Siblings Maxwell, 11, and Alli Reinecker, 13, record the groundbreaking for the West Jackson Street streetscape improvement project with their mother,
Siblings Maxwell, 11, and Alli Reinecker, 13, record the groundbreaking for the West Jackson Street streetscape improvement project with their mother, Sarah, on Monday. Sarah Reinecker and her husband, Scott, own property included in the program. (Bill Kalina)

A York City neighborhood that doubles as off-campus housing for York College students is getting a makeover.

Through a partnership with the college and local utility companies, the owners of more than 100 properties on West Jackson Street have signed on to help fund a streetscape improvement project that will bring new sidewalks, trees and decorative lighting to the area.

Street improvements will include "bump outs" and crosswalks designed for pedestrian-friendly movement.

Altogether, the project will cost about $750,000.

"A lot of the property owners realize what this neighborhood could be," said Philip Briddell, a project manager with Susquehanna Real Estate, which is working on the project as a consultant.

York College has agreed to match the amount of money each property owner invests, Briddell said.

Work is already under way and will continue until about November, he said.

The work is beginning near the street's intersection with the Codorus Creek and will continue east toward George Street, Briddell said. How far east the work goes will depend on how many additional property owners sign on, he said.

Timing: The idea for a neighborhood makeover grew out of talks during York City's overhaul of its zoning ordinance.

"We just sort of realized, working together, we could get something done," Briddell said.

The timing was also right.

York Water Co. and Columbia Gas had already planned to upgrade the neighborhood's utility lines this year.


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For example, the water company is replacing a water main that dates to 1900, said JT Hand, the company's chief operating officer.

When the utility work is done, the neighborhood will have new sidewalks and a newly paved road, Hand said.

About 5,000 students attend York College, and more than 40 percent of them live off campus, said Pamela Gunter-Smith, the college's new president. Many of the students rent on West Jackson Street.

"This creates a home for them," she said.

- Erin James may also be reached at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.