725-job project advances for former Harley Davidson campus in Springetts


A redevelopment effort that could bring upwards of 725 jobs to York cleared another hurdle Wednesday morning.

County commissioners approved a tax-abatement program for the long-vacant former Harley Davidson west campus site in Springettsbury Township.

But there's a caveat. The commissioners' approval of the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance program is contingent on township supervisors approving the measure at its meeting Thursday night.

"We are moving forward. We are hoping to have everything wrapped up on LERTA tomorrow night," Blanda Nace, vice president of community affairs with the York County Economic Alliance, told commissioners at their weekly meeting.

If redeveloped, the land at 1445 Eden Road, owned by the York County Industrial Development Authority, would be put back on the tax rolls and could create upwards of 725 jobs.

The plan: The site is under contract to be purchased by NorthPoint Development of Missouri.

Plans could include a 755,000-square-foot building for the 58-acre property, which is the pre-development phase.

Construction of the $40 million project could get underway early in 2016, and the building could be in use later that year, according to the proposal.

However, a development plan hasn't been submitted to the township and NorthPoint is still in its due-diligence phase.

Also unknown is the nature of the business that would be housed at the facility, but officials said it could include light manufacturing, distribution or a warehouse.

LERTA: As part of the redevelopment plan, the industrial development authority is asking for the site be included in the LERTA program, used as an incentive to boost economic development.

Under LERTA, property taxes on the improvements will be phased in over the next 10 years. It can be granted by one or all the three taxing bodies — the county, municipality and school district.

Commissioners have traditionally waited for the municipality and school district to approve LERTA before taking up the measure.

Nace said the Central York school board on Monday approved 100 percent tax abatement for five years, with tax rates being applied in 20 percent increments the remaining five years, Nace said.

"The property now is tax immune," Nace said. "That's why we are working so hard."

Springettsbury Township supervisors are expected to vote on a scale in which taxes on improvements ramp up in 10 percent increments each year, Nace said.

That's the scale commissioners approved, even though the industrial development authority previously asked for the same scale the school board approved, he said.

Doug Hoke, vice president commissioner, said the county follows the municipality's lead since county and municipal tax bills go out at the same time each year.

Mike Flannelly, county solicitor, said the county's scale can be changed if township supervisors approve a scale that's different from the 10 percent yearly increase.

"In this case, it's good news because we aren't getting taxes right now," said Steve Chronister, president commissioner.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.