Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

April News Digest

Harrisburg Outsources Engineer Post

Harrisburg City Council last month approved an administration plan to outsource the city engineer duties to an outside firm, at least for a while.

Council voted to hire Lower Paxton Township-based Dawood Engineering to serve in the position for up to a year, while the city continues to seek out a qualified candidate for the role.

The agreement with Dawood sets the price cap for its services at $150,000.

Wayne Martin served as the previous city engineer, but left his position in November.

According to Isaac Gaylord, deputy city solicitor, the city is required to have a professional engineer sign off on many of its construction projects. Dawood will fill that role.

While council approved the contract with Dawood, many members voiced concern over not having a professional engineer on staff.

“I implore the city to continue their search for an engineer,” said council member Westburn Majors. “As a city that has a lot of projects and will have a lot of money coming through it over the next four to five years, it is going to be incumbent upon us having someone on staff, full-time to be able to handle the work.”

In other news, council approved the re-development of a vacant property, formerly the Taproom bar, at 1402 N. 3rd St. The vote was 5-2, with council President Danielle Bowers and council member Jocelyn Rawls voting against the project.

Sean Linder and his Bethlehem-based investment group, SJL Rentals LLC, plan to renovate the 4,000-square-foot, three-floor building to include five apartment units and a first-floor commercial space.


Derry Street Improvements Proposed

Derry Street in Harrisburg soon may see substantial improvements, as PennDOT has announced a major road construction project.

Last month, the state Department of Transportation released proposed plans for an initiative to improve the safety of the Derry Street corridor, which runs through Harrisburg, Swatara Township and Paxtang. The project would extend from the intersection of 13th and Derry streets, east to the intersection of 40th and Derry streets.

According to PennDOT, a safety study was previously conducted along Derry Street. After discussions with the city and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, PennDOT formulated a plan to improve the street.

PennDOT has proposed work that includes milling and overlay of the existing pavement, signage upgrades and pavement marking improvements.

The commonwealth also may make improvements at two intersections—at Derry, 19th and Berryhill streets and at Derry, 21st and Brookwood streets. According to PennDOT, these intersections have multiple roads at skewed angles that cause safety concerns for pedestrians and motorists. Pedestrian traffic is also significant in the area of the intersections since both Rowland Intermediate School and Scott Elementary School are nearby.

For these intersections, PennDOT is considering roundabouts, pedestrian facility upgrades and/or traffic signal improvements.

The project is currently in the design phase, and construction is expected to take place in 2024. Project cost is estimated at $6.2 million.

PennDOT is accepting public input on the project through April 8.

Shriners Opt to Keep Zembo

Harrisburg’s historic Zembo Shrine is no longer for sale, as the fraternal organization has decided to keep and restore the building.
According to the Zembo Shriners, the group plans to retain its 92-year-old building and focus on reviving it as an event space for the Harrisburg area.

“The Zembo Shrine has always been a big part of the city, and we are interested in keeping it a part of the city and keeping that heritage alive,” said Seth Anthony, a Zembo board member. “We want to bring the building back to its former state as a premier events venue.”

The 62,621-square-foot building, at N. 3rd and Division streets in Harrisburg, was put on the market in 2017. At the time, the group determined that keeping the large building would be too difficult, considering declining membership and the increasing costs of taxes, maintenance and utilities.

Over the five years, the building received three offers, according to Mike Smith, potentate of the Zembo Shriners. It was originally listed at $950,000 and most recently lowered to around $700,000.

“We were left at the altar three times,” Smith said. “We were tired of that. We needed to focus on what we do.”

The Moorish Revival-style building will continue to serve as a meeting place for the Shriners and as an events venue.

Anthony said that some restoration and updates are needed, such as work on the roof of the building, which will take a few years to complete.

But overall, David Morrison, executive director of Historic Harrisburg Association, said that the building is in great shape.

“It’s been very well maintained,” he said. “I’m very optimistic that what they’re planning is very do-able. This building is one of a kind in Pennsylvania, not to mention Harrisburg.”

Morrison was happy to hear that the Zembo Shrine was pulled from the market.

“Retaining ownership is so much better,” he said. “They know their own building.”

According to Anthony, the Shriners have received increased interest in rentals of the event space. He believes that some of that is due to a “post-COVID bounce back” of people looking to host and attend events, he said.


Menaker Apartments to Debut

A Harrisburg developer has set an early spring date to debut its latest apartment project.

Harristown Enterprises said last month that the Menaker Apartments would open for tenants in April. Tours of the model unit have already begun.

“We’re very excited about this project,” said Brad Jones, president and CEO of Harristown. “We believe that potential tenants will love these beautiful new units, some with stunning views, in a landmark Harrisburg building.”

