York City officials say they intend to move forward on two proposals to build nearly 100 new apartments and 10 townhouses downtown as part of the Northwest Triangle's final development phase.
The city's Redevelopment Authority got two responses to its request earlier this year for proposals for the area west of Beaver Street that city officials have for years been grooming for a fresh start.
Theoretically, the RDA could choose to accept both, said David Cross, the RDA's chairman.
That's because the Codo Development Group and Susquehanna Real Estate and its partners submitted plans for residential development on different parcels of the 5-acre site.
The Codo Development Group is proposing a two-phase project of market-rate apartments built on now-vacant land.
The first phase would be a 65-unit, 60,000-square-foot complex of one-bedroom apartments geared for young professionals. Monthly rent would be in the $750 to $1,100 range.
A "possible" second building would feature "much larger two-bedroom units targeted at a baby-boomer and retiree market," according to the proposal. There would be 29 units in the 35,000-square-foot building.
Codo estimates its project would cost $15 million if fully built and bring as many as 140 new residents to York City. The second proposal, submitted by Susquehanna Real Estate and its partners, would feature 10 three-story townhouses with private fenced yards and two-car garages.
The proposal requests a one-year option to evaluate design alternatives and construction technology. Depending on a market study, the townhouses could be downsized to sell for about $250,000, according to the proposal.
While both proposals seem promising, Cross said, the RDA did not get everything it had hoped for.
Architects and engineers had about three months to craft a plan for the 5-acre site in the central business district. Officials had said they envisioned a mixed-use neighborhood of market-rate homes and apartments, stores and open space that would appeal to urban dwellers who rely on their feet and bicycles for transportation.
But neither proposal includes commercial space.
Also left untouched is the 36,000-square-foot Keystone Colorworks building that has been environmentally remediated and approved for residential development. The former paint factory dates to the 1880s.
Cross said the Colorworks building is a "wildcard" with "a lot of challenges." He said he wasn't shocked by the lack of proposals for the building.
"I wish we had the whole site figured out," Cross said. But, "there's nothing better to spur more development than development."
The proposals were made public for the first time Wednesday at an RDA meeting.
The two proposals would develop about half of the RDA site, most of which is vacant land. That's OK, said Kevin Schreiber, the city's economic and community development director.
Market-rate housing should create traction at the site, making the Colorworks building much more marketable in the future, he said. The city did receive an informal letter of interest about the building, Schreiber said. He declined to share details.
In the meantime, he said, the city and the RDA remain open to ideas for the rest of the site.
"It's not like we sit on our hands," Schreiber said.
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