A York City businessman plans to gut a blighted downtown building to make room for a future restaurant.

Elliott Weinstein, president and CEO of Weinstein Realty Advisors, will soon be the owner of 45 W. Market St., the former Griffith-Smith menswear store.

York City's Redevelopment Authority gave the $2,000 sale the green light Wednesday. Technically, the sale is not final until the paperwork is signed and money exchanged.

Weinstein said he's hoping to take advantage of York County's Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, or LERTA, program, which is designed to incentivize economic development by stretching property taxes on improvements over 10 years.

Weinstein said he will also seek a reassessment of the property, which was condemned and acquired by the RDA several years ago.

"We're making it structurally sound," Weinstein said.

Weinstein said he's invested in the West Market Street block, the home of many former department stores vacated years ago. Economic-development officials have identified the block as the missing link between a rejuvenated Continental Square and the growing business district around Beaver Street and Central Market.

"We want to just help the city to help itself," Weinstein said.

The neighborhood "is really becoming restaurant row," he said.

About 17 parking spaces are on the 45 W. Market St. property, and Weinstein said he intends to use them for daytime employees of his office at 15 N. Cherry Lane.

The building, he said, is perfect for a "boutique" restaurant.

First, with the benefit of LERTA and a lower tax assessment, Weinstein plans to gut the building and raze a rear section. Plans also call for improvements to the building's facade.

He said he does not yet know how much the project will cost.

When the renovations are done, it will be up to a prospective restaurant owner to design the interior, Weinstein said.

"It's going to be a real attractive building," Weinstein said.

— Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.