Developer drops out of 1 N. George project

Sean Philip Cotter

The developer who had planned to put a restaurant, cafe and apartments in the old Citizens Bank building on York City's main square has backed out of the project.

Derek Dilks and his company, York Redevelopment Associates, announced in a news release Friday that "the terms and the timeframe of the project ... are not feasible."

The old Citizens Bank building at 1 N. George St., with a rendering of an additional two floors on top of the building next to it, as developer Derek Dilks planned.

In August, York City's Redevelopment Authority, which owns the building at 1 N. George St. on Continental Square, gave Dilks a Sept. 16 deadline to secure funding and enter into an agreement to buy the property in full for $400,000. Dilks previously had asked the authority to allow him to buy the property in three stages over the next year or so.

Clock is ticking on Continental Square plan

The discussions of this project had been going on for more than a year, leading up to that August "ultimatum," according to RDA chair David Cross, who couldn't be reached for further comment.

The property at 1 N. George St. consists of three structures, Dilks has said. He wanted to turn the big bank building, which was built about 1925, into a restaurant and the narrow building to the north into a cafe and apartments. He wanted to add on to the top of the building on the square to the east of the bank building and turn that into 20 high-end apartments.

The RDA owns and manages hundreds of the city's vacant buildings, with the goal of stabilizing them and selling them off.

Dilks did not immediately return a message seeking comment. In the news release that was put out by Gavin Advertising on behalf of the developer, Dilks said he'd be open to revisiting the project if "conditions were right."

Shilvosky Buffaloe, the city's director of economic and community development, said Dilks alerted the city Thursday that he would not be seeking to buy the building at this time.

Buffaloe said that goes with the territory — sometimes plans fall through, although he added that he's glad Dilks continues to work on other efforts around York City.

Dilks' company is redeveloping the Pullman building in the 200 block of North George Street. That property will feature 22 apartments and storefront space.

Plans move forward on building in York City's main square

This doesn't mean it's time to panic about the old bank building remaining vacant, Buffaloe said. Friday morning he had two calls from developers expressing interest in the property.

"It appears as though we may have another person stepping up," he said.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him at or on Twitter at @SPCotterYD.