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Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board eyes downtown York for new store

YORK, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board may have its sight set on downtown York for one of its newest liquor store locations.

While the state has expanded beer and wine sales to grocery stores and convenience stores, it still maintains exclusive rights to sell liquor.

Liquor sales could become more convenient for people who live near the Continental Square area in York, but it's not the only benefit or concern some see in that location.

Downtown York soon might have one less boarded up store front.

I-ron-ic Coffee owner Steve Billet said "I love seeing the paper coming off the windows, the buildings being cleaned up and painted, and the growth of York continues. Ii’m very happy to be in the center of that."

Billet’s new nextdoor neighbor could become the home of Fine Wine and Good Spirits, a Pennsylvania state liquor store. Real estate developer Yohn Properties, which owns the space, would be the state’s landlord.

Yohn Property Management director of marketing Patricia Will said "we’re trying to provide services for all of the residents so they can stay downtown. They don’t need to leave the city to get the services and products that they need. So, this is just another option for them downtown."

Downtown Inc. CEO Silas Chamberlain said "anytime you have an influx of new residents, lots of downtown employees, lots of visitors to our downtown who are going to restaurants that are BYOB, it’s nice to have a service there that’s convenient for them."

Some of downtown York’s newest residents might have concerns about any problems that a new liquor store in their neighborhood could bring.

"We have 50 residential apartments in this building, and we want to make sure that our residents are safe. If I was concerned about it, I wouldn’t even entertain bringing this tenant into the facility," Will said.

"We have a great partnership with the city police department. We’re a vigilant, very cohesive downtown community. So, if there’s issues that pop up, we’ll address them, but we know that these state stores deal with issues of public safety all the time, so it’s not a big concern on our part," Chamberlain said.

Meanwhile, there’s more to filling this empty space for some people downtown than just convenience.

"Every time a store front is filled, it adds to the vitality of downtown, it provides a new service, it puts that building back on the tax rolls for the city," Chamberlain said.

"The convenience of it is great, we just need a grocery store next," Billet said.

The new store isn't a done deal yet, as it's still in the preliminary stages.

Taxpayers who live within a quarter-mile radius of George and Market streets in downtown York, who have an issue with the proposed location of the store being close to a church, school, or private homes, have until March 27th to file concerns with the Court of Common Pleas.

If 15 or more people protest the location, the court will call a hearing to hear both sides.