York to annex 75 acres slated for development

news@enquirerherald.comApril 13, 2013 

— York leaders have given final approval to the annexation of about 75 acres behind the York Electric Cooperative office – the site of a planned development that could include a retail store, restaurant or grocery store.

“It’s a major project,” Mayor Eddie Lee said after the York City Council’s unanimous vote to annex the property. “I’m aware of their plans, and they are impressive.”

The land to be annexed is along both sides of Arrow Road, which runs through the property behind the existing electric cooperative office on the Alexander Love Bypass.

Company officials have said the property is an ideal site for economic development – near the Lowe’s and Walmart stores on the other side of S.C. 5 – and that they have entertained inquiries about developing the site.

“We don’t have any magic tenant out there at this time,” said Mark Howie, the company’s vice president for community development.

He has said the development would be driven by an anchor tenant that could include a retail store, a destination restaurant or an upscale grocery store.

Howie said a time frame for the project has not been determined.

“That’s going to be driven by who might be interested in the property,” Howie said. “If we got a tenant that we think would be a good fit, it could be within a year. But we’re not in a big hurry to develop it.

“We want it to be the right fit for York, and we want it to be the right fit for us.”

He said the development plan could include residential property as well as commercial.

“The master plan would be driven by the master tenant,” Howie said. “I think with this location, you’re probably talking a mixed use of mostly commercial with maybe a little residential mixed in.”

Lee said the widening of the S.C. 5 Bypass around York, which was completed late last year, is an important factor for that area.

“The bypass is an important economic artery,” he said.

Lee said retailers including Target and restaurant chains including Outback, Longhorn and O’Charley’s have expressed interest in York in the past.

“What they’ve always said is that when the bypass gets widened, they’ve always remarked on the bypass,” he said. “Now it’s widened.”

Howie said the electric cooperative has not been actively marketing the 75-acre property as a prospective site for retail development.

Rather, it is considering inquires as they are made, he said.

York Electric is the owner and developer of the 465-acre East York Industrial Park, developed in 1987, when it was the first business park in Western York County.

Since then, Howie said, the park has helped create more than 1,000 jobs and $75 million in capital investment.

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