Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Developers unveil 150-unit apartment, retail building for Midtown, latest in a string of building projects

A rendering of a proposed 150-unit apartment building, including retail space, on Reily Street.

Building projects have been popping up in Midtown Harrisburg recently, and now you can add another one–a plan to transform a parking lot into a large apartment and commercial building in Midtown.

On Monday night, GreenWorks Development, along with Baltimore-based Washington Place Equities, presented their proposed plan to construct a 135,000-square-foot building at 320 Reily St.  They made their presentation, as did developers for two other projects, at a virtual “town hall” co-sponsored by Friends of Midtown, the Midtown Action Council and the Historic Harrisburg Association.

“We look at this not as being a single project, but as a long-term effort,” said Dominic Wiker of Washington Place Equities.

The four-story “Midtown Flats” building is the first step in making Midtown a denser, more walkable area, he explained.

The project will feature 150 market-rate studio, one- and two-bedroom units, as well as first-floor retail space. Additionally, Wiker said that there will be 85 on-site parking spaces and 65 in an adjacent lot.

Total costs for the project will likely fall around $30 million, he said. The developers received a $2 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant from the state in 2019 for the project.

The Midtown Flats building is part of a master plan, the “Midtown Redevelopment Project” by GreenWorks CEO Doug Neidich, who has developed in the neighborhood for some 15 years.

Neidich’s plan began in 2005 and included buying the former Evangelical Press building on N. 3rd Street and turning it into an academic building. Across the street, he built the Campus Square building, which houses various businesses. Neidich said that his company also worked with the city on the “Urban Meadow,” the pedestrian walkway that runs from N. 3rd to Fulton streets.

The Midtown Flats project, and several other proposed projects, were kick-started by the federal courthouse building that is being constructed on N. 6th Street and slated for completion in late 2022.

“That courthouse has now […] spurred the next stage of development along this corridor, the Reily Street corridor,” Neidich said.

He also mentioned a proposed “sister project.” As long as the community responds well to the first project, they want to build another 150-unit apartment building, which would sit behind the first, he said..

“We are excited about this,” Wiker said. “Relative to design, I think it will be well-received.”

According to Neidich, the building will contain green and sustainable infrastructure, similar to the Campus Square building. This may include solar panels and geothermal technology for common area heating and cooling.

They plan to use Maryland architect, Alexander Design Studios, along with local Pyramid Construction for contracting.

Wiker estimates that the project would be completed in 2 to 2½ years. It is in the early stages and has yet to get any city approvals. Wiker said that they will bring the proposal to the Harrisburg Planning Commission and City Council soon.

“We are trying to create something here that’s really about community and about amenities,” Wiker said. “We want to provide a very high-quality experience.”

At the Monday night town hall, two other developers discussed their projects.

Philadelphia-area businessman Kevin Baird presented a proposal for a building with 85 residential units, a 500-space parking garage and first-floor retail space at Reily and Fulton streets. The Harrisburg Planning Commission recently approved a variance and special exception for the project. It now goes before the city Zoning Hearing Board and also must have its land development plan approved by the city.

Jonathan Bowser of Wormleysburg-based Integrated Development Partners also discussed his project, “The Lofts.” This condominium building would include 16 for-sale, market-rate units in the former Salvation Army building at Green and Cumberland streets.

This project received Harrisburg Zoning Hearing Board approval last week. It now must have its land development plan approved by both the planning commission and city council.

“Density is the key to all of this,” Neidich said. “We really have reached the point where everything’s going to start to tip and Midtown’s going to turn into the kind of community that I’ve been trying to push it towards for 15 years.”

For more information on GreenWorks Development, visit their website. To learn more about Washington Place Equities, visit their website.

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