Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

August News Digest

A summary of Harrisburg news over the past month

Development Projects Approved

Several Harrisburg development projects focused on serving lower-income residents will move forward following a City Council legislative session last month.

Council took action to push forward an affordable housing development for South Harrisburg, as well as a childcare center, the Catherine Hershey School for Early Learning.

Council unanimously voted to approve a lot consolidation and land development plan for “Sycamore Homes,” a 23-unit affordable apartment building planned for the 1400-block of Sycamore Street, near Foose Elementary School.

Harrisburg developer George Fernandez, CEO of Latino Connection, explained that the $3.4 million project will offer high-quality studio units to lower-income residents.

“What drives us is helping to change what the face of low income looks like,” he said.

Fernandez said that he hopes to begin construction by this fall, with the project completed by fall 2023.

Additionally, council approved a lot consolidation and land development plan for the Catherine Hershey School for Early Learning, which has proposed a childcare facility and school in Uptown Harrisburg.

The building will occupy a 3.44-acre area bounded by Peffer, N. 7th, Muench and N. 6th streets. The school is an arm of the Milton Hershey School and would offer free care and pre-K education to 150 low-income and at-risk children, from birth to 5 years old.

According to Executive Director Senate Alexander, the school will focus on providing kindergarten readiness programming and family support options.

“I look forward to it,” council member Ausha Green said. “I think it’ll be great for the community.”

The project is slated for completion in spring 2024. The school still will need to secure street vacations for several small roads on the project site.

In other news, council approved a resolution to create “Hot Spot Saturdays,” a summer initiative to encourage residents to participate in six community cleanup events, which will take place throughout July, August and September in Harrisburg.


Maclay Street Bridge to be Replaced

A critical link in Harrisburg is set for an upgrade, as PennDOT prepares to replace the Maclay Street Bridge.

Last month, the PA Department of Transportation unveiled its project website and opened up the comment period for its plan to replace the bridge, which carries about 25,000 vehicles a day. The comment period lasts through Aug. 5.

Under the current schedule, the $35 million project would begin in 2024 and last for about two years. The project extends from the Maclay Street/7th Street intersection to Julia Street, which is a half-block west of Cameron Street.

PennDOT describes the existing, 82-year-old bridge as in “poor condition with advanced deterioration to the primary load carrying members.”

Major elements of the bridge project include:

  • Construction of a new, four-span steel girder bridge over the Norfolk Southern Harrisburg Rail Yard, replacing the existing, seven-span bridge, which was built in 1940.
  • Raising the profile of the Maclay Street roadway to increase the vertical clearance of the bridge from 21 feet to 23 feet to better accommodate double-stacked rail cars.
  • Widening of Maclay Street from four lanes to five lanes in the project area.
  • Addition of bicycle lanes in both the eastbound and westbound directions.

As part of the project, the small bridge carrying Maclay Street over Paxton Creek also will be replaced.

The width of both bridges will be increased from 62 feet to 86 feet. The new bridges will have five 11-foot-wide lanes, two 6-foot-wide bike lanes, and two 8-foot-wide sidewalks.

According to PennDOT, construction will be performed in stages while maintaining three lanes of traffic and at least one sidewalk in each stage. The temporary lane configuration will carry two lanes of traffic westbound into the city and one lane of traffic eastbound out of the city.


2022-23 School Budget Passed

The Harrisburg School District has approved a budget for the 2022-23 school year, a spending plan that includes a 3.36% property tax hike.

At a board meeting in late June, Receiver Dr. Lori Suski approved a $223.8 million budget, and the school board voted 6-1 to increase the property tax rate from 29.78 to 30.78 mills. Board Director Roslyn Copeland voted against the increase; directors Jaime Johnson and Terricia Radcliff were not in attendance.

“I am very happy that the board saw fit to approve of the tax structure because that enables us to have a balanced budget and enables us to move forward with some necessary projects for the district,” Suski said.

