Yorktowne construction work on hold, reopening likely to be delayed

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

Construction work at the Yorktowne Hotel has ceased since Gov. Tom Wolf ordered most businesses, including construction companies, to temporarily shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19, and it's unclear exactly when work will resume.

The governor said Wednesday he plans to allow construction work statewide to begin again May 1 and that safety guidelines would be released soon.

"We hope to resume construction activity as soon as it is safe and permitted to do so," said Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance.

The YCEA provides administrative support to the York County Industrial Development Authority, which owns the hotel.

Kinsley Construction is the general contractor for the project.

The hotel project team has been meeting remotely to continue working on other aspects of the work, Schreiber said, but construction isn't the only thing that's been stalled.

The Yorktowne Hotel, at 48 E. Market St. in York City, is set to be part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, a franchise of boutique hotels. The planning and design of the hotel has been done in conjunction with Hilton representatives.

But Hilton has had to implement "significant layoffs and furloughs" in the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, according to a March report from GF Management, the Philadelphia-based firm that will operate the hotel.

The Yorktowne Hotel in York City, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Those layoffs and furloughs could delay Hilton's approval process for design decisions.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Yorktowne was tentatively scheduled to reopen in spring 2021 (after being delayed several times from the original target of fall 2019), but that date will likely be pushed back now.

Schreiber said the opening will probably be delayed in proportion to the amount of time that work is halted.

One thing Schreiber isn't worried about is losing state funding.

The state has awarded the YCIDA $14 million in matching grants for the hotel renovation in the past several years through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

As of the most recent estimate, the total cost of the hotel renovation will be $40 million.

With state tax revenue reportedly projected to plummet by as much as $3.7 billion over the next year because of the economic shutdown, resources will be thin across the state budget.

Schreiber said the state is contractually obligated to provide the money already granted to the YCIDA and other RACP recipients, so he's not concerned about losing the matching funds for this or any other project.

More:The York County Industrial Development Authority: How does it work?

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