HARB approves demolition of old Philly Café in York City

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
The building at 484 W. Philadelphia St., Wednesday, March 17, 2021, has been targeted for demolition by Royal Square Development & Construction. Bill Kalina photo

York City's Historical Architectural Review Board on Thursday approved the demolition of a historic building that has been vacant and blighted for decades.

HARB unanimously approved Royal Square Development & Construction's request to raze the "old Philly Café," building, located at 484-486 W. Philadelphia St. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

"Normally, we don't approve demolitions of historic buildings like this that are relatively intact, but this one has to do with, basically, demolition by neglect that well predates the current owners," said board member Mark Shermeyer.

More:York City company looking to demolish historic building

Shermeyer has said the historical building once housed the well-known "old Philly Café," a local destination spot for those in York and surrounding areas.

The building at 484 W. Philadelphia St., Wednesday, March 17, 2021, has been targeted for demolition by Royal Square Development & Construction. Bill Kalina photo

The building is marked with a red "X," signifying that the York City Fire Department will not enter the premises if there is a fire.

"The building is pretty far gone at this point, and it really isn't feasible to try and save it," said Kevin Hubbell, project manager for Royal Square Development & Construction. "Unfortunately, it's been neglected for quite some time."

Royal Square Development & Construction purchased the building from the city's Redevelopment Authority in 2019.

The company intends to tear down the building and make the property available for future development projects.

HARB's recommendation to demolish the building will still require approval by York City Council. It is unclear when members will vote on the matter.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.