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York officials plan to address neighborhoods, revitalize industrial sites

York officials plan to address neighborhoods, revitalize industrial sites

A thriving downtown, with new and varied housing, new and existing businesses, and people using them, is exciting for a city.

But so are thriving neighborhoods. York needs both, Shilvosky Buffaloe said.

“Our central business district is doing much, much better than it has historically, in terms of new investment and having folks who want to come downtown,” said Buffaloe, who is serving as the White Rose city’s interim director of economic and community development.

“But really and truly, we want to make sure we buttress that and strengthen the core of the downtown by actually focusing more on the neighborhoods themselves,” he said.

As projects such as the pending redevelopment of the Yorktowne Hotel and York College’s purchase of the Marketview Arts building draw attention, Buffaloe and other York leaders are eyeing efforts this year to further boost neighborhoods in the 5.2-square-mile city.

At the top of Buffaloe’s list for the new year is cleaning up two former industrial sites for hoped-for future redevelopment — the former Danskin factory on the 300 block of North State Street and a former feed mill at 120 N. Richland Ave.

Also in the works is an effort to study more housing in the neighborhoods.

“We’re always trying to address our curb appeal and address blighting issues on the community so those neighborhoods don’t turn and go in the other direction,” Buffaloe said.

York added some 3,000 residents in the most recent 10-year Census figures, he said, adding that it’s a mix of millennials and retirees who are looking to move downtown.

Addressing the neighborhoods, fixing blight and cultivating “adaptive reuse” of old industrial sites like the former Danskin factory and former feed mill are good ways to welcome those residents, Buffaloe continued.

York is seeking funding from two state departments, Environmental Protection and Community & Economic Development, to investigate whether any environmental hazards might block future plans to redevelop the two sites. Officials are looking to welcome mixed-use development at the two locations and hope to make progress toward that goal in 2016.

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