With the increase, taxpayers pay $30.78 per every $1,000 in assessed property value. However, the 5,609 households in Harrisburg that receive the homestead exemption will actually see a small decrease in their taxes, according to Dr. Marcia Stokes, the district’s business administrator. Additional property tax relief funds this year will increase the exemption, she said.

The district’s 2022-23 budget includes the use of millions of dollars in federal COVID relief funds, making the spending plan much higher than last year’s $184.8 million budget.

The approved final budget is slightly lower than the district’s originally proposed $224.2 million budget.

Harrisburg received an influx of about $50 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding, which it plans to use on projects such as the renovation and reopening of the district’s Steele Elementary School. The district also plans to replace HVAC systems across schools with the funding.

The budget also pays for day-to-day expenditures like instruction, special instruction and staffing costs.


Post Office Set to Move

By the end of the year, Harrisburg’s downtown post office will have a new address.

Last month, Harristown Enterprises announced that the Federal Station Post Office will relocate about one block away, inside of Strawberry Square.

Specifically, the post office will occupy about 2,000 square feet of space on the 300-block of Market Street, in the long-vacant storefront location last occupied by the restaurant, the Gingerbread Man, which closed in 2014, according to Harristown, which owns Strawberry Square.

“We are delighted to announce this news to the public, and we believe Strawberry Square is an excellent location for the new U.S. post office,” said Brad Jones, Harristown’s president and CEO.

The space will be built out and the move completed by the end of 2022, Jones said.

Earlier this year, the federal government sold the Ronald Reagan Federal Building, located at N. 3rd and Walnut streets, to Seychelles-based Global Ocean Investments for $10 million.

As a result, all federal offices located in the building must move, including the post office. The building is expected to be entirely vacant by early 2023.

New building owner Justin Etzin has said that he plans to redevelop the 56-year-old, 251,000-square-foot structure as a 200-unit apartment building with several restaurants and bars.

The federal building sale was prompted by the construction of a new federal courthouse at N. 6th and Reily streets in Harrisburg. The $201 million courthouse project, which includes 243,000 square feet of space, is nearing completion, according to the U.S. General Services Administration.


Plants + Pints Returns

Harrisburg, chew on this—a festival devoted to healthy eating will return this month following a pandemic-induced hiatus.

Plants + Pints Harrisburg, formerly called Harrisburg Veggie Fest, plans to bring the community together to educate people on living a healthy and eco-conscious life by highlighting local farms, vegan and vegetarian businesses and other plant-based products. And, in a unique, central PA twist, there also will be craft beer.

“It’s a wellness community event with a focus on wellness, PA agriculture and craft beer,” said organizer Sara Bozich, CEO and founder of Sara Bozich Events.

The festival will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, in Strawberry Square in Harrisburg.

The event, produced in partnership with Harristown Enterprises and presented by UPMC in Central PA, will benefit two local nonprofit organizations: Downtown Daily Bread and Harrisburg River Rescue and Emergency Services.

Bozich said that the idea came from Harristown Enterprises CEO and President Brad Jones, who has vegan family members and loves craft beer. Jones attended an event in Philadelphia spotlighting plant-based companies and local craft breweries and wanted to bring it to Harrisburg.

The event will feature more than two-dozen plant-based vendors, as well as DJ duo His&Hers and six craft breweries. Bozich also stated that, although everything is plant-based, anything not vegan will be clearly specified.

General admission tickets for adults are $20 and youth ages 12 to 21 are $10. Anyone under 12 years old is free.

Bozich stated that this is an event for everyone, not just those who follow a plant-based lifestyle.

“It’s a community event,” she said. “And proceeds are going back to the community.”


Home Sales Dip, Prices Up

Home sales slipped while prices rose in June, according to the latest report on previously owned houses in the Harrisburg area.

For the three-county region, a total of 770 houses sold in June, compared to 826 in June 2021, as the median price rose to $264,050 from $230,000 last year, said the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors (GHAR).

