Developers propose $150M project in York

YORK -- York could soon have its own version of Fort Mill's Baxter Village -- but with more businesses and fewer houses.

Four local developers want to build Olde York Square, a $150 million development that would blend commercial and residential lots on the corner of S.C. 5 and Alexander Love Highway. They'll present their plan Monday to the York Planning Commission.

The development calls for high-end single family homes, along commercial business including three banks, a coffee shop, grocery store, restaurants, medical facilities and a drug store. It also would have about 30 condos for living and 30 condos for office spaces.

The residential section would include a park, playground and a mile-long walking trail.

The developers want construction to start immediately and predict the project could be phased in over the next three to five years.

But in order to build, they need the 53.2 acre-property to be annexed into York and rezoned.

At last week's City Council Meeting, the council suggested the density is too high and asked for a revised plan.

"It was too many homes on too small a space," Mayor Eddie Lee said.

The original plan called for 157 homes that would be as close as 16 feet apart.

Former York County Councilman Steve McNeely, one of the project's partners, said his company already has taken care of the density problem and will present a revised plan to the planning commission next week. They've addressed all concerns and don't anticipate any other hitches.

"We already got it revamped," he said.

80 percent commercial

Partner Chris Sinz said new plans call for 130 lots for homes starting at $235,000. About 33 percent of the development will be designated for open space, he said. It will be 80 percent commercial and only 20 percent residential, he said.

The company has talked with prospective businesses that have shown strong interest, Sinz said. A couple of banks have given letters of intent, stating that if they development is built, they want to locate in it.

"Western York County has been starved of conveniences and staples," Sinz said, adding the S.C. 5 expansion makes it prime real estate for new growth.

The development will bring close to $2.5 million per year in tax revenue for the city, county and schools, he estimates.

Although some neighbors have opposed the project, overall reaction has been positive to the plan, Sinz said.

The developers would pay for assistance for fire protection and for extension of utilities, he said.

"We plan to have approvals in-hand by April and start immediately on the commercial and phase in the residential," Sinz said. "There are several thousand homes approved within a 15-mile area, and our commercial is needed."

Lee said after the proper changes are made, the project will be an asset to the town. The commercial side of it is particularly impressive, he said.

After the planning commission makes a recommendation, the proposal will go before the City Council, which will meet again on March 4.