Improvements displace York City residents


Connie Marshall thought she'd spend the rest of her "good" years at 238 N. George St.

But, at age 70, Marshall is bracing herself for a move she does not want to make.

Marshall moved to the Pullman Apartments seven years ago. In that time, she's watched the neighborhood around her change — almost exclusively in a good way.

She's seen market-rate apartments pop up across the street and next door. Not far away, work has begun to transform an old paint factory into "luxury" apartments.

The location was always a good one. She can easily walk to Central Market or grab lunch at one of downtown York's restaurants.

Public art has beautified the North George Street corridor. There's a new charter school around the corner and a minor-league baseball stadium across the street.

And city officials are still hopeful the rest of the Northwest Triangle, as Marshall's neighborhood is sometimes called, will draw more market-rate housing projects.

Marshall and her neighbors probably won't be around to see it happen.

For all of the reasons Marshall would like to stay, developers believe there are others who'd pay significantly more money to move in.

Waiting lists: The Pullman building's new owner has plans to renovate the 20 apartment units and charge tenants market rate to rent.

That'll be too much for Marshall and most of her neighbors, who moved to the Pullman believing its deed restriction guaranteed it would remain affordable housing through at least 2025.

So she's spent the past few months searching for a new place to live. It's not an easy task.

"Most of the places that are comparable to this have waiting lists of more than two years," she said.

Marshall is skeptical of economic-development pros who argue market-rate housing is in demand downtown. There's evidence across the street, she said, that market-rate apartments are a struggling enterprise.

"That building for four years has had a permanent sign for vacancies," she said, referencing the loft-style apartments of Codo 241.

She's heard of similar vacancies at other market-rate apartment buildings in the area.

"Why are there no waiting lists for those apartments?" she said.

— Reach Erin James at