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York City will soon have a few fewer blighted properties and a little bit more park space.

The city's Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday evening approved Royal Square Development Group's request to buy and tear down eight row houses right next to each other in the 700 block of South Court Street. These are the row houses at the 729, 731, 733, 735, 741, 743, 745 and 747 addresses.

Holly Dekarske, Royal Square's development and administrative coordinator, said everything will get underway once the weather warms up a little.

She said the park will have benches and some walking paths. It's not a huge area, she said; the row houses are all slender, but it will nonetheless provide some park area in a part of town that doesn't have a whole lot of it.

"It gives them a green space for that area," she said after the meeting. She said the hope also is that the removal of the suffering properties and the addition of a nice park might help cut down crime in that area.

She hopes kids from the nearby Jackson K-8 school and Crispus Attucks Community Center use the park.

Royal Square also bought the property at 727 S. Court St., but plans to renovate it rather than tear it down, as it's part of a duplex, Dekarske said. The development company is best known for operating in an area six blocks north that shares its name, bounded by East King, South Duke, South Queen and East Princess streets and home to the Bond building and several art galleries.

— Reach Sean Cotter at scotter@yorkdispatch.com.

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