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York Art Association forced out of building to make room for I-83 widening project

The York Art Association said they knew for a while that their building might be affected by the I-83 project, but they just received official eminent domain notice.

YORK, Pa. — A mainstay of the York art community since 1905 will be forced to move in the coming years due to a PennDOT project that seeks to widen sections of Interstate 83.

The York Art Association (YAA), whose building sits near the I-83 Market Street interchange that PennDOT plans to revamp, said the eviction has been looming on the horizon for a while.

“We knew for quite some time our building could be impacted but it’s become very real with the arrival of the formal notice from PennDot,” said YAA’s Executive Director Roth Preap. “Our Board will not allow the seizure of our building to negatively impact our organization’s future, instead we view it as an opportunity to expand our offerings in a larger space, although that will require significant fundraising.”

The YAA has been in its current building, located at 220 South Marshall Street, since the 1960s, when they raised money to buy land and build a facility that supported their specific needs.

The Association holds classes, workshops, exhibitions, lectures and other events in their halls. They assured artists that all of these will go on as planned while they search for a new location.

The YAA began an immediate search for a new site upon receiving the official notice. They say they would prefer to find a building to purchase or rent in East York but are open to any location that allows them to best serve their members and the public.

“We’ve been told an estimated value on our property will be offered by the state around the end of this year and we will continue discussions with PennDot into 2024,” added Preap. “This month, engineers from the state explained their construction schedule allows us to remain in this building until the end of 2025 if we find it necessary. I ask our members and the York community to support us throughout this time because we will be bigger and better in the long run.”

The YAA is not the first to be affected by the I-83 project. FOX43's Marshall Keely spoke to several other York homeowners and businesses who are wondering where they're supposed to go now that their buildings are being seized by eminent domain.

A few blocks down, businesses along North Hills Road were also told they'll be forced to move. 

The building that houses Country Home Real Estate and Rumors Salon will be razed to make way for more lanes on North Hills Road, the same goes for North Hills Auto Sales across the street. The businesses were not immediately available for comment on the removals.

The York Art Association is raising funds to help with the move. Officials said they'll be forced out of the building by late 2025.

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