In Dauphin County, sales dipped to 349 homes versus 389 last June, but the median price increased to $230,500 from $209,000, GHAR said.

Similarly, in Cumberland County, sales slipped to 374 houses, compared to 404 in June 2021, as the median price rose to $315,000 versus $256,750 in the year-ago period, according to GHAR.

Perry County had 43 homes sell in June, an increase of 10 houses from a year ago, as the median price rose to $219,950 from $200,000 in June 2021, GHAR said.

In June, houses also were selling quickly, as “average days on the market” decreased to 13 days versus 16 days last June, according to GHAR.

20 in Their 20s

It soon will be time for local up-and-coming professionals to take the spotlight.

Harrisburg Young Professionals (HYP) announced that nominations are now open for its 2022 “20 In Their 20s” class.

“It’s a good opportunity to highlight people doing good work in their communities,” said HYP Board President Jade Honey.

Anyone between the ages of 20 to 29 who lives or works in Dauphin, Cumberland or Perry counties is eligible for nomination. The nominee must contribute to making a difference in their community or workplace. Twenty young people will be selected and honored.

Nominations are open through Aug. 8. For more information, visit

On Nov. 9, HYP will host its “20 In Their 20s” awards ceremony at the Hilton Harrisburg. Tickets for the event will go on sale Sept. 7.


So Noted

Beacon Clinic for Health and Hope last month was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Highmark Foundation. The grant will allow the Harrisburg-based healthcare clinic to improve its technology systems and offset some staffing costs, according to Beacon.

Blaze Pizza opened last month at 4401 Jonestown Rd. in Colonial Park. It’s the second Harrisburg-area location for the California-based fast-casual restaurant chain, which has about 300 locations nationwide.

David Ozmore last month was named the new president and CEO of the Harrisburg Area YMCA. Ozmore, a long-time YMCA staff member, will assume the post on Aug. 1, replacing long-time CEO Richard A. Curl, who is retiring.

Gina Seibert last month was named the incoming chief financial officer for PSECU. Seibert, who has been with the Susquehanna Township-based credit union for 19 years, replaces Carol Noblit, who announced her retirement.

Harristown Enterprises last month said that it planned to remove the “Chockablock Clock” from Strawberry Square, using the space for a larger stage and second-floor, cantilevered meeting room. The clock, an audio-kinetic ball machine, was designed by George Rhoads and installed in the atrium in 1988.

H*MAC is now a “Live Nation” venue, it was announced last month. Under the multi-year agreement, Live Nation, a leading live entertainment company, will be H*MAC’s exclusive booking partner for the 1,200-person capacity Capitol Room, the largest of several performance spaces in the sprawling arts and restaurant complex in Midtown Harrisburg.

Raising the Bar will open soon in the first-floor commercial space of the newly renovated “Carpets and Draperies” apartment building in the 1500-block of N. 3rd Street in Midtown Harrisburg. Bakery owners Casey Callahan and Timishia Goodson will expand their hours and offerings, which will include sandwiches and coffee, while retaining their stand in the Broad Street Market.

Raymour & Flanigan cut the ribbon last month on its new showroom at 4661 Lindle Rd. in Swatara Township. The retailer offers a wide variety of furniture and décor for home and office.

Steve Sanchez, president of Camp Hill-based JDK Group, has been elected president of the International Caterer’s Association. In this role, he will help spearhead the ICA’s direction for the next two years.


