Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Former M&T Bank eyed as new home for Harrisburg’s engineering, traffic departments

M&T Bank building on N. 7th Street.

N. 7th Street is slated for major construction next year and, if all goes as planned, Harrisburg engineers will have a birds-eye view.

The city expects to move its engineering and traffic departments to the former M&T Bank building on N. 7th Street.

According to Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse, part of the Department of Public Works building will be lost to eminent domain as part of PennDOT’s I-83 expansion project. The city’s traffic department, which is housed in the building, will need to move.

In addition, the engineering department will move out of the public safety building downtown, freeing up space for the proposed community policing team to have its main base there, closer to Commissioner Thomas Carter’s office.

In November, City Council approved the reallocation of 2020 funds to purchase the M&T building for $375,000. Papenfuse said that they received a significant discount from M&T as the building was appraised at $675,000.

Renovations and remodels of the building are part of the city’s proposed 2021 General Budget. Papenfuse said it would likely cost around $192,000 for demolitions, renovations, HVAC replacement and security additions, among other things.

The annual cost of utilities and maintenance for the building would be around $60,200, he estimated.

“This is the first new real estate acquisition for the City of Harrisburg, I guess, since the public works facility,” he added.

Papenfuse also discussed the possibility of using spare offices in the M&T building as a satellite location for the city’s expanding community policing department.

Just this month, the mayor announced a plan to create 12 new civilian positions in the Police Bureau. “Community Service Aides” would work to assist offices and improve relationships with the community.

In addition, the city has numerous major road construction projects planned for next year, including work on N. 7th Street that includes a new traffic circle near the new federal courthouse at the Reily Street intersection.

Harrisburg City Council plans to vote on the proposed 2020 budget, including the M&T building funds and the new positions in the Police Bureau, on Dec. 10.

Click here to view Harrisburg’s proposed 2021 budget.

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