York and Adams Smart Growth Coalition

Developer to buy former Harley-Davidson west campus in York County

Developer to buy former Harley-Davidson west campus in York County
Daily Record/Sunday News


 February 19, 2013
This 2009 aerial photo shows the Harley-Davidson property. Since then the west campus of the facility has been demolished and prepped for sale. This month a developer has signed on.
A developer has signed a sales agreement for Harley-Davidson's 58-acre west campus.
Earlier this month, the York County Industrial Development Authority approved the deal with Hillwood Development Company, a Texas-based venture chaired by Ross Perot Jr., the son of former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot.
"The IDA's goal is to have jobs on that site and employment," said Blanda Nace, senior manager of development for the York County Economic Alliance and project manager for the authority. "We aren't real thrilled about it being a parking lot or a storage area. We want real jobs created there. Hillwood recognizes that. They have the same goals in mind ... that's part of the reason why they were selected."
The agreement grants Hillwood a "study period" of 18 months to perform market analysis and determine the site's best use before the final sale, Nace said. In its talks with the authority, Hillwood did not outline a specific project for the land with frontage along state Route 30 in Springettsbury Township.
Hillwood will pay about $4 million for the parcel, Nace said. The proceeds from the sale will be split with Harley-Davidson, who vacated the site in fall 2011 and consolidated all production to its newer and expanded Softail plant.
The authority acquired the land for $500,000 through a state infrastructure development grant.
In 2010, Nace said, the authority began looking for developer partnerships.
At the time, the request for proposals garnered no response.
"At the time, the market was not real strong," Nace said. "As time went on, developers and brokers remembered that RFP and came back to us."
Eventually, about five developers showed serious interest in the land, Nace said.
"Hillwood had the best proposal, the best package," Nace said. 'They're a well experienced team. They know the market well."
Hillwood's portfolio expands across the country and ranges from office buildings to airports to golf courses.
Locally, the company has worked on the East Point Trade Center in Palmyra, Dauphin County, and two projects in Cumberland County -- the Key Logistics Park in Newville and the Carlisle 44 Trade Center in Carlisle.

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