Originally constructed in 1906, the building is located on Market Square in Harrisburg. It was built for the Johnston Paper Co., a Harrisburg-based paper products manufacturer, as office and retail space. Most recently, it housed the Skarlatos Zonarich law firm.

In 2018, Harristown purchased the six-story, 33,809-square-foot building and, last year, began the conversion to an apartment building featuring 28 one- and two-bedroom units. The building interior has been completely renovated for residential use, but the historic exterior has been preserved and restored.

The building is named for Mortimer Menaker, a former chairman of the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority who oversaw a previous renovation in 1977.

At the Menaker Apartments, one bedroom/one bathroom units range in size from 600 to 700 square feet at a monthly rental rate of $1,200, plus electric, according to Harristown. Two-bedroom, 1.5-bath units total about 700 square feet for about $1,400 a month. Two-bed/two-bath apartments exceed 1,000 square feet at $1,595 to $1,625 a month, plus electric, Harristown said.

Each unit in the pet-friendly building features a full-sized washer and dryer and stainless steel appliances, Harristown said. In addition to the apartments, the building has a 2,000-square-foot, ground-floor space for a future restaurant or retailer.

In recent years, Harristown has converted numerous empty and underused office buildings to residential use in downtown Harrisburg. In addition, it is renovating an eight-story, century-old commercial building at 112 Market St. into 35 one- and two-bedroom apartments.


Tour de Belt Returns Live

After a lengthy hiatus, the Harrisburg area’s largest annual biking event will return live this year, capped by a new festival at the finishing line.
The Capital Area Greenbelt Association (CAGA) announced last month that the Tour de Belt will return as an in-person ride after two years as a virtual, “ride-when-you-can” event.

“Tour de Belt is a fun-filled event for bikers, walkers, runners and their families that promotes healthy activity and environmental stewardship,” said Neelam Zaver, CAGA board member and Tour de Belt committee chair. “It also raises much-needed funds to support one of the capital region’s most beloved outdoor resources, the Greenbelt.”

In the Tour de Belt, participants loop around the 24-mile Capital Area Greenbelt at their own pace, starting on the main HACC campus in Harrisburg. This year’s event, which takes place June 5, will finish on the adjacent campus of Commonwealth Charter Academy, where a “Finish Line Fest” will be held, featuring live music and entertainment, food trucks and other fun activities, according to CAGA.

“We think that, with the addition of the Finish Line Fest, this will truly become a community event for everyone to enjoy,” Zaver said. “Even if you choose not to bike in the Tour de Belt, you can come out, have a good time, and support an important cause.”

In past years, the Tour de Belt has brought in more than 1,000 registered participants and over 100 volunteers, and organizers said that they expect potentially record-breaking participation this year. A virtual option also will be available this year, according to CAGA.

Proceeds raised by the Tour de Belt and Finish Line Fest will benefit CAGA and will be used to support improvements and maintenance of the Greenbelt. In 2021, the budget for these efforts surpassed $7 million and included increased safety of trail crossings at intersections, newly paved sections of the trail, and completion of the new Fort Hunter connection, according to CAGA.


Grants for Greenbelt

Two big projects soon will begin on the Capital Area Greenbelt, funded by recent grants from the commonwealth.

Last month, the Capital Area Greenbelt Association (CAGA) announced that it received more than $280,000 for environmental infrastructure projects centered on two creeks that run through the 24-mile park and trail system.

“We’re extremely grateful to have been selected to receive this grant funding and look forward to the important and long-lasting benefits it will bring to our community through the completion of two key environmental projects,” said CAGA Board President Mike Shaull.

A $230,150 Environmental Stewardship and Watershed Protection grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be used to restore 500 feet of stream bank on Lower Spring Creek near the Ivey Lane Apartment complex. Additional funding from CAGA and Skelly & Loy Inc. complement the grant, bringing the total project spend to $300,000, according to CAGA.

CAGA shared that it received the competitive grant over more than 200 other eligible applications.

A second grant of $54,600 from the Community Conservation Partnership Program, administered by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), was also awarded.

The funding, coupled with an annual maintenance grant from Harrisburg city and CAGA contributions, will be used to restore the riparian buffer on Lower Spring Creek from 19th to 28th streets, CAGA said. The project, which will include the removal of invasive species and the planting of 1,800 trees and shrubs, will have a total cost of $150,000.

In other Greenbelt news, CAGA stated that the Phoenix Park loop will be closed through April 15 due to construction work related to the “Tiny Home Veterans Village.”

Veterans Outreach of Pennsylvania plans to construct a small village of 15 “tiny homes,” plus a community center, to provide housing and support services for homeless veterans.


Home Sales Dip, Prices Rise

Home sales dipped in the Harrisburg area in February, but the median price rose substantially, according to the latest monthly sales report.

