoyne Middle School redevelopment project: REC LMS LLC, the developer of the former Lemoyne Middle School site at 701 Market St., collected $1 million for pre-development, demolition, abatement and site work costs to create a mixed-use development of about 17,500 square feet of commercial space and 30 townhomes.

Dauphin County

  • 320 Reily mixed-use development project: GreenWorks Development LLC received $2 million of an original $4 million request to install a 135,000-square-foot, five-story building with 135 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail on an existing parking lot at 320 Reily St. in Harrisburg.
  • Hershey Community Center construction: $2 million was awarded to the Township of Derry to construct a new community center on the site of the existing recreation center at 605 Cocoa Ave. The center will include thee different pools, including a competitive swimming pool, an indoor leisure pool and outdoor summer pool, along with a basketball gym.
  • Hummel Street redevelopment project: Tri-County Housing Development Corp. Ltd. received $500,000 toward the acquisition of 11 parcels on Hummel Street in Harrisburg and demolition costs, construction of new homes and the rehabilitation of existing homes.
  • Insulators Local Union 23 business unit expansion: The union purchased the former VFW Post 9639 location at 8926 Jonestown Rd., East Hanover Township, receiving $700,000 to renovate and add to the existing structure. Plans call for offices, an apprentice training center, and a new catering and banquet facility.
  • National Civil War Museum at Reservoir Park: The longstanding National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg received $2 million to acquire artifacts owned by the city and to conduct capital improvements at the museum, including exhibition upgrades, HVAC energy efficiency and walkway safety.
  • Shireman Tract park project: Lower Swatara Township received $300,000 to build two softball fields and stormwater management basins and to create a final land development plan on a 32-acre farm along Ebenezer and Longview Roads the township bought in 2017.
  • Steel Works redevelopment project: Integrated Development Partners LLC received $1.5 million to develop the Steel Works project along a six-block area of North Front Street in Steelton. The development comprises 65,000 square feet of commercial, retail and office space and multi-level senior housing units.

Franklin County

  • Former Summit Health Campus expansion: Chambersburg Health Services was awarded $500,000 to expand its health campus on St. Paul Drive, adding a cancer treatment center. The grant will be used for site preparation costs, including soil erosion and stormwater management.

Lancaster County

  • Columbia Economic Development Initiative – Columbia Borough received $1.75 million to help re-establish a public farmer’s market at the Columbia Market House on South Third Street. The plan calls for adding a new restaurant, installation of a new HVAC system and parking improvements.
  • Ephrata Crossing development:  Property Investing and Management Inc. acquired $500,000 to help with construction costs of the proposed Ephrata Crossing development at the intersection of East Main Street (Route 322) and Pleasant Valley Road in Ephrata Township. Grant money for the mixed-use development is slated for curbing, sidewalks and excavation.
  • Lancaster City Fire Stations renovations:  Lancaster City received $500,000 for renovations at two different fire stations, modernizing on-duty staff’s living quarters and new hose towers to facilitate equipment drying and training.
  • Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic modernization: Located on North Lime Street, the headquarters of the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic will undergo extensive renovations with the help of a $1.2 million grant. Renovation plans call for room reconfiguration, moving the main entrance and new plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems.
  • Spartan Motors Lancaster County manufacturing plant expansion: Spartan Motors USA Inc., which makes specialty truck bodies and chassis at its West Earl Township plant, received $500,000 to upgrade the plant with building renovations and machinery upgrades.
  • Treasures Markets community revitalization plan: Treasures of Hope Foundation based in Lancaster was awarded $500,000 to help renovate properties on Queen and Franklin streets to open up a combination discount grocery store and thrift store.

Lebanon County

  • Market Square Transit Intermodal Center project: The City of Lebanon received $2 million to construct the Market Square Transit Intermodal Center on an existing parking lot near the intersection of Ninth and Cumberland streets that will consist of a three-story, 30,000-square-foot mixed-use building housing City Hall and lease space for businesses. The plan also includes adding a parking garage with 300 spaces.
  • WellSpan Health and Surgery Center project: WellSpan Health was awarded $500,000 to help in the construction of a new 80,000 square-foot surgery center at the intersection of Rocherty and Cornwall roads in North Cornwall Township. The new center is anticipated to include primary care, specialty care, surgical and ambulatory services similar to WellSpan’s recently opened facilities in York County.

Perry County

  • Perry Innovation Park Cogeneration Power Project: The Perry County Economic Development Corp. received $1 million to construct a new cogeneration power unit at the Penn Township complex. The unit consists of a combined heat and power system of approximately 2,500 kilowatts.