Changing Hands

Argyle St., 41: L. & E. Keefer to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $49,900

Barkley Lane, 2518: L. & B. Grotjan to A. Jayapal, $131,000

Benton St., 631: D. Clark to J. Bonilla, $140,000

Berryhill St., 1421: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to S. Kundilepurayil, $139,995

Berryhill St., 1620: R. Kessler to G. Taylor, $75,000

Berryhill St., 2436: F. Phan to J. Charlton, $96,500

Boas St., 106: A. Nascone to E. Cannady, $210,000

Briggs St., 207: S. & K. Plummer to M. Vogel, $95,000

Briggs St., 255 and 248 Oliver Alley: Eastern State Investments to SJL Rentals, $625,000

Briggs St., 1810: Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. & New Rez LLC to Your New Home LLC, $72,008

Calder St., 107: L. & M. Ferenbaugh to LE Real Estate Trust, $135,000

Calder St., 115: JMW Property Group LLC to W. Boehi & J. Leberman, $258,000

Camp St., 645: J. Gulbin to LHV Properties II LLC, $63,500

Catherine St., 1624: Shope Rentals LLC to First Choice Home Buyers LLC, $40,000

Chestnut St., 1935: N. Doan to J. Hallager, $108,000

Conoy St., 108: D. Wendling to Ashkay Properties LLC, $170,000

Crescent St., 309: R. & B. Lehman to J. Hamilton, $55,000

Crescent St., 328: Z. Gonzalez to C. Rodriguez, $70,000

Derry St., 1521: K. Bitner to 2020 Real Estate Ventures LLC, $60,000

Derry St., 2024: T. Evans to Bertao Family Investments Penn LLC, $70,000

Derry St., 2029: S. Ginder to S. Bailey, $147,400

Derry St., 2348: K. Saengmuang to R. Harbaugh, $70,000

Derry St., 2626: F. & M. Morris to Portee Properties LLC, $155,000

Duke St., 2446: R. Martin to T. Desta, $83,500

Duke St., 2452: M. & D. Graeff to P. Carter, $124,900

Elm St., 1644: First Choice Home Buyers LLC to D. Boyle, $50,000

Forster St., 2011A: L. & E. Keefer to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $64,900

Forster St., 2013: L. & E. Keefer to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $59,300

Green St., 1020: J. & H. Piper to R. Chelsey, $185,000

Green St., 1630: B. & L. Bauman to Big Leaf Properties LLC, $200,000

Green St., 1702: J. & S. Lebron to J. Barrie, $245,000

Green St., 1908: G. & T. Washington to L. Silverberg, $241,000

Green St., 2015: National Residential Nominee Services Inc. to A. & W. Jamgochian, $280,000

Green St., 2146: J. & S. Compton to R. Gillette, $65,000

Green St., 2237: J. Compton to El Gamwo LLC, $115,000

Green St., 2338: E. Chattah to D. Harris, $159,000

Hale Ave., 204: BP Real Estate Investment Group LP to D. & L. McKinnie, $255,000

Hamilton St., 202: D. & R. Stachow to SJL Rentals LLC, $160,000

Hamilton St., 334: D. Monzon to Bitsy & Tino Enterprises LLC, $135,000

Harris St., 416: M. Riegel to M. Gomez, $130,000

Herr St., 267: S. & D. Kaplan to J. & R. Thompson, $230,000

Hoerner St., 117: A&K Investments Partnership LLC to Y. & J. Colon, $85,000

Holly St., 1937: CR Property LLC to M. & E. Kaiser, $125,000

Industrial Rd., 4230: Cottage Real Estate LLC to 4230 Industrial Rd. LLC, $2,175,000

Jefferson St., 2620: M. Galvez to A. Rosario, $60,000

Jefferson St., 2717: L. & E. Keefer to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $61,400

Jefferson St., 2717: L. & E. Keefer to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $64,900

Kelker St., 232: J. & A. Webb to 232 Kelker LLC, $195,000

Kensington St., 2006: S. Carr to A. Ryabukha, $65,500

Lewis St., 100: E. & Y. Friedman to W. Yankey & N. Scarcia, $249,000

Lexington St., 2558: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to RA Love Homes LLC, $159,500

Liberty St., 1412: Mainline Funding Group Inc. to D. Boyle, $55,225

Logan St., 1931: Capital Real Estate Group to D. Boyle, $40,000

Logan St., 2141: E. Alacantara to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $52,000

Logan St., 2143: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to M. Estrada, $130,000

Logan St., 2163: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to M. Estrada, $130,000

