In 1997, the York Daily Record identified 21 sites believed to be strategic as York moved toward the 21st century.

Some, such as the historical murals now painted around the city, were projects just getting started. Others, such as the "smokestack property" on West Philadelphia Street, were properties waiting for the right redevelopment.

A decade after the newspaper published an update on those sites, many have seen drastic changes. Others haven't.

The Daily Record/Sunday News decided to revisit those sites. Here's a look at what's happened in the past 10 years.

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1. York Murals, 252 W. Market St. and other locations

Then: As of 1998, there were eight historical murals in York, and a total of 25 were planned. A series of mini-murals were under way.

Now: There are 18 murals and 13 mini-murals.

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2. West Market Street from the Codorus Creek to Penn Street


Regan Straley of York reads the paper at the West Market Street location of Sparky and Clark's coffee shop recently. The coffee shop took over an old laundromat that the Redevelopment Authority acquired about a decade ago. The blocks surrounding the coffee shop have seen many changes in that time, according to business owners there. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Kate Penn)
Then: The Redevelopment Authority bought Swinger's, an adult video store at 224-226 W. Market St., with plans to sell it to the architectural firm Murphy and Dittenhafer. The RDA also owned Peoples Laundry, 284 W. Market St. Officials said they wanted the area to become an antiques district.


Karin Swartz of Spring Garden Township sips coffee on a recent day at Sparky and Clark's. Officials say new businesses, such as the coffee shop and the architecture firm Murphy & Dittenhafer, have improved that area of West Market Street. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Kate Penn)
Now: The spot that once housed Swinger's is home to Murphy and Dittenhafer and Kline Graphic Design. The laundry at 284 W. Market St. is now Sparky and Clark's coffee shop.

The area is still designated an antiques and market district, said Matt Jackson, the city's economic development director.

Progress there in the past few years has included aesthetic improvements, such as new lighting and work on the façade of the Market and Penn Farmer's Market, he said.

"The little aesthetics improvements go a long way," he said. And while some new businesses, such as a bed and breakfast and the York Time Institute, have emerged, old ones such as Sam and Tony's Italian Restaurant and Blue Moon have stayed, he said.

"That's what we're seeing with those blocks," Jackson said. "Slowly but surely, they keep improving."

Ross Falzone, owner of Sam and Tony's, said the neighborhood has improved in the past decade with additions such as the coffee shop and KrysLyn's Bridal. He plans to stay on Market Street.

"This is my business," he said. "This is also my social life, my family life."

Frank Dittenhafer, owner of Murphy and Dittenhafer, said the location has worked out well since his firm took over the space in 2000.

"There's been some activity in the area, which has been great," he said. His company recently purchased the building next door to get some more space for future endeavors.

"We can't imagine being any other place," he said.


In 2000, Frank Dittenhafer with Murphy & Dittenhafer, right, and Sue Ann Kline with Kline Graphic Design are seen accepting the old sign from Swinger's Book Store, which used to be in their building before it was renovated. The companies share space in the old Codorus Hotel on West Market Street. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Christopher Glass)
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3. 243 W. Market St.

Then: The owner of Sam & Tony's Italian Restaurant opened The Garlic Pot, an Italian deli and grocery, and Celebrations, a banquet hall, next door to his restaurant.

Now: All three businesses remain.

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4. 227 W. Market St.

Then: In 1998, after plans to fill the Codorus and Co. building with sports businesses, tenants included a district justice, MANTEC and other businesses.

Now: MANTEC is still there, but the district justice is not. The York City Bureau of Health recently moved one of its offices out of the building to another city location.

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5. 221 W. Philadelphia St.


The $35 million Susquehanna Commerce Center, shown here through the metal flower sculptures at Foundry Park, opened in 2002. City officials said the project transformed an old brownfield into an economic development success. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Paul Kuehnel)
Then: The city and the York County Industrial Development Corp. wanted to bring St. Onge, Ruff and Associates to a "smokestack property" in the 200 block of W. Philadelphia St., including property on Grant Street owned by Columbia Gas. They were hoping to build two office buildings and renovate an existing building.