York County

  • Lidl Grocery Store construction: Lidl US Operations LLC was awarded $500,000 to help in the construction costs of a new store in the 3000 block of Carlisle Road in Dover Township. The location will mark the second Lidl to be constructed in York County.
  • York County Libraries capital project: A $2 million grant was given for capital improvement projects at libraries in York, Hellam Township and Red Lion, including building expansions, weatherization and layout reconfiguration.
  • York Jewish Community Center Early Childhood Education Southern Branch project: The York Jewish Community Center received $1 million to renovate the former TLC Montessori school in Springfield Township to serve as an early childhood education center, improving classrooms and adding a playground.
  • York’s Northern Gateway Station House project: Royal Square Development & Construction was given $1.8 million to renovate three properties within York’s northern entrance to the city on North George Street, providing mixed-use space for retail, restaurants and apartments.

Kinsley Properties names new CFO

The leadership team of Kinsley Properties is transitioning with the announcement of a new CFO and executive vice president.

Kevin Snelbaker, who comes from the banking world, will serve as CFO of the York-based commercial real estate development, leasing and property management company, officials said. Dan Driver, who has held the CFO position with Kinsley for 27 years, has been named to the role of executive vice president.

“Kevin joins Kinsley Properties in this critical role supporting our expansion and continued success,” said  Timothy Kinsley, president of Kinsley Properties, through a company statement. “Kevin will be instrumental in guiding the organization through the changing needs of our growing client roster and expanding portfolio.”

Snelbaker has had a 25-year career in commercial real estate for several banks, company officials said, most recently serving as senior vice president and business services officer for BB&T Bank. He is a 1991 graduate of Penn State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in quantitative business analysis, and he also holds an MBA in finance from York College.

Driver, who has oversaw the company’s financial management team for nearly three decades, will continue to work with company leaders to develop organizational strategies.

Founded by Robert A. Kinsley in 1980, Kinsley Properties provides real estate management and development services in the Mid-Atlantic region. Kinsley Properties is one of several construction and real estate entities owned by the Kinsley family with Kinsley Construction serving as the largest of those entities and also the largest general contractor in Central Pennsylvania, by revenue, with $561.3 million last year, according to Business Journal records.


In York, plans aplenty for opportunity zones – and one early target

A map shows the extent of opportunity zones in the city of York.
A map shows the extent of opportunity zones in the city of York.

York has five census tracts included in the federal opportunity zone program, which is designed to spark investments in distressed communities.

And York Mayor Michael Helfrich is optimistic many of the city’s old manufacturing sites in York will be revived as a result of the program.

“We certainly see this as an opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.

But one tract is likely to get the lion’s share of attention, at least for now. It is the tract known as the Northwest Triangle, an area long targeted for redevelopment, some of which has been moving ahead.

“At least $100 million has already been invested here,” said Eric Menzer, president of York Professional Baseball Club LLC and the York Revolution.

He pointed to the $32.5 million minor-league ballpark, apartment projects and the York Academy Regional Charter School, which last year opened a $22 million high school along the Codorus Creek.

Menzer and the York County Economic Alliance see more in store for the triangle, which hugs the Codorus around Beaver and North streets and Pershing Avenue.

“It’s very natural to see continued development of that corridor,” Menzer said.

York County Economic Alliance and the York Revolution have floated a project for the Queen Street parking lot at PeoplesBank Park, seen here. The idea is to build an office tower on the parking lot with the first level or two for parking and the next four or five stories dedicated to office space. The parking would be shared with the Revs. PHOTO/JASON SCOTT
York County Economic Alliance and the York Revolution have floated a project for the Queen Street parking lot at PeoplesBank Park, seen here. The idea is to build an office tower on the parking lot with the first level or two for parking and the next four or five stories dedicated to office space. The parking would be shared with the Revs. PHOTO/JASON SCOTT

In the meantime, the alliance is working to market all of York’s opportunity zones. It has launched a website, opportunityyork.org, and begin working with community partners to develop plans to attract investors.  

“We have good building stock for redevelopment,” said Silas Chamberlin, the alliance’s vice president of economic and community development.

Chamberlin believes landing one big project through the opportunity zone program could “change the way people think” and prompt other investments in York.

Among the potential projects is a manufacturing, technology, arts, history and education district, dubbed The York Plan 2.0 Innovation District.  The state last summer awarded the city a $6 million grant for the project, which would be in the Northwest Triangle. Among other elements, the plan calls for a 240,000-square-foot facility for robotic-device development, design workshops, labs and office space.

A full drawing board

Menzer, meanwhile, sees potential for more construction around the baseball stadium.

