After two decades of emptiness and status as a neighborhood eyesore, the industrial-era building at 700 Linden Ave. in York City has been transformed into loft-style apartments.
Tenants began moving into Linden Lofts this summer.
At a press conference Thursday, officials unveiled the reincarnation of a building that Mayor Kim Bracey said had become a blemish in the city's western end. Now, she said, the neighborhood boasts "attractive, spacious, market-rate apartments."
Half of the 29 completed units are already occupied by tenants, said David Yohn, president of Yohn Property Management, which owns the building.
The layout of each of unit is unique, but all feature high ceilings and spacious rooms.
The project was developed by separating the building into three sections. Demolition work has begun on the two other sections, and construction could be complete within a year, Yohn said.
When it's all done, Linden Lofts will be home to 74 apartments.
Most recently used by the York Casket Co., the 150,000-square-foot building had been vacant for nearly 20 years before Yohn's company bought the property in 2010.
That year, York City zoning officials gave the project a future by changing the property's use from an industrial building to multi-family dwelling units. It was the second time someone tried to develop the property into apartments. The CR Property Group tried in 2008, but its plan was ultimately rejected by the city because it did not comply with various requirements.
The 1892 building is on the Pennsylvania Inventory of Historic Places and on the National Registry, credentials that allowed the developer to use historic tax credits to fund the building's rehabilitation.
To receive the financial aid, the developer had to keep the building's architectural and historical integrity intact.
"Whatever was here, we had to work the walls around it," Yohn said.
The apartments feature appliances including washers, dryers, refrigerators and dishwashers. There's a private courtyard and off-street parking. Tenants may have pets weighing up to 35 pounds. Together, pets may not weigh more than 75 pounds.
Monthly rental rates range from about $800 to $1,500.
Though it's not the first time a developer has transformed an old industrial building into residential space, the property on Linden Avenue is "certainly one of a kind," said Kevin Schreiber, the city's economic and community development director.
Yohn Property Management was also responsible for turning the former Bluebird Silk Mill in York City into the Monarch Mills condominiums in 2008.
"He can see blight into beauty," Schreiber said of David Yohn.
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