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York Color Works: Vacant no more

York officials help developers open Keystone Color Works apartments

The Color Works apartments are just the latest in what has become a residential boom in downtown York. - (Photo / Amy Spangler)

It’s just “basic economics,” York County developer Seth Predix said.

“Common-sense investing tells you to invest your money where other people are investing theirs, and there’s going to be a lot of money invested in downtown York over the next five years,” Predix said Wednesday, standing at the gleaming entrance to a formerly vacant, one-time industrial building on the edge of the city’s downtown.

Predix and business partner Jordan Ilyes, partners in Distinct Property Management Co., held an official ribbon-cutting late Wednesday afternoon at the Keystone Color Works building, in York’s “Northwest Triangle” area.

All 29 apartments in the unusually-shaped building on West Gay Avenue were rented almost immediately after the building opened this spring, the two developers said.

The Color Works apartments are just the latest in what has become a residential boom in downtown York.

And with more projects almost sure to come, Predix said, “I would say this is a good spot to be.”

Other residential efforts in York City include the Market Street Revitalization Project, a four-building, $14 million renovation effort in the first block of West Market that includes 124 apartments. Another is One West in the northwest corner of York’s Continental Square, featuring a total of 50 completed or soon-to-be-completed apartments.

City officials are excited about the possibility of 150 new apartments stretching from 154 to 260 N. Beaver St. A Maryland real estate investment and redevelopment firm is doing a six-month study of possibly developing the site.

“My favorite thing is when people from York who have moved away decide to come back here,” said Kearney Brown, Color Works leasing agent and property manager. “We’re just excited to be a part of what’s going on downtown.”



Keystone Color Works from Central Penn Business Journal on Vimeo.

A typical city resident can be expected to spend eight times more money downtown than a daily commuter over the course of a year, said Natalie Williams, small business liaison for the York improvement organization Downtown Inc.

“All of these apartments mean there will be more people on the streets, going to galleries, plus businesses being able to recruit those young professionals who want to work downtown,” she said.

Distinct Property Management has been in operation since 2008 and has undertakes projects in North York, West York and Springettsbury Township.

It focuses on converting old buildings to create upscale rental communities.

“That’s our cup of tea,” Predix said at Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting.

York Mayor C. Kim Bracey and other city and county leaders helped developers Predix and Ilyes cut the ribbon for the apartments, which feature amenities like hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and an outdoor community gathering space.

Rents range from $775 to $1,495.

David O'Connor
Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at doconnor@cpbj.com.

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