Old York County Prison deal lets authority off $1.2 million hook
A tech company's plan to transform the old York County Prison into a state-of-the-art data center has another upside for York City.
It gets the city's Redevelopment Authority out from under a million-dollar judgement in an eminent domain case.
The authority is no longer responsible for the $1.2 million owed on the former prison, thanks to a settlement giving the property to United Fiber and Data, which plans to make the abandoned building a hub in its 400-mile fiber-optic network.
The city seized the property at 319 E. Chestnut St. through eminent domain in 2014, paying the owners $65,000. The owners appealed, and in March a state appeals court ordered the city to pay them $1.25 million for the property.
The deal: Now, United Fiber and Data will pay $1.5 million, including interest, in four payments over the course of two years for the property, according to a copy of the agreement.
A down payment of $550,000 has already been paid by the RDA and United Fiber and Data, according to records. The RDA paid $200,000 and the company paid $350,000.
That $200,000 payment around the end of October is the only amount the RDA will contribute to the deal, said city solicitor Don Hoyt.
Hoyt said it is a good deal — the RDA didn't have the money to pay the plaintiffs, and United Fiber and Data came to the table.
Data center: RDA chairman Michael Black said he looks forward to seeing the completed project, which he believes will be good for the city.
The interior of the prison will be gutted to put in place a data center to accompany a United Fiber and Data 400-mile fiber-optic network, said UFD CEO Bill Hynes.
Ground will break on the prison revamp in 2019, Hynes said.
Third-party companies, including Met-Ed and the York Water Co., will be included going forward to create a new electric substation and provide more than 45 million gallons of water annually for cooling, he said.
The 400-mile fiber-optic network runs through six southcentral Pennsylvania counties, including York. It connects New York City with the data capitol of the world, Ashburn, Virginia.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to accurately reflect that United Fiber and Data has purchased the prison.