The Spring 2018 issue of Context offers a few interesting perspectives in the broad and complex topic of housing. 

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December 4, 2017
Allied News

RSDC Inc. to Receive Louis J. Appell Jr. Leadership Award from 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania: 2017 Commonwealth Awards program celebrates revitalization of York

By Rosemarie Fabien, PhD | Fabien Communications
Royal Square Cantina in Downtown York, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA (December 2017) – The Commonwealth’s leading voice for smart growth, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, has selected RSDC Inc. to be the inaugural recipient of the Louis J. Appell Jr. Leadership Award, the highest award given by the statewide nonprofit to private sector companies. RSDC President Josh Hankey will accept the honor at the Commonwealth Awards celebration on the evening of December 7, 2017 at The Bond event space in downtown York, Pennsylvania.

“Downtown York’s revitalization is a potential blueprint for every smaller, formerly industrial city in the US,” said Caroline Boyce, 10,000 Friends’ Board Chair. “Through creative public/private partnerships, visionary developers like RSDC, Think Loud, Yohn Properties, and Warehaus are reshaping and revitalizing the City in bold, strategic ways. We are delighted to celebrate these game-changing, smart growth initiatives through the annual Commonwealth Awards program.”

Named in honor of visionary philanthropist and 10,000 Friends’ founding Board member Louis J. Appell Jr., the Leadership Award recognizes outstanding private sector leadership and innovative investment promoting transformational and replicable community revitalization. By honoring these efforts, 10,000 Friends hopes to encourage leadership at all levels and inspire local developers to make more such projects a reality. RSDC is the first recipient of the Louis J. Appell, Jr. Leadership Award.

The Commonwealth Awards celebration will also present the Platinum Commonwealth Award to Think Loud Development for the adaptive reuse of the factory at 210 York Street into a state-of-the-art recording studio and commercial space. Two PNC Opportunity for All Awards will be presented: One to the groups that collaborated on the Salem Square Neighborhood Initiative, bringing new affordable housing and streetscaping, a library, playground and police station to an at-risk neighborhood, and one to the Homes at Thackston Park, which increase downtown affordable housing close to public transportation, healthcare, markets, shops and a new greenspace along the river-- making downtown living healthy and accessible.

In addition to the Appell Award, 10,000 Friends’ Commonwealth Awards will be awarded to leading private sector companies, and public and non-profit institutions, whose projects and initiatives have made outstanding contributions to the City of York, including Warehaus at NW Triangle (Company Headquarters), Yohn Properties (One West), Distinct Property Management (Keystone Color Works at NW Triangle), Better York (West Market Street Revitalization Plan), York County Community Foundation (Social Impact Investment), Downtown, Inc. and project partners (York County Heritage Rail Trail), City of York (2020 Vision Plan), and the York College Center for Community Engagement.

“The eleven Commonwealth Award-winning projects and initiatives, and the many organizations that have executed them, have collectively sparked a transformation now underway in York, one that will continue to shape its future growth and prosperity,” said Jack Machek, 10,000 Friends’ President & CEO. “Through smart building rehabilitation and innovative investment in new assets, these organizations and companies are enhancing the quality of life, economic competitiveness, and access to opportunity for all citizens of York and the region.”

Two long-time York civic leaders, Eric Menzer and Charles Bacas, will receive the Board of Directors’ Award at the event in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to 10,000 Friends over two decades and their commitment to the organization’s mission and values. Bacas is a founding Board member and Menzer has served two stints as the Chair of the Board.

10,000 Friends Board Chair Caroline Boyce noted, “Eric and Charlie have been leaders – in the truest sense as both thinkers and doers – and two of the most consequential members of 10,000 Friends, so it is very fitting that we honor them and it will be special to do so in their home town of York.”

About 10,000 Friends
10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania is the leading statewide and regional voice for creating great places to live and work. Founded in 1998, we advocate for policies and investments that build and sustain walkable, healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians. As a recognized authority on responsible land use, we partner with and provide technical assistance to government officials, non-profit organizations and the private sector on development and policy solutions that protect the natural and built environments, strengthen local economies, provide access to economic opportunity for all, and improve community health and quality of life in our state’s diverse cities, towns, older suburbs, and rural communities. Visit

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