Local builder buys row of vacant property from city

Sean Philip Cotter
  • Local builder Jared Smith reached an agreement to buy eight vacant properties from York City.
  • He will pay $30,000 in total.
  • He plans to end up with a parking lot and five one-unit row houses.

A local builder plans to buy much of a block of abandoned property from York City, rehab it and then move his family into one of the homes.

Jared Smith, the president of JNS Enterprises Construction, got the OK from the York City Redevelopment Authority board during its Wednesday meeting to buy the eight odd-numbered lots on West Hope Avenue between the 463 and 477 addresses.

The properties currently are owned by the RDA; Smith said he'll pay the city a total of $30,000 for them.

The two highest-numbered properties are grass lots, then there are six row houses, with the one closest to the grass lots blighted and needing to be demolished. Smith said he'll knock down the blighted property before paving a parking lot on it and the two grass lots.

He'll remodel the other five row houses, which will each be one-family dwellings. Each will have four bedrooms and two bathrooms, he said.

"I myself intend to live on the end of that block," he said, adding that he'll rent or sell the other four.

He said he's lived near that Salem Square area for the decade he's been in York City. His daughter goes to the nearby Lincoln Charter School.

Local builder Jared Smith bought eight properties in the 400 block of West Hope Avenue from the York City government.

The Hope Avenue properties sit between South Hartley Street and Rabine Avenue. On the corner of Hope and Hartley, one home, facing Hartley, has people living in it; none of the other properties on the north side of the street between Hartley and Rabine are occupied.

Two grass lots abut a clearly blighted row house with broken windows and the red-and-white X the fire department puts on buildings it deems structurally unsound, indicating firefighters will not enter it. The five properties to the right of it appear a little better on the outside, though their relatively new brick facades also sport boarded-up windows.

New plans aim to boost Salem Square neighborhood

Smith said those homes are all just shells, with nothing really on the inside. He said that'll help speed up the renovation process and keep costs down.

He's anticipating it'll cost $90,000, and the work will take about four months once it gets started.

The RDA is a city authority that manages dilapidated property around the city.

Smith has run JNS Enterprise Construction in York City for eight years. He employs 22 workers doing mostly demolition work, knocking down houses and doing work in school buildings in the York area and other parts of central Pennsylvania, he said. He has renovated several buildings around the city already, he said.

— Reach Sean Cotter atscotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at@SPCotterYD.