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Developers plan to make York nightlife more lively

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YORK, Pa. -- York City nightlife could become a lot livelier if a few developers have their say.

Plans to revitalize two large vacant buildings are just a couple of ideas proposed for the city.

Downtown sees a lot of visitors on 'First Fridays' and for special events, but a few people who shared their thoughts and proposals to bring new life to York every night of the week.

Reviving York's nightlife might begin as developers with an eye on the city's future make a nod to its past.

Downtown Inc. CEO Silas Chamberlain said "I think it's great. I think it speaks to the fact that there's a renewed interest in downtown York, and all of our downtowns in central Pennsylvania."

Business owner Matt Landis said "on this location, in 1777, 1778, was the Continental Treasury, and we want to further that piece of history."

Royal Square & Construction Development director Dylan Bauer said "we have the ability to do an entertainment venue that would actually utilize the mezzanine that has been here since it was built in 1909. We also have a restaurant component that could be done, and of course we've entertained other offers from users that want to do things such as office, or as far as to go into residential."

Landis' plan for the Treasury, to be located at the former Citizens Bank building on George Street in York, could help bring York City's nightlife alive.

"It will have original music which is sorely needed in York. It will gave tribute bands, 80s, 90s, rock, jazz, you name it," Landis said.

Many have tried, but several have failed in past attempts to revitalize the city's nightlife.

"It was done through Harrisburg developers with one intention, and that was to make money. Developers that we have downtown have a more community interest in getting everything off the ground," Bauer said.

"The city's success is our success, and we want to tie in as much as we can," Landis said.

"When people come downtown, and they look up the street and none of the lights are on, and the don't see a lot of foot traffic, it sends a message that there's simply not a lot to do. The more we can change that, and have a mix of different things to do, for different ages, for people that come into the city for different reasons, it just activates the whole downtown, and makes it feel like it's a thriving place, but royal square development director dylan bauer also hopes his plans for the shuttered cobblestones will help change that," Chamberlain said.

New development could fill a void in entertainment options, and make the city a destination for people in York and beyond.

"There is a need for entertainment downtown, and we want to be right there with everyone else," Bauer said.

"We love our non-profit community. We love having museums. We love having social service organizations that make sure people can have a high quality of life in the city, but we need viable businesses that employ people, contribute back to our city's tax rolls, and encourage other businesses to come here," Chamberlain said.

"We met with Downtown Inc, Better York, the police chief, the fire chief, and the mayor. I'm happy to say the mayor and the others have given their blessing to move forward in this project," Landis said.

Landis plans to open the Treasury in 2019.

"We have a six month option where we are going to hire an architect, and get that ball rolling and at the same time, work on financing for this project," Landis said.

Bauer is actively searching for the right tenant for Cobblestone's.

"I live here, I walk to work, my business is here, I love downtown York. I went to school in Philadelphia, and when I came back to York, this is where I want to live," Bauer said.