The Susquehanna Commerce Center is seen during its construction in 2002. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Paul Kuehnel)
Now: The $35 million Susquehanna Commerce Center, which Jackson called "one of the most stunning economic development successes in the city's recent history," opened in 2002.

Two six-story office buildings now occupy the former brownfield site. The old gas company building was restored, too.

Businesses in the two six-story office buildings include Dentsply, Comcast, Rock Commercial Real Estate, the law firm Stock and Leader and many others. The building is in a Keystone Opportunity Zone, so it will be tax-exempt until 2012.

York Mayor John Brenner said many firms in the center make an annual contribution to the city in lieu of taxes.

For example, Stock and Leader has been contributing about $10,000 each year, said Gary Sonke, administrator for the firm.

Jackson said he's heard people speculate that the building's occupants will leave when it goes on the tax rolls.

"It's not going to happen because the folks who are there ... they own their suites," he said. "It's not like they can just get up and terminate a lease and leave for a suburb. They are committed to downtown."

Sonke said he doesn't think anything will change for his firm once the property becomes taxable.

"We're here for the long run," he said. "It's a great place to do business."

Brenner said that the impact of the center can be seen around noon, as employees from the center walk downtown.

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6. Grant Street near Cottage Hill Road

Then: The Columbia Gas property was slated to become part of a "smokestack" project.

Now: The property is now part of the Susquehanna Commerce Center.

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7. Codorus Creek


Mud and debris used to flood onto the old boat basin. Creek activists say the water is cleaner than it used to be. (Submitted)
Then: Little progress had been made toward cleaning up the Codorus Creek.


A newly constructed path leads to the boat basin at Foundry Park on the Codorus. The boat basin received a makeover in 2008, intended to provide better boat acess for the creek. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Kate Penn)
Now: The creek is certainly in better shape than it was 10 years ago, but there are still significant barriers ahead, said Michael Helfrich, acting director of the Codorus Creek Improvement Partnership.

As the result of a lawsuit, P.H. Glatfelter Co. agreed to give $2 million to start the Codorus Creek Watershed Endowment in 2001. The company agreed to reduce the color of water discharged into the creek by 50 percent.

Today, the color of the water in the creek is still a "dark tea," but the smell is going away, Helfrich said.

The color is still coming from Glatfelter, as well as runoff from farm fields and construction sites at times, Helfrich said.

Glatfelter has focused on improving water quality by improving the wastewater treatment process and through other initiatives, said Bill Yanavitch, vice president of human resources and administration. The company monitors the water color upstream and downstream from the mill.

The quality of fishing is better, Helfrich said, and boat access is improving with development such as the renovation of the Foundry Park boat basin. Now, he said, there's work going on to make a parking lot for recreational visitors who want to use a boat ramp near Bantz Park.

But, Helfrich said, "idiots still throw trash in the creek."

Jake Romig, a consultant to the Codorus Watershed Endowment of the York County Community Foundation, said the attitude toward the creek has changed.

"Ten years ago it was still known as the 'Inky Stinky,'" he said. "Now it's certainly known as more of a resource as opposed to a liability. That's a big change, just in how we view the creek and how we've chosen now to take care of it."

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8. 200 W. Market St.

Then: Capital Telecommunications planned to move into the building.

Now: The building has been owned by Codo 200 since April, said Eric Menzer, senior vice president at Wagman Construction, co-developers of the Codo projects. The building, now available for lease, could someday be turned into a residential development similar to the one under way at 241 N. George St.

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9. Southwest corner of Pershing Ave and Philadelphia St.

Then: A visitors center had been proposed for the land behind the Colonial Courthouse.

Now: A visitors center was placed on Market Street instead.

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10. 149 W. Market St.

Then: The city signed a 15-year lease to being operating a visitors center in the former Sears store starting in May 1999.

Now: The recently remodeled visitors center is still in the building.

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11. 140 W. Market St.

