Future of former Kmart uncertain as WellSpan reverses planned lab site

Meredith Willse
York Dispatch

WellSpan Health reversed course on its plan to open a laboratory services facility inside the former Kmart on Haines Road in Springettsbury Township.

"We were in the planning stages to lease that space," said WellSpan spokesman Ryan Coyle, but WellSpan ultimately decided to target a different facility for the proposed expansion.

Coyle said WellSpan will discuss further plans at a later date.

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The former Kmart building, which most recently housed York County Food Bank's Emergency Food Hub, is shown on Haines Road in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The space is currently owned by Kinsley Properties. Dawn J. Sagert photo

What that means for the former Kmart, which for two years housed the York County Food Bank, remains uncertain.

Nonetheless, renovation work on the former Kmart continued this week, with Kinsley Construction vehicles on site. The parking lot and building were fenced off from the public.

Tim Kinsley, president of Kinsley Properties, declined comment about the property and WellSpan's decision not to pursue a lease.

Likewise, Township Manager Mark Hodgkinson confirmed that Kinsley was working on the site but that the township didn't yet know what would ultimately move into the facility.

The former Kmart building, which most recently housed York County Food Bank's Emergency Food Hub, is shown on Haines Road in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The space is currently owned by Kinsley Properties. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The Kmart was the only one open in York County until it closed its doors in 2017. The open space came in handy when York County Food Bank moved in for some time during the pandemic. 

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York County Food Bank CEO Jennifer Brillhart said the food bank needed a larger site when the pandemic began. Kinsley Properties allowed the food bank to move in at a discounted rate. The food bank ended up staying there for more than two years, moving out in April.

The food bank moved its drive-thru food distribution to Living Word Community Church, 2530 Cape Horn Road in Red Lion. Brillhart said she expects the operation to stay at the church for three to five years.

— Reach Meredith Willse at mwillse@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @MeredithWillse.