Permits the city Bureau of Permits and Health Licensing issued in October state that Kinsley Construction will demolish 223, 229, 235, 237, 243, and 245 W. Springettsbury Ave. The college owns the only other building on the block, a white mansion on the corner of Pershing Avenue that has already been converted into student housing.
"Our goal all along has been to clean up that property," Dolheimer said. "We have completed the necessary paperwork to get that done, and we'll be improving the site in the next couple weeks."
The buildings, which have become increasingly dilapidated under the college's ownership, have been the subject of tension between the school and neighbors.
Residents say crime has become a problem in the area. Boards cover many of the windows that vandals have broken, and signs of age are apparent, from crumbling foundations to sagging porches.
Still more controversy arose over how the college came to own at least one of the properties. A historic duplex on the corner of Manor Street was certified blighted and seized via eminent domain by the York Redevelopment Authority in 2005 after the owner rejected an offer from the college to buy it.
A lengthy court battle ensued, but the authority prevailed by 2008, promptly selling the property to York College with an agreement that it would be rehabbed into apartments within six months.
The project was delayed at least in part by talks about the city's new zoning ordinance, Dolheimer said. Changes to the zoning law passed in August now allow student housing on the site.
Ken Martin, York College dean of operations, said apartment-style housing has been planned for the site, although no timeline has been set.
York College has agreed to allow Historic York, a local preservation group, access to several buildings slated for demolition to catalog historic features.
Mike Johnson, president of the Historic York board of directors, said the group would be disappointed to see the structures demolished. But little can be done as they are outside the historic district controlled by the city's Historical Architectural Review Board, he said.
The next best thing will be documenting the historic features of the buildings and possibly collecting architectural details such as mantels, moldings, and stained-glass windows to be used in other properties, Johnson said.
"We're sorry to see the houses go," he said. "But we can't have any impact on it directly."