The general plan for the Shipley complex shows the Food Bank on King Street and a garden, medical center and a community garden filling out the space.
The general plan for the Shipley complex shows the Food Bank on King Street and a garden, medical center and a community garden filling out the space. (Submitted photo)

A proposed Shipley project could mean a relocation for the York County Food Bank and a new site for Family First Health.

For more than a year, officials from Shipley Energy, the food bank, Crispus Attucks Community Development and Family First Health have been meeting to discuss how to use Shipley's property at 550 E. King St. in York, said Michael Cramer, the food bank's board president.

Cramer also is commercial territory manager at Shipley, which plans to move its King Street staff to the Barton

Building behind Shipley's corporate office at 415 Norway St.

The Shipley staff will move when renovations at that building are complete, possibly in May, according to Cramer.

Bill Shipley, the company's owner, is donating the East King Street site to ensure the property is not vacant and put to good use for the community, Cramer said.

He said Shipley, York County Food Bank and Family First Health Center are conducting a feasibility study to determine whether the community could support a $5 million fundraising campaign for the Shipley project.

The goal is to have the Shipley project site renovated and ready for occupancy by June 2014, Cramer said.

The project's three main areas would be a 25,000-square-foot facility for the food bank, a 5,500-square-foot medical and dental clinic space and a 5,000-square-foot retail spot.

Rock Commercial Real Estate will handle negotiations for potential retail tenants, Cramer said.

Features: Other project features include a community garden, a beehive on a roof to help pollinate the garden and 90 parking spaces, he said.

"It's about bringing something to the community that they currently don't have," Cramer said. "They can come here and take care of everything they need medically, dental work, food, nutritionally."

Moving to the Shipley project site would mean the food bank would have the room it needs to operate and to build a commercial kitchen where nutrition education and cooking classes would be held to teach people how to eat properly, Cramer said.

The food bank currently operates in a 9,000-square-foot facility at 254 W. Princess St. in the city, Cramer said.

"We have completely outgrown that location," he said. "We (distributed) 3.2 million pounds of food out of that little building last year."

Still deciding: Family First Health will decide over the summer whether to participate in the project, said Jenny Englerth, chief executive officer of the organization that provides medical and dental services to more than 20,000 people in York and Adams counties.

Family First Health has an office at the former Hannah Penn Middle School at 415 E. Boundary Ave. in the city. However, the organization does not know how long that space will remain available through the York City School District.

The Shipley project has potential to be either a relocation or expansion site for Family First Health if the organization decides to participate, Englerth said.

Crispus Attucks Community Development is serving as the project's developer, said Carol Kauffman, the CA's development director.

"We helped bring together Family First Health and the York County Food Bank to discuss expansion and relocation, getting the project under construction, and we'll assist with getting financing," she said. "It's a very exciting project."

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