Then: Hyperion Susquehanna Telecommunications renovated the former Meridian Bank branch and opened in 1997.

Now: Comcast has mostly administrative offices in the building, according to a spokesman.

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12. 127 W. Market St.

Then: Columbia Gas moved out of offices here, and the building was expected to be sold.

Now: The building's tenants include PNC Investments, UGI Energy Services, Site Design Concepts and an insurance agent.

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13. 10 N. Beaver St.

Then: Yorkarts opened in 1997.

Now: Yorkarts still occupies the building.

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14. 101 W. Philadelphia St.


An artist's rendering shows the proposed York Museum of Art, which would be a nine-story, mixed-use building at West Philadelphia and North Beaver streets in the city. (Submitted)
Then: The vacant former Food Fair building, last occupied by United Sales Co., and its 50 parking spaces were purchased by Central Market's owners.


The lot in front of the Central Market parking deck has been listed as a possible site for the proposed York Museum of Art. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Bil Bowden)
Now: The building was torn down to make way for a parking deck.

That addition improved parking for market vendors and customers, although there are still busy times on Saturdays where more is needed, said Dave Yates, president of the Central Market board. The city allows overflow parking in the Philadelphia Street garage.

The parking lot area in front of the parking deck has been talked about as a possible location for development, namely the proposed York Museum of Art.

Brenner first proposed the art museum during his state of the city speech last year. Proposed plans call for a mixed-use building, including an arts center and residential space.

The potential is there, but the key is what Central Market wants to do with its property, Brenner said.

The location has been a prime development spot for a while, Brenner said.

"We'd love to see something move forward," he said.

He hopes it could be some form of the art museum, but as long as the proposed museum goes somewhere in the arts district, that's what matters, he said.

Yates said the property has had three "potential suitors," one of which is the YOMA project. He declined to name the other two.

The art museum would be desirable, in terms of the other projects going on downtown, he said. The market board probably won't make any decisions for at least six months, he said.

Ideally, he said, something would be built in front of the parking deck to improve the cityscape.

"Our main concern, of course, is that we will ensure both our vendors and customers have parking at that site," Yates said.

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15. 31 S. Beaver St.

Then: The customer service center in the old GTE building was closed, but the building was used for storage.

Now: The Verizon building houses some installation repair technicians and employees in the network engineering group, said a spokesman. The 1929 art-deco building, designed by Rhinehart Dempwolf, is on a Historic York walking tour, said Barb Raid, of Historic York.

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16. 54 W. Market St.

Then: The Police Heritage Museum occupied the space, but the city hoped that was temporary. The long-term goal was retail.

Now: The Police Heritage Museum is still in the building.

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17. 55 W. Market St.

Then: After several coffee shops came and went, Market Way Café was here.

Now: KOA Sportswear occupies the building.

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Ryan Keeney breaks to open a game of eight-ball at what is now the Bourbon Street Saloon. Several nightclubs have opened in the first block of West Market Street in the last decade. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Bil Bowden)

18. 55 W. Philadelphia St.

Then: The old post office building housed York Rescue Mission's Lighthouse Youth Center, which only used a part of the space.

Now: The youth center is still there.

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19. 25-27 W. Market St.

Then: Marcello's Pizza moved out of the former Zakie's nightclub space, leaving it empty.

Now: The Ron Kamionka-owned Bourbon Street Saloon and Evolution nightclub are at 25 W. Market St.

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20. 6-12 W. Market St.

Then: The former McCrory variety store had been empty, then moved its headquarters back in.

Now: Vertigo and Reflex, clubs owned by Ron Kamionka, and Rainbow Shops are located here.

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21. 45 N. George St.

Then: The site of the old Penn Hotel was a parking lot.

Now: The York County Judicial Center opened in 2003.


Louise Ogden of West York snaps a photo during a tour of the $62 million York County Judicial Center when it opened in 2004. The side of the old Penn Hotel was a parking lot a decade ago. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Jason Plotkin)
amason@ydr.com; 771-2048