The rich and the famous have stayed there.
And generations of Yorkers have memories of going to lunch or dinner, holding a wedding reception or otherwise enjoying the stately hotel known as the Yorktowne.
Early Tuesday, York County redevelopment officials announced they have purchased the East Market Street hotel, a first step in a strategic plan to redevelop the 90-year-old building.
“One thing we’ve heard clearly is, York wants, and York needs, a first-class downtown hotel,” Jack Kay, chairman of the York County Industrial Development Authority, said Tuesday in announcing his board’s Dec. 18 purchase of the hotel.
Purchase price was set at $1.8 million, and the industrial authority also announced it has a targeted a renovation budget of around $20 million to improve the hotel.
The IDA bought the Yorktowne from Connecticut-based Starwood Property Trust.
Over the next six months, the authority will develop a comprehensive plan for the Yorktowne and study what improvements need to be made to the hotel. Updating the mechanical systems, improving the rooms and public spaces and making other upgrades are among the ideas the IDA will consider.
“This is a huge step for downtown York,” Sonia Huntzinger, executive director of the York City organization Downtown Inc., said after Kay announced the purchase at a press conference at the hotel’s George Washington Room.
“The Yorktowne is an iconic treasure for the community, and this is a step toward making sure it will remain the asset we need it to be,” Huntzinger added.
The Industrial Development Authority also announced it has entered an agreement with industry leader Hersha Hospitality Management to temporarily manage the hotel.
The 11-floor, 121-room Yorktowne will remain open as the authority studies its best future uses, and no service disruptions are planned, Kay and others said.
Kay said the Yorktowne, on the first block of East Market, also is an important “link” between other nearby downtown York improvements, such as Royal Square and the Market District.