Fat Daddy's fate unclear as owners get extension for York City venue

Maria Yohn
York Dispatch
The old Citizens Bank building at 1 N. George St. in York City.

The owners of a Springettsbury Township nightclub remain interested in purchasing the old Citizen's Bank on York City's Continental Square and transforming it into large nightclub and entertainment venue called The Treasury.

Brothers Matt and Sean Landis, who currently own Fat Daddy's on East Market Street, reiterated their interest in the project during a Dec. 20 meeting of the York City Redevelopment Authority, at which they requested a six-month extension of their option on the property. 

They also told the RDA they would like to place Fat Daddy's on the market, according to minutes of the meeting. 

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Neither Matt Landis nor Sean Landis could be reached for comment on their plans for The Treasury and Fat Daddy's.

RDA members Michael Black, Andrew Paxton, Aaron Anderson, Teen Vebares and Frank Countess discussed the fate of the three-story building located 1 N. George St., which the authority purchased in 2014, at the meeting, the minutes show.

The Landis brothers, who initially received a six-month option on the property last summer, said they have narrowed their potential field of architects and contractors and are "tightening their financial number," according to the meeting minutes.

The brothers also related that they are working with Delta Development and Community First Fund in an effort to obtain tax credits to help fund the project.

In addition, they are exploring the possibility of obtaining a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant, which is administered by the state Office of the Budget and is aimed toward the acquisition and construction of various cultural, recreational and historical improvement projects. 

The brothers requested a six-month extension on their option, for which they were willing to pay $1,750. 

The Landises said they need more time to decide if they can obtain financing for the entire scope of the project, or if they would have to pay for it in phases, the meeting record shows. 

They told the RDA that the estimated timeline for the project's completion is a year to 18 months, and that $4 million of the estimated $5 million project would be listed for financing options.  

Paxton warned that tax credits and RACP grants were difficult to obtain and time-sensitive, and asked if the Landises could fund their project entirely through a commercial loan.

The brothers indicated they could not afford to fund the project in that manner and could not proceed without grant funding, according to the meeting minutes. However, they assured the RDA that they would be able to provide a definitive answer in six months on whether or not they will be able to pursue the project. 

Paxton said that he was personally willing to grant the brothers the extension, but he wanted it to be the last one. 

Anderson expressed concern about the possibility of having a small portion of the project completed and the rest "left hanging," and Black said he wanted as much of the building developed as possible. 

Paxton agreed, saying that he "cares about what goes in on Day 1."

"A too-small project doesn't help the city," he said. 

The Landises said they want to do as much as they can with the building, and Countess said that in six months, it would be appropriate for the brothers to present their plans for the first phase of the project to the RDA, as well as provide an outline of the financing. 

Vebares moved to extend the six-month extension, and the motion passed unanimously.

The Landis brothers first met with the RDA in June 2017 to discuss their interest in the property, and although they have the exclusive right to purchase the property, York City Mayor Michael Helfrich must approve the deed change, according to Shilvosky Buffaloe, acting director of economic and community development.

The Landis brothers are the third set of developers to be granted an option to purchase the building, after the initial two developers dropped out due to financial and other limitations.

Buffaloe had no comment on the RDA's decision to grant an extension, and RDA members could not be reached for comment.