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Yorktowne Hotel's latest price tag hits $54 million, opening delayed until 2022

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

The Yorktowne Hotel renovation will now cost an estimated $54 million, officials said Tuesday, an increase of 170% over what the project's backers initially said it would cost.

Construction will resume after months of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the reopening has been pushed back several months to 2022, said Katie Mahoney, spokesperson for the project. The restart comes as the York County Industrial Development Authority open, what officials said, is the final round of bids Tuesday, which provided a fuller view of the project's scope.

Jack Kay is chairman of the YCIDA, a government entity that focuses on redevelopment projects in York County. The authority bought the Yorktowne in 2016 and is overseeing the renovation.

In a written statement, Kay said the YCIDA was "elated" about starting the final phase of construction.

"With funding secured, including the YCIDA’s financial support, we are prepared and confident in the reopening of this historic icon of downtown York," he stated.

A mural by York artist Jaysin Jefferson is shown on the south side of the Yorktowne Hotel in York City, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Initially, backers said the renovation would cost $20 million, which included a $10 million grant from the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. In 2018, that number doubled to $40 million. Now, after bids, the project is expected to reach $54 million, an increase of more than 170% from the original estimate.

Since the project first got started, the YCIDA has secured another $5 million in public funds, for a total of $15 million in public contributions.

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.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Yorktowne was tentatively slated to reopen in spring 2021, after being delayed several times from the original target of fall 2019.

Kinsley Construction is the general contractor for the project.

Philadelphia-based GF Hotels will operate the Yorktowne when it opens for business. In a written statement Tuesday, Andrew Taymans, a senior vice president at GF Hotels, said he's confident the hospitality industry will rebound from the economic effects of COVID-19 by the time the Yorktowne opens in 2022.

"We work every day with the project team and are confident in the plan to proceed in construction, the economic future of hospitality, and reopening this gem of the York community," Taymans stated.

Hidden issues: The growing costs of the project have drawn public scrutiny in the past few years, including from other local hotel developers.

Officials with the hotel renovation have said there were hidden structural issues in the building when the authority bought it and that there was no way to predict how much it would cost to remedy the issues until crews got inside and started working.

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