Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

A Living Downtown: Harristown plans another residential conversion.

Harristown hopes to convert this downtown office building to apartments.

More apartments appear headed for downtown Harrisburg, though it may be awhile before you’ll be able to move into one.

The city’s Zoning Hearing Board tonight approved a variance that would allow Harristown Enterprises to convert a circa-1952 office building to a 25-unit apartment building with commercial space on the first floor.

The building, at 124 Pine St., currently houses Keystone Human Services, which would seek new space following a sale, said Harristown CEO Brad Jones.

“We believe it is a good place for some very nice apartments,” Jones told the board. “It fits in with our goal to revitalize downtown Harrisburg.”

Keystone currently has the six-story, 30,000-square-foot building on the market for $1.5 million.

Over the past few years, Harristown has converted several downtown office buildings to higher-end apartments. In fact, the company just started work today on another project, the conversion of a small, empty office building at the corner of N. 2nd and Cranberry streets into 12 apartment units. That building, Jones said, has been renamed “The Bogg on Cranberry.”

The Pine Street project, he said, would consist of 18 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom units that would range from about 700 to 850 square feet in size. A variance was needed because current zoning code restricts new housing units to a size of at least 1,200 square feet.

Jones said that he expects rents to be about $1,095 to $1,395 a month. The project includes 19 off-street parking spaces, which would be rented separately.

Harristown still must get the approval of City Council before it can proceed with the project. If that happens, the company hopes to close on a building purchase in May. Jones, however, expects that Keystone will then lease the building back until it can find a new home, meaning that renovation work probably won’t begin until early 2019.

At tonight’s meeting, the Zoning Hearing Board also was slated to hear a variance application to establish a vehicle storage and repair business in a series of garages at 1408 Susquehanna St., as well as a commercial parking facility across the street in a small parking lot at 1418 Susquehanna St.

However, in a letter to the board, the company’s lawyers said they were withdrawing the application for the 1408 Susquehanna St. property. The board was unsure of the company’s intentions for 1418 Susquehanna St. Because the applicant did not attend the meeting, the board granted a continuance for that part of the application pending clarification.

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