Here we answer some of the most common questions we get about our vision for this space, the scope of the project and its details, as well as the implications on the community.


What are the option details?

120 day option with a consideration of $5000 to develop a comprehensive development plan for Parcel 1 and 2 (and potentially 3 and 4 if available) of the North West Triangle into York’s First Innovation District around Technology, Education and Robotics. This will be the region's first “Live-Learn-Work-Play-Build” Campus.


What is taking place during the option period?

  • zoning
  • utilities (locations, capacities, etc.)
  • access, parking, stormwater, etc.
  • implications of proposed street extension
  • applicable building ordinances (height, etc.)
  • building footprints and sf/unit yields
  • preliminary cost estimates for site work and vertical construction
  • preliminary pro forma
  • potential financing approaches

What are the major components of the project?

  • Education and Accelerated workforce Training for Technology, Educators and Employers
  • Maker Spaces, Accelerators, Shared Spaces and Labs
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 Facilities and work spaces
  • Housing for Workers (20+ Young Professionals) and 55+ with a focus on retiring Manufacturing Knowledge Workers
  • Temporary Housing for students and visiting executives, visiting dignitaries and students

What is an Innovation District?

As the United States slowly emerges from the Great Recession, a remarkable shift is occurring in the spatial geography of innovation. ... These districts, by our definition, are geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators and accelerators.

Defining Districts
Most innovation districts adhere to one of three general models.

  • The “Urbanized science park,” commonly found in suburban and exurban areas, is where traditionally isolated, sprawling areas of innovation are urbanizing through increased density and an infusion of new activities (including retail and restaurants) that are mixed as opposed to separated. North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, perhaps the 20th century’s most iconic research and development campus, is the strongest validation of this model.
  • The “Anchor plus” model, primarily found in the downtowns and mid-towns of central cities, is where large scale mixed-use development is centered around major anchor institutions and a rich base of related firms, entrepreneurs and spin-off companies involved in the commercialization of innovation.
  • The “Re-imagined urban areas” model, often found near or along historic waterfronts, is where industrial or warehouse districts are undergoing a physical and economic transformation to chart a new path of innovative growth.
    Being that York is a 3rd tier city with a rich defense and manufacturing heritage, we are looking at a hybrid of models 2 and 3.

Why do Innovation Districts matter?

  • Innovation districts further the ability of cities and metropolitan areas to grow jobs in ways that both align with disruptive forces in the economy and leverage their distinct economic position.
  • Innovation districts can specifically empower entrepreneurs as a key vehicle for economic growth and job creation.
  • Innovation districts can grow better and more accessible jobs at a time of rising poverty and social inequality.
  • Innovation districts can reduce carbon emissions and drive denser residential and employment patterns at a time of growing concern with environmentally unsustainable development.
  • Innovation districts can help cities and metropolitan areas raise revenues and repair their balance sheets at a time when federal resources are diminishing and many state governments are adrift.

What is the 4th Industrial Revolution?

Industry 4.0 is the next revolution in industrialisation. The premise is to take all the individual processes and computing that factory machines perform in their siloed systems and import them into the cloud, meaning the workflow, upkeep, and management of each individual machine and series of machines can be done remotely.


To understand how this works, you need to understand two concepts: cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT). Cloud computing is hosted on the internet and allows for remote access to apps, services, and stored data. The internet of things builds on this concept by using the cloud to store and automate processes in objects that are synced to the internet, like internet-enabled automobiles and remote home lighting and shade systems. Industry 4.0 utilises both cloud computing and the internet of things to take processes that are normally managed internally by both people and machines and move them into the cloud where they can be managed from anywhere in the world.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution challenges the traditional way that manufacturing and production systems in factories currently function, with centralised and offline systems that are not inter-connected. The prediction is that these factories will soon evolve into “smart factories” with the capability to self-manage issues and internal processes. In turn, manufacturing execution systems (MES) that determine how factories run and function will have to evolve with these concepts in mind or get left behind.