In Eric Menzer's 27 years of living in York City, he said there's never been a better time to have a downtown business.
As the York Revolution's president and general manager, Menzer said he and the 7-year-old baseball team aren't going anywhere.
And he wants the same for his employees.
That's why the team partnered with the city to offer its employees incentives for buying homes downtown.
The program: Menzer announced Thursday at a news conference that the Revs are the newest city business to participate in York's City Homeownership Employee Incentive Program. WellSpan Health and York College offer similar programs to their employees.
The Revs will now offer employees who buy city homes a grant of 15 percent of the purchase price, or up to $10,000. The grant is designed for first-time homebuyers and would apply to down payments and closing costs, Menzer said.
With about 30 full-time employees, there are quite a few members of the office staff who are eligible for the offer, he said.
"I've got a lot of employees who fit very well for this program," Menzer said. "And I'm very motivated to keep them here."
Many of the Revs' full-time employees are around homebuying age — he said about three-fourths of them are under 30. Many of them rent, he said, but owning a home close to work makes employees that much more stable, loyal and retainable.
Menzer said he expects about three or four employees to take the offer in the next three to six months.
Community impact: The organization has shown its investment in the community in other ways, such as raising $1 million for nonprofits over the last four years and saving the annual York City Halloween Parade from extinction two years ago.
Adding this program "plants their stake in the ground" as a business that is dedicated to its city, said York City Mayor Kim Bracey.
"This is just one more thing to show how committed they are to our community," she said.
The program is an opportunity to reintroduce York to a new population and generation that will enjoy the retail and entertainment options that abound downtown, Bracey said.
Paula Musselman, board president of the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties, said she's seen both the joy of earning a home and the frustration of not being able to afford one. This program can help those who fall into the latter category, she said.
"Employees should be able to live in a city in which they work," she said.
— Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.