Among the ideas on the drawing board is an office building on what is currently a parking lot off Queen Street behind the stadium. The first level or two would be dedicated to parking and the next four or five stories to office space. Menzer sees corporate tenants using the parking during the day and baseball fans using spaces for night and weekend games.

“It’s a great shared use,” said Menzer, who pegged the project’s cost at more than $10 million.

Another property that could garner outside investment is the former Pewtarex facility at 145 N. Hartley St., which is near the alliance’s office on Roosevelt Avenue.

The 54,000-square-foot building is owned by Royal Square Development and Construction. But the property is listed for sale or lease with True Commercial Real Estate.

The former Pewtarex facility, left, is in one of York’s five designated opportunity zones. It is currently owned by Royal Square Development and Construction. Last fall, Royal Square donated use of the building for Downtown Inc’s annual fundraising event, hoping to showcase the potential redevelopment of the space, dubbed The Foundry (submitted rendering on right).
The former Pewtarex facility, left, is in one of York’s five designated opportunity zones. It is currently owned by Royal Square Development and Construction. Last fall, Royal Square donated use of the building for Downtown Inc’s annual fundraising event, hoping to showcase the potential redevelopment of the space, dubbed The Foundry (submitted rendering on right).

Last fall, Royal Square donated the space to host Downtown Inc’s annual fundraising event, hoping to showcase the potential of the former factory space, dubbed The Foundry.

Potential uses for the building include as brewery, restaurant and office spaces. The Foundry could also be used for production or manufacturing, events and even some residential, according to True.

In the city’s Southwest neighborhood, the alliance is keeping tabs on the former Smurfit-Stone containerboard factory at South Penn Street and Kings Mill Road.

York College has owned the old industrial site for a decade and is currently seeking a $7 million state grant through the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to expand the college’s business incubator on Kings Mill Road.

College officials say redevelopment plans are still being formulated but the goal is to convert the old factory buildings and old manor house into new space for what is being called Knowledge Park at York College of Pennsylvania.  

Knowledge Park would be an extension of the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, which is across the street from the old factory. The state grant would help cover construction expenses needed to renovate three buildings on the property.

“This new venture would allow us to grow our partnerships with companies, agencies, nonprofits or organizations that will provide programmatic connections to York College through student experiential-learning opportunities and collaboration with our faculty,” said Jeff Vermeulen, the college’s assistant vice president for external relations and executive director of the center.

York nightclub plans inch forward

Brothers Sean, left and Matt Landis, owners of Fat Daddy’s nightclub, presented plans Wednesday to transform the former Citizens Bank building in downtown York into a music venue called The Treasury

The Landis brothers are forging ahead with plans to open a new nightclub in York City, but the fate of their proposed venue hinges on the approval of a liquor license.

Matt and Sean Landis, who currently own Fat Daddy’s nightclub in Springettsbury Township, are working toward finalizing the purchase of the old Citizens Bank building at 1 N. George St. from the York City Redevelopment Authority. The price is $450,000, according to Matt Landis.

The 20,000 square-foot building, which has sat vacant on Continental Square since 2012, is the proposed location for a club the Landis brothers plan to call “The Treasury.” The total cost of the project is estimated at over $4 million, according to Matt Landis.

However, the brothers are putting a new twist on their proposal as they await word on whether they will get a liquor license. They are seeking not only to add to nightlife in York, they want their club to serve as a booster for the arts scene, Matt Landis said.

That’s why they plan to partner with Weary Arts Group, a York-based company that provides arts education and training to students in York County schools. The Landis brothers are also partnering with York College’s music industry studies program to give aspiring local musicians and artists an opportunity to gain real-world experience.

Calvin Weary, Weary Arts CEO, said he was approached by the Landis brothers several months go about the possibility of using The Treasury for his arts program.

“There is a lot of downtime at a nightclub, so it could be used for other purposes,” said Weary, who said there are few places in York where aspiring musicians can perform. He hopes The Treasury will change that.

Weary Arts currently runs a program that allows participants ages 5 and up to form rock bands. It’s popular not only among students but also former musicians who ended up in traditional careers, Weary said.

If and when the club opens, rock bands from Weary’s program would be invited to perform on stage. They also would learn about setting up a stage, working with lighting and sound and other steps that go into a music performance, he said.

In the future, the nightclub could also be used for dance performances and to showcase the fine arts, although plans for such endeavors have not been fleshed out, Weary said.

“I think they have an idea and I want to play a part in it,” Weary said.

Weary Arts won’t be the only entity digging up local acts for The Treasury.

York College’s music industry studies program also has been invited to use the club, according to Shawn Young, director of music industry studies at York College.

A rendering of the completed band room at The Treasury. (Photo: Submitted)

Each year York College students in music industry studies have the chance to play in a cover band devoted to classic rock and pop music or a tribute band that covers the music of one particular band, Young said.

