History of YORK’s Grantley Plant, Part 1; Borg-Warner, Patriot Tech Center

Circa mid-1980s Aerial Photo of YORK’s Grantley Plant

An article in the Wall Street Journal on April 24th 1985 suggested that Borg-Warner was considering a possible sale, merger or joint venture for its Air Conditioning Group.  I’ve been told that this aerial photo of YORK’s Grantley Plant was taken by Borg-Warner in that time period.  About 15 years later I copied this photo from a YORK International ad on the Internet for use in my autobiography.

In the mid-1980 time frame, the Air Conditioning Group of Borg-Warner Corporation owned all of the land south of the Codorus Creek between Grantley Road (at top of photo) and Richland Avenue (at bottom of photo); (extending to the right in the photo) to Kings Mill Road.  YORK has been the main occupant of the vast majority of this acreage since their first building was completed along Grantley Road in 1925.

Within this acreage, the property at the corner of Richland Avenue and Kings Mill Road has been the home to several businesses; York Bridge Company, McGann Manufacturing Company, Bowen & McLaughlin-York, York Division of Borg-Warner and currently D & D Distribution.  In this series on the history of the YORK’s Grantley Plant, I’ll also include something about those firms.

Other posts in this series or related posts include:


I noted in Johnson Controls leaving the Grantley Plant may be only partially correct that Johnson Controls sold the Grantley Campus to Patriot Equities, a real estate investment and development firm based near Wayne, PA in 2007. The property is now known as Patriot Tech Center, York, PA.  Johnson Controls is currently leasing back about two-thirds of the building space on the property.

In 2011 Patriot Equities announced 162,000 Sq. Ft. of Lease Renewals at Patriot Tech Center, York, PA.  Here is that press release:

Wayne, Pa — June 25, 2011 — Patriot Equities, L.P., on behalf of Patriot Richland Associates, LLC,  today announced a 5-year lease with Bickel’s Snack Foods, Inc. and a 7-year lease with Marine Tech Wire & Cable, Inc. at Patriot Tech Center in York, PA.  Both companies are longtime tenants of the site and executed lease renewals that included expansions.  Bickel’s expanded from 17,875 square feet to 116,000 square feet, while Marine Tech expanded from 36,000 square feet to 46,000 square feet.

Due to growth and consolidation, Bickel’s Snack Foods, a manufacturer of salted snacks, expanded its packaging materials storage space at Patriot Tech Center to include distribution of finished goods.  The existing relationship with Patriot, close proximity to its nearby manufacturing center, and overall value fostered the long-term lease.

Marine Tech Wire & Cable, a Current-Carrying Wiring Devices Manufacturer, expanded due to recent business growth. The company is headquartered at Patriot Tech Center.

Patriot Tech Center is a 1.5 million square foot manufacturing and warehouse campus, with 119,000 square feet of office space.  The multi-tenanted campus is anchored by Johnson Controls (formerly ‘York International’) who occupy 974,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse, and office space.  Johnson Controls, who have been a resident of the site for over 80 years, sold the campus to Patriot Equities in 2007 in a Sale/Partial Leaseback transaction.  Approximately 150,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space is still available for lease.

About Patriot Equities

Patriot Equities is a real estate development and investment company focused on the acquisition and ownership of corporate real estate assets.  The company builds valued relationships by negotiating fairly, closing quickly, and working on behalf of the seller to protect its reputation in the communities it serves.  Patriot Equities owns, operates, and invests in the entire spectrum of corporate real estate property types, including office, industrial, retail, raw land, and mixed-use space in a geographically diverse footprint that spans the entire North American continent.  Patriot has acquired over 8 million square feet of corporate real estate in 44 buildings, across 14 cities, with development value in excess of $500 million dollars.

This is my 105th post. An inventory of the general topics and locations that have been the subjects of my first 100 posts are presented in a 100-tile mosaic that breaks down these posts into seven general categories.

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

About Stephen H. Smith

Stephen H. Smith is a design engineer who worked at York International Corp. for 33 years before retiring several years ago to research and write books full time; his second career. The initial emphasis was on family history when he won a national award during 2002 for his first book “Barshingers in America." Positive feedback and that award were influential in his decision to retire early from engineering and start a retirement career.
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