'Make this thing right': New developer eyes former Central York athletic field

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

A new builder has entered the fray in North York with ambitions to redevelop the former Central York High School athletic field.

Inch and Co. Construction presented a development concept — merely a preview, at this point — to North York borough council members last week that would transform the site into a multi-purpose sports complex.

The current property has languished for years without new development — despite previous attempts by others. This includes local restaurant owner Themistoklis Sacarellos, whose proposal to turn the space into a warehouse was denied by the borough council in 2021.

While nothing has been officially proposed or submitted yet, members of Inch and Co. laid out framework for what the sports complex could do for the economy of North York. They hope that their proposal, if realized, would be similar to Lancaster County's popular Spooky Nook Sports — an indoor training and competition sports facility.

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During Tuesday's meeting, developers passed out concept drawings to council members for what would be a 250,000-square-foot property. 

Upon questioning by council members about the developer's motives, Inch and Co. CEO Jeff Inch said the goal is not to make money for the developers.

"This building will not make us money," Inch said. "But what this building does is it brings a lot of community to this area. Special Olympics, senior games, stuff like that can be held here — where there isn't a building in York County to do that." 

Council member Vivian Amspacher raised the point that Sacarellos, too, considered developing a sports complex but abandoned the idea because financial roadblocks.

Inch, who noted that he was under a nondisclosure agreement, indicated that funding would not be a significant hurdle. 

"The largest health care provider in York wants to be a part of this," he said, during Tuesday's meeting. "There will be a very large amount of money given by them to us to help build this."

The former Central York High School athletic field in North York Borough, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

David Bolton, North York's borough manager, reiterated concerns from the council during discussions, including potential scenarios in which the property is built and resold.

"I think their concern is that if you do put it in and it folds — and then you sell it all and somebody comes in and says 'we're putting a warehouse in' — we have no say," Bolton said. 

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Inch responded that their idea is the first of its kind that could put North York on the map.

Council members and officials with Inch and Co. ultimately agreed they would need to further discuss the plans in the coming months.

"We have spent several hundred thousand dollars already. We have engaged with the largest health care provider in the county," Inch added. "If you guys can get behind it, this is a shot for us to make this thing right." 

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.