Students in the rock band would be invited to perform on stage at the club, while other students in the program would be able to intern there. The internships would provide students with firsthand experience in marketing, booking, stage lighting and audio engineering, Young said.

The Treasury is still in the process of finalizing a purchase agreement with the RDA, however, and the brothers are currently awaiting approval from York City Council before obtaining a liquor license for the property.

Council’s decision is not without controversy: Council delayed its vote after city residents packed a March 19 public hearing to express both support for and concerns about the nightclub. City council has 60 days from March 19 to approve or reject the application, according to Dianna Thompson-Mitchell, York City clerk.

The Landis brothers were not at the hearing but were represented by an attorney, Erica Townes, of the Barley Snyder law firm, which has an office in York.

During the meeting, 10 residents spoke in favor of the proposed nightclub, while five shared concerns over its potential impact on quality of life and safety.

Jerri Worley said that she lives close to the building and is worried about the noise level when large crowds leave late at night.

“What are they going to do about the noise?” she said.

City resident Ellen Russel had similar concerns.

“This may negatively impact the quality of life in the city. I just don’t think this is the proper venue for a large nightclub,” she said.

In an email a week after the meeting, Matt Landis addressed residents’ concerns about the potential for excessive noise and safety issues.

“We have worked with the best designers in the market to bring a sound-engineered venue. Our team has also spent the past year fully vetting our security, safety and complete venue plan with the police department, fire department and local economic entities,’ he said.

A rendering of the rooftop bar at The Treasury. (Photo: Submitted)

Matt Landis said that he and his brother have also spent the past year meeting with property owners, city officials and businesses.

“As we finalize plans, we will also be finalizing adequate staffing for all positions. At this time, we cannot provide absolute numbers on the total number of employees to be hired,” Matt Landis said.

The brothers have hired York-based Core Design Group to work on the design and sound engineering and York-based Wagman Construction Inc. But their plans are on hold until the York City council votes on their liquor license application, according to Mandy Arnold, a spokesperson for the Landis brothers.

If the liquor license is approved, they will move forward with the first phase of their project, which will involve transforming the inside of the building into a casual restaurant, live performance space and dance floor, according to Matt Landis. The second phase will include renovating the rooftop for events and dining.

If the license is approved and the brothers are able to proceed with the project, they believe the venue could open by late 2019, according to Matt Landis.














York College pursuing $7M state grant for incubator expansion

York College is looking to reuse a long-vacant paper-mill campus in the city’s Southwest neighborhood to expand its business incubator at the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.

The college has applied for a $7 million grant to convert the former Smurfit-Stone containerboard factory at South Penn Street and Kings Mill Road into new spaces that would be called Knowledge Park at York College of Pennsylvania. The grant would come through the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, or RACP.

York College acquired the 40-acre site a decade ago with future growth in mind.

“We believe that we have identified that potential future use and are actively exploring it through the submission of a RACP grant,” said Jeff Vermeulen, the college’s assistant vice president for external relations and executive director of the center.

The brief project description with the state said the grant funding, if approved, would help the institution cover construction expenses needed to renovate two factory buildings and an old manor house on the property.

The historic manor house would become an administrative support center for the complex, while the two factory buildings would be renovated for large meeting space, assembly and office areas.

“This new venture would allow us to grow our partnerships with companies, agencies, nonprofits or organizations that will provide programmatic connections to York College through student experiential-learning opportunities and collaboration with our faculty,” Vermeulen said.

The site is across Kings Mill Road from the J.D. Brown Center, which is full with seven businesses in the incubator. Some of the companies there are ready to hatch into new space, Vermeulen added.


The former Smurfit-Stone factory is located along the Codorus Creek in York. York College is looking to redevelop the site. (Photo: Jason Scott)


That new space could come from redevelopment of the former paper-mill property, which is along the Codorus Creek.

College officials did not say how much the redevelopment might cost or when construction plans might be submitted to the city.

RACP grants, which are used largely by businesses for regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects, requires applicants to kick in an equal share of funding from non-state sources. The state often awards RACP grants in the late summer or early fall after the state budget is completed. Last year, grants trickled out in August and September.

The industrial property and surrounding area is in one of York’s five designated federal opportunity zones, so it could be poised for more investment.

“There is a lot of potential along that corridor,” York Mayor Michael Helfrich said.

York’s five zones have a lot of old manufacturing sites, including several along the Codorus Creek. Helfrich said he is optimistic that many will be revived with the help of the new federal tax incentive.

“We’re hoping we can increase the utilization of those excellent facilities,” he said. “We certainly see this as an opportunity of a lifetime.”