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York County considers buying building for coroner, other departments

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
FILE PHOTO - York County Commissioner Doug Hoke considers the sale of the county-owned Pleasant Acres Nursing Home during a public meeting, Wednesday, May 2, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

The York County Commissioners recently gave the green light to negotiations for the potential purchase of a new building to house tenants of the county annex building in Pleasant Acres.

Scott Cassel, executive director of facilities for the county, said at the commissioners' Oct. 31 meeting that the county is exploring the possibility of buying a 116,400-square-foot property at 2401 Pleasant Valley Road in Springettsbury Township, about three miles from the annex building.

The annex, which is attached to the Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (no correlation to Pleasant Valley Road), is home to the York County Conservation District, the York County Coroner's Office and a magisterial district court office, as well as the York County Bureau of Weights and Measures and Penn State Extension.

"We see this as an opportunity, potentially," Cassel said. "This allows us to enter into those negotiations and see if we can hammer out a deal."

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Back in May, the county commissioners approved the sale of the nursing home and annex to Premier Healthcare Management, a company based out of Long Island and Philadelphia.

As the new owner, Premier currently leases the annex to the county, and that agreement is good through Dec. 31, 2020.

Cassel said that back in 2012 the conservation district had been looking at options to build an agricultural service center on existing county land, but it never panned out. His office went back to the engineers who worked on the ag project and asked them to rework the plans in a configuration that could serve as a newly built replacement for the annex.

The engineers came up with one- and two-story options, which would cost the county an estimated $20 million or $21 million to build, respectively, but Cassel's office kept exploring other options.

More:York County considering creation of new facility to house coroner, others

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"We then decided to look and see what existing structures might be available," he said.

Cassel said that if the county can make a good deal with the current owner of the Pleasant Valley Road property — which is Pleasant Valley Realty LP — the county could end up with twice the space that would be available through new construction, and at a potentially lower cost.

The property wasn't on the market when the county's real estate agent found it, he said, but Pleasant Valley Realty was open to discussing a potential sale.

"(Buying the building) would allow us to address the need of getting the folks that are currently in the annex out," Cassel said, "but also to address some space constraints that we've been dealing with for a number of years and plan for the future growth of the county."

The negotiations will be discussed again at future county commission meetings.