York County has assumed management of a large office building downtown after the property owner defaulted on mortgage payments.
The county is collecting rent and conducting property maintenance at 1 Marketway West, which is part of Continental Square in York City.
Tenants of the building include Subway, Downtown Inc, PNC Bank, office space for state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and a jewelry store.
Building operations will not be affected, but the county doesn't intend to manage the property for long, said spokesman Carl Lindquist.
"We're not in the business of being landlords," he said.
The property could be sold during a sheriff's sale on June 10, Lindquist said.
From 1995 to 2002, the property was owned by the county, and hosted county offices as well as commissioners' meetings.
In 2002, the county sold the property to H.W. York Properties, LLC, which is based at 1505 Coney Island Ave. in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to court records.
On March 19, a York County Court of Common Pleas judge granted the county's request to manage the property after H.W. York Properties stopped making mortgage payments, according to court records.
H.W. York Properties stopped making payments as of June 2012 and owed the county more than $1.5 million as of January, according to court documents.
That timeline means the New York-based property owner stopped paying its mortgage about three months after York City moved out of the office space it rented at 1 MarketWay West. The city relocated all of its offices, except the police department, to 101 S. George St. in March 2012.
H.W. York Properties could not be reached for comment.
If a buyer doesn't come forward during the sheriff's sale, paying at least the outstanding balance of the mortgage, the building will return to county ownership, Lindquist said.
But the county would then put it up for sale, he said.
"While no one is pleased with the default, this situation could present an opportunity to help revitalize Continental Square by putting the building in the hands of the right people," President Commissioner Steve Chronister said in a statement. "It's an excellent facility in the heart of downtown with a number of existing tenants and an incredible amount of potential."
Until the building has a new owner, the county plans to hire an outside firm to help with building management, Lindquist said.
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