North Carolina tech company buys Citizens Bank building in downtown York

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

A North Carolina-based tech company has purchased the former Citizens Bank building on Continental Square in York City. 

The York City Redevelopment Authority announced the sale of the historic building Friday to 1 North George, LLC for redevelopment. The building is located at 1 N. George St., hence the name of the property developer. 

Stephen Teachout and J.T. Barnes, executives of Ocean 10 Security, based in Asheville, North Carolina, created 1 North George, LLC. Ocean 10 Security is a nationwide technology company that manufactures the ‘TSUNAMI’ mobile camera surveillance system.

The city's Redevelopment Authority purchased the former Citizens Bank building last year for 515,000 and has plans to sell the building to a developer soon.

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Ocean 10 originally was looking for a satellite office, but the "prestigious" former bank building in the northeast corner of Continental Square could end up being a regional office, according to Teachout.

The Continental Square property was acquired in 2014 by the Redevelopment Authority after Citizens Bank vacated the building.  

Over the past few years, different developers have had the building under option, with the most recent having expired in December 2021.   

TRUE Commercial Real Estate listed the property for sale in March and received multiple offers to buy the property. Seven of the offers were from companies located outside of York and another three were from companies located outside of Pennsylvania. 

The sale price is $550,000, according to the real estate broker.

“The fact that such a large, complicated property attracted attention from national purchasers really speaks volumes to the forward momentum that we are seeing in York,” Blanda Nace, York City's chief opportunity development officer and executive director of the Redevelopment Authority, said in a statement.

“Bringing new investors and new companies to our city, while also growing and supporting our existing businesses and residents creates a wonderful marriage between redevelopment and economic development. This is an exciting time for York.” 

In a statement, Teachout said the building needs to be more than just office space. 

“Our vision is for multiple businesses under one roof — bringing more activity and entertainment options to the center of the city for the people of York,” he stated. “This multi-use ecosystem will continue to activate Continental Square, creating an open collaborative environment for our company and the public, while preserving the historical integrity of the building. I’m excited to hit the ground running in York.” 

Barnes, who used to be an urban planning consultant, stated that York City has all the ingredients to have a vibrant downtown district. 

“I worked with dozens of communities that were fighting to create the streetscape, walkability and downtown district that York has possessed for decades. In other words, York has all the ingredients. We’re excited to add another great space for the Downtown community,” Barnes stated. 

The terms of the sale include provisions to submit a final design plan to the Redevelopment Authority within one year and for initial interior renovations to start within 90 days. Completion of the street-level redevelopment will happen within 36 months. 

Redevelopment Authority Chairman Michael Black stated that the sale of the property will allow the authority to focus on other blighted properties throughout the city. 

“In the coming months, the RDA will be able to acquire those properties which negatively affect the quality of life of the residents of York and continue to add value and equity to neighborhoods,” Black stated. “We are excited to be able to balance economic development growth with residential opportunities everywhere in York City.” 

The purpose of the RDA is to acquire and reposition properties for redevelopment so that they comply with building codes and are no longer a blighting influence in their neighborhoods, become economic assets which contribute to the city’s tax base and advance the city’s plan for the appropriate development and use of each neighborhood involved. 

— Reach Anthony Maenza at amaenza@yorkdispatch.com or @atmaenza on Twitter. 

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