Pop-up gallery gives new life to empty commercial properties in York

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A commercial space at the intersection of North George and Market streets in downtown York has been converted into a pop-up art gallery stuffed with balloons as part of a push to attract office and retail clients. It was created by Parliament Arts Organization founder Alexandra Dwyer. "We're connected to a network of over a thousand artists. So for us it was just about putting all those pieces together," said Dwyer.

She partnered with two realty companies that lease the properties, which would have been empty otherwise. Now they're being filled with art and changing the landscape downtown. There's another commercial space on South Duke Street that has a display by York artist Andi Simpson. It's covering a construction site behind it where a recording studio is being built for a business that's relocating from Philadelphia. It's one of many construction sites. "Right now we have thirty properties on Royal Square, but we have over 40 in York City. We have about seven projects going on now with more projects slated for 2015," said Royal Square Real Estate and Development's Vice President John McElligott.

Those construction projects get a financial boost from ideas like the pop-up gallery, as real estate values are the best they've been in the last three years. "We're actually looking at this as a kind of pilot program for doing things in other spaces that we have downtown," said McElligott.

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