For the three-county region, 456 previously owned houses sold during the month, compared to 471 in February 2021. However, the median price increased to $227,000 versus $194,900 in the year-ago period, said the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors (GHAR).

In Dauphin County, sales totaled 233 homes, a decrease of 11 units, but the median price leaped to $193,550 compared to $170,450 a year ago, according to GHAR.

Cumberland County saw a 10-unit drop in total sales, to 196 homes, but the median price rallied to $270,800 versus $231,500 the prior February, GHAR stated.

In Perry County, sales were nearly flat at 20 homes, a decrease of one unit, but the median price also was much higher, to $189,900 in February from $165,000 a year ago, according to GHAR.

The pace of sales was mostly unchanged, as “days on the market” totaled 29 days, versus 30 days in February 2021, said GHAR.


So Noted

Danielle Vincent
has been named the new director of business development for Hershey Harrisburg Sports & Events Authority. Vincent has more than 14 years of experience in destination sales and sports development, including with The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau and the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau.

Death Cab for Cutie will make a return visit to Harrisburg’s Riverfront Park this summer, according to organizer Harrisburg University Presents. The band, which re-inaugurated big-time outdoors concerts in the city three years ago, is slated to play on July 14.

Great Harrisburg Litter Cleanup marks a decade of city beautification on April 23, according to co-organizer Tri County Community Action. Those interested in volunteering as individuals or groups should visit

Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra will return to the Forum, its long-time home, for the 2022-23 concert season, it was announced last month. The HSO has been playing in the Scottish Rite Theatre for the current season while the commonwealth completes a restoration of 91-year-old Forum, which is part of the Capitol Complex.

John Longstreet will retire as the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association in July, according to PRLA. He has led the organization since 2014 and has more than 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry. PRLA said it is launching a search for Longstreet’s replacement.

Pursuit Coworking is the new name of the Harrisburg-based co-working venture formerly called StartUp Harrisburg. Owners Adam Porter and Adam Brackbill said that the new name and brand better reflect their core business, especially as they seek expansion opportunities.


Changing Hands

Barkley Lane, 2515: L. Truong to C. Vu, $90,600

Benton St., 521: W. Phoenix & D. Holmes to A. & R. Dumas, $175,000

Berryhill St., 1948: R. Perrin & D. Rallo to E. Payne & F. Vaye, $70,000

Boas St., 1823: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to Easter Funding LLC, $144,900

Brookwood St., 2500: KB Investments to Brookwood Apartments LLC, $2,854,000

Curtin St., 511: S. Decena to R. Montero, $65,000

Curtin St., 533: J. Vogelsong to Franklin Real Estate USA Inc., $40,000

Delaware St., 259: R. Goodfriend to S. Tanniru, $162,500

Derry St., 1323: Azzu Rental LLC to Best By LLC, $120,000

Derry St., 2029: RNM Properties LLC to S. Ginder, $98,000

Forster St., 1835: Leonard J. Dobson Family LP to C. Woods, $42,500

Forster St., 1912: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to RA Love Homes LLC, $125,000

Fulton St., 1400: Heller Investments LLC to L. Bowman, $150,000

Fulton St., 1941: P. Sisemore & K. Hugo to J. Carter, $125,000

Green St., 1705: J. Tinnick to S. & R. Estrella, $125,000

Green St., 2106: Segue Systems LLC to R. Bair, $119,900

Greenwood St., 2111: SPG Capital LLC to GFG Properties LLC, $47,000

Greenwood St., 2507: C. Everett to D. Jimenez, $175,500

Hale Ave., 442: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to M. Estrada, $120,000

Hamilton St., 204: T. & D. Santry to F. Pryzbylkowski, $158,000

Hamilton St., 338: W. Bower c/o City Limits Realty to T. & L. Sneidman, $80,000

Herr St., 1406: MJE Properties LLC to Cooperwink LLC, $47,000

Hoffman St., 3229: J. & B. Rodriguez to T. Nunziato, $172,000

James St., 1331: I. Mallouli to T. Davis, $140,000

Jefferson St., 2512: M. Wright to Ingle Services LLC, $64,900

Kelker St., 435: E. Gish to G. Rannels, $165,000

Kensington St., 2013: D. & D. Constanza to S. Sanchez & M. Moreno, $57,000

Kensington St., 2128: S. James to W. & C. Scott, $45,500

Lewis St., 200: Chalet Series III Trust to VRAM Homes LLC, $80,000

Lexington St., 2558: MAMC Enterprises LLC to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $67,000

Logan St., 1607: M. Mtere & F. Laoukili to M. Cossick, $105,500

Logan St., 2163: MAMC Enterprises LLC to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $45,000

Logan St., 2438: NRZ Pass Through Trust XVIII and Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing to M. Iman, $85,000

