New Market District Brand Unveiled Iin Downtown York

Elsie Smith has only called York home for a few years. But her short time here has been filled and fulfilled with the energy of downtown York.

Smith’s design was chosen by Downtown Inc as the new brand image of the Market District of downtown York.

After years of driving through York on her motorcycle, Smith was attracted to retire here by the architecture, industrial art focus and growing energy, she said.

Smith wanted to be in the middle of it all, so she bought a home on Market Street.

Read more:


Kim Bracey, York Pennsylvania’s Popular Mayor

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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York PA Mayor, Kim Bracey is a doer, a mover and a shaker.  14 months ago, Mayor Bracey became York City’s first African American Mayor.  Prior to being elected mayor, Kim was the Community Development Director for the City of York. 

Sonia Huntzinger, Director of Downtown Inc., describes Mayor Bracey as a builder of partnerships and relationships.  Citing her own organization’s positive relationship with Mayor Bracey, Sonia Huntzinger stated that in the past Downtown Inc. did not have a positive and progressive relationship with the administration like it does now. 

Another recent example of Mayor Bracey’s relationship/partnership buildings skills was the Building York Summit the mayor held a few short weeks ago.  The summit was a gathering of city and county leaders to form a unified vision for the City of York and to make a way forward.  York County realizes that its heart is the city.  As the city goes, York County goes.

Mayor Bracey is a huge promoter for York City.  She can even been seen wearing an I Love York City tee-shirt around town.  The mayor goes to as many events as are humanly possible.  Large and small, it makes no difference.  Mayor Bracey has a vision of what is possible and she passionately promotes York City and engages others in doing so.

Evidence of revitalization is apparent in downtown York with new stores, restaurants, high-end condos, a renovated Central Market and a huge industrial development project a few blocks down the street.  The challenge going forward is that money is drying up for funding these projects from the state and federal government.  Unfortunately, like many other Pennsylvania cities, York still has hurdles to climb and transformation will not happen overnight.  

York is moving forward, maybe too slowly for some, but nevertheless revitalization is happening.  Having a former Community Development Director and grant writer for a mayor certainly must have its advantages!  Bracey is popular on both sides of the aisle and reaches out to find the best solutions to solve the city’s problems.

We wish Mayor Bracey the best in her efforts to revitalize a former capital of the United States of America and Pennsylvania’s 14th largest city.

York Strives To Emulate Bethlehem And Lancaster – By Becoming A Walkable Community

York, Pennsylvania: Market Street between Quee...

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A goal that emerged from the Build York Summit, that concluded yesterday, was for York to become a walkable community.  We here at Roy’s Rants think is a great goal.  York has a compact and very historic downtown like Lancaster and Bethlehem.

Urban land use expert, Chris Leinberger from the Brookings Institute was a keynote speaker at the conference and emphasized that York should embrace the “walkable community” strategy to redevelop the city.  Walkable communities are desired by college students as well as other segments of the population.  Walkable communities have a higher rate of retention once students graduate college and seek employment.  York is already a college town so this strategy could be easily implemented and bear fruit quickly.

Downtown Inc. Director, Sonia Huntzinger took this a step further and said York could also capitalize on the city’s hospitals.  Hospitals tend to be large employers.  Having a vibrant, walkable downtown to present to prospective employees would make recruitment easier for the hospitals.

York County Group Looking To Advance Economic Development In Downtown York

York, Pennsylvania: Market Street between Quee...

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YorIT, a York County Community Foundation has a Social Venture Fund with $20,000 and is looking for a person or persons with “new, creative, out-of-the-box ideas that can attract retailers and restaurants to the area as well as get more people to come downtown” to give it to.

I seriously think I should move to York!  I am continually amazed at the level of cooperation between the city, county and private sector.  How refreshing to see that suburbanites get that York City is the heart of York County and are trying to do all in their power to revitalize it! 

Around here, it’s the opposite.  Most suburbanites do not seem to care if places like Philadelphia, Norristown and Pottstown fail.  Many avoid coming into these places at all costs.  Very sad.

Check out their website for more information:

York City Making Improvements To Market Downtown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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One year ago, Roger Brooks visited York City and came up with 33 recommendations how downtown York could market itself and attract people.  This idea should sound familiar to Pottstown residents after a ULI study and recommendations were made for Pottstown.

What did York do with these 33 recommendations?  Do you suppose they ignored them or possibly took an expert at their word and went about trying to carry out these ideas?  I know, sounds pretty zany, doesn’t it!

Mr. Brooks gave York a 3 – 5 year time frame to make the changes.  Like Pottstown, York has a downtown entity similar to PDIDA, called Downtown Inc.  Their Executive Director, Sonia Huntzinger reports they have completed 18 out of 33 recommendations in the first year!

Some of these recommendations, Pottstown has already completed (mainly the cosmetic ones).  One unique recommendation, completed in October, was a “best of” guide.  Downtown Inc. released a Downtown Destination guide which promotes downtown York!

Brooks recommended that York brand itself as “America’s Industrial Art and Design Capital”.  The York County Economic Development Corp. has developed “Creativity Unleashed” to support this effort.  The idea is to attract young professionals and artists to York along with tourism.  A logo was developed to be used by organizations and companies in their advertising to help promote this rebranding.

How refreshing to see that the county and the city work together to achieve these goals.  How refreshing to see the vigor with which York is embracing these recommendations for positive change.

If you would like to check out Downtown Inc.’s website site, click here:

To view their 25 page Downtown Destination brochure, click here:

To view Creativity Unleashed info, click here:

If this doesn’t inspire you, check your pulse!