The Yorktowne Hotel was built and paid for by the community in 1924.
Nearly a century later, proponents of a $30 million renovation project at the hotel intend to instill that same community spirit as they rally contractors throughout the city to get involved.
“We are hoping, that as a result of this project, we’re creating a new model for future projects,” Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance, said before a crowd in a bustling Crispus Attucks gymnasium Tuesday night.
More than 100 attended the Get Connected networking mixer, hosted by the York County Industrial Development Authority (YCIDA) and Kinsley Construction Inc.
Though the event was geared to provide contractors with resources on how to be responsive and responsible bidders for the Yorktowne Hotel renovation, Schreiber said the event also served as an opportunity to create pathways for participating in future projects as well.
Jan Wagner, vice president of Kinsley Construction, shared sentiments similar to Schreiber’s, pointing to a quote on the wall: “You can’t do it by yourself. Our strength is in working together.”
“I couldn’t think of a more fitting quote for this project and beyond,” Wagner said.
In addition to representatives of Kinsley Construction and YCIDA, several state and local officials were in attendance, offering insight to businesses on how to get certified as minority- or women-owned.
Elizabeth Delacruz, co-owner of York-based IK Drywall LLC, said the evening provided a good opportunity to better understand the bidding process. She said she has submitted bids for projects in the past but hasn’t had much luck.
Becky Griffith, owner of York-based AAG Building & Remodeling, said that while she doesn’t have her sights on growing to the size of Kinsley Construction, she hopes to have more of a balance between inside and outside work throughout the season.
Workers are removing asbestos and working on selective demolition at the hotel now and will continue to do so until around June, said Blanda Nace, Yorktowne Hotel project manager and YCEA vice president of community affairs.
The core and shell work of the project includes masonry restoration, a new roof, new interior exit stairs, new elevators, window replacement, site utilities and structural framing. Work will go out to bid by the end of May or beginning of June, Wagner said.
The interior work – including site work, corridor finishes, mock-up rooms, finishes and fixtures – will go out to bid by the end of August or beginning of September.
Nace said it’s often hard to make business connections for projects similar to the size of the Yorktowne Hotel renovation.
“This event helps open that door,” he said, emphasizing the drive to make the renovation as local as possible. “It’s not us versus them. We’re all in this together.”