Luce St., 2320: Global Reach LLC to J. Zabala, $80,962

Maclay St., 247: Huat Keo Estate to Penn Investment National Group LLC, $150,000

Manada St., 1921: Z. Knorr to D. Wirth, $105,000

Market St., 1254: Tang & Perkins Property Management LLC to NK Enterprise LLC, $85,000

Market St., 1724: XII Stone Congregational to P. Azzu, $75,000

Market St., 1922: M. Dowling to M. & S. Mejia, $84,000

Muench St., 206: T. Williams to J. Hartzler, $60,000

N. 2nd St., 1805: Keystone Properties Group LLC to Penn Investment National Group LLC, $110,000

N. 2nd St., 2220: Planet 3 Properties LLC to Roz Diamond I Do LLC, $123,000

N. 2nd St., 2406: KMM Development LLC to B. & T. Rossner, $180,000

N. 2nd St., 3005: F. Ramirez to C. Cox, $180,000

N. 2nd St., 3033: D. Madsen to E. Fleck, $135,500

N. 3rd St., 1322: West End Republican Club to Calder Street Development LLC, $125,000

N. 3rd St., 3006: K. & H. Lewin to C. Chubb, $140,000

N. 4th St., 1731: J. & T. Randolph to F. Fouse & C. Kennedy, $181,000

N. 4th St., 2336: A. & A. Barras to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $55,000

N. 5th St., 3000: M. Evans to K. Short, $209,900

N. 5th St., 3132: R. & D. Corrigan to D. Braun, $186,000

N. 6th St., 1522, 1524 & 1526 and 1521, 1523 & 1527 N. 5th St.: D. Carter to Vice Capital LLC, $500,000

N. 6th St., 2720: T. Hardison to A. & J. Rodriguez, $112,000

N. 14th St., 1110: E&T Enterprises LLC to R. Cortes, $65,000

N. 16th St., 25: Green Giraffe LLC to S. Karki, $142,700

N. 17th St., 99: J. Glick to AOM Capital LLC, $70,000

N. 19th St., 1011: Hilltop Property Group LLC to A. Bouhach, $50,000

N. Summit St., 123: NRA Group LLC to 101 S. 17th Street LLC, $60,000

Orange St., 2308, 2310 & 2312: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to Greenlow Family Trust Utd., $535,935

Oxford St., 611: C. Gorman to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $51,661

Peffer St., 323: Great Row LLC to Global Reach LLC, $82,000

Penn St., 2132: J. & S. Compton to M. & W. Eisenstein, $72,000

Reel St., 2419: R&K Realty Group LP to L. & S. Street, $129,000

Reel St., 2627: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to E. Tatarevic, $132,500

Reel St., 2630: W. Jackson to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $59,000

Regina St., 1710: Matt Walter LLC to BYD Properties, $42,500

Rudy Rd., 2472: A. Maldonado to K. Weldeghbrial, $99,000

Rumson Dr., 305: L. & L. Lara to L. Fidler, $121,000

Sassafras St., 267: B. Koplinski to L. & R. Cline, $92,000

Schuykill St., 536: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to Easter Funding LLC, $179,995

Seneca St., 530: Wofford Enterprises Ltd. to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $65,000

S. 13th St., 405: P. Peffley to S. Marquez & E. Rodriguez, $54,000

S. 13th St., 1441: D. Tran to F. Mbodj, $86,000

S. 17th St., 26: R. Anderson to M. & U. Ali, $56,000

S. 17th St., 303: Anpat LLC to W. Macon, $65,000

S. 17th St., 909: P. Do to Barboza Properties LLC, $670,000

S. 18th St., 31 & 33: Capital City Investment Properties LLC to 63-63 Henry Street LLC, $310,000

S. 26th St., 648: D. Dunlap to M. Rivera, $135,000

S. 29th St., 500: N. Vo & H. Lam to C. Lam, $200,000

State St., 231, Unit 703: S. Khaliq to S. & Y. Yates, $160,000

Susquehanna St., 1520: A. Logan to D. Bunhu, $90,000

Swatara St., 2041: L. & J. Kell to J. Mulvihill, $59,000

Swatara St., 2140: S. Ginder to J. Zabala, $87,600

Sylvan Ter., 121: M. Peguero to A. Jaiyesimi, $85,000

Valley Rd., 2313: K. & E. High to H. Cramer, $225,000

Verbeke St., 216: M. Minnicino to M. Nemeth, $153,500

Walnut St., 228: United States of America to RRF Building LLC, $10,010,000

Whitehall St., 1821: Double C Group Inc. to C. Bonner, $140,000

Whitehall St., 1937: Tassia Corp. to D. Boyle, $40,000

Woodbine St., 626 & 628: L. Flores to D. Boyle, $45,000

Harrisburg property sales for February 2022, greater than $40,000. Source: Dauphin County. Data is assumed to be accurate.


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