Logan St., 2417: DMA Rentals LLC to J. Mbuthia, $105,000

Manada St., 1938: W. & N. Williams to L. Lobos, $115,000

Market St., 1641: M. & G. Stiffler to J. & M. Gonzalez, $46,250

Market St., 1642: Lynn & Ryan Investment Properties LLC to 2020 Real Estate Ventures LLC, $51,000

Market St., 1917: S. Lynch to SPG Capital LLC, $118,500

May St., 916: A. Weedon to Integrity First Home Buyers LLC, $45,000

Mercer St., 2425: S. Hill to K. & T. Monroe, $96,100

Muench St., 313: Awakening Enterprises LLC to R. Cortes, $93,000

Mulberry St., 1813: EB & ZEE LLC to JM Thrift & Vintage LLC, $69,360

Mulberry St., 2004: T. Taylor to Z. Roudi & M. Maniari, $119,995

Naudain St., 1529: Keim Brothers LLC to D. & S. Tucker, $50,999

North St., 1836: B. & R. Lomax to J. Paulino, $85,000

North St., 1838: B. & R. Lomax to T. Bauserman & J. Hoskins, $76,500

North St., 1906: T. Davis & R. Wilder to S. Patterson, $72,000

N. 2nd St., 1117: 1117 N. 2nd Street LLC to CWJK Holdings LLC, $497,000

N. 2nd St., 1601: Lynn & Ryan Investment Properties LLC to D. & A. Hoffman, $370,000

N. 2nd St., 2135: Heller Investments to T. Wadlinger, $142,855

N. 2nd St., 2802: P. Kessler to K. & J. Reed, $244,900

N. 2nd St., 2812: J. & K. Reed to L. & N. Hunsinger, $420,000

N. 2nd St., 3228: R. & C. McAllister to Toch Investments LLC, $70,000

N. 3rd St., 1708: D. Cobb to Y. Miller, $185,000

N. 3rd St., 2014: S. & C. Payson to C. & L. Eby, $270,000

N. 3rd St., 2500 & 2518: Kesher Israel Congregation to M. & A. Reuveni, $200,000

N. 5th St., 3138: S. Cameron to L. Confer, $166,000

N. 6th St., 2607: A. Clark to B. Costa, $50,000

N. 12th St., 43: J. Hardy to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $45,000

N. 12th St., 54: J. Achenbach to I. Colon, $42,000

N. 15th St., 1215: A. & M. Hayden to T WY Enterprise LLC, $48,000

N. 18th St., 614: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to RA Love Homes LLC, $159,900

N. 19th St., 712½: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to M. Estrada, $149,900

N. Front St., 1525, Unit 312: R. & C. Chaudhuri to J. Bowles, $180,000

N. Front St., 1525, Unit 504: J. Brown to W. & L. Renz, $284,900

N. Front St., 1525, Unit 507: C. Tomlinson to X. Samuel, $135,000

Peffer St., 216: Grentals LLC and Wix Wenger & Weidner to 216 Peffer LLC, $220,000

Pennwood Rd., 3015: S. & F. Harp to D&J Properties, $80,000

Pennwood Rd., 3133: M. Mumma to BP Real Estate Investment Group LP, $98,000

Putnam St., 1620: A. Adams to J. Alvarez, $160,000

Race St., 558: M. Kramer to F. Yarwood, $172,500

Radnor St., 625: R. Rammouni to Integrity First Home Buyers LLC, $95,000

Reel St., 2412: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to D. Tobe, $139,995

Reel St., 2732: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to RA Love Homes LLC, $149,500

Regina St., 1700: Safarii Properties LLC to A. Miller, $210,000

Reily St., 215: B. & L. Bauman to Big Leaf Properties LLC, $200,000

Rose St., 931: P. Van Rossum to W. & K. Hemler, $52,500

Rudy Rd., 2257: K. Krusko to B. & A. Dunfrund, $275,000

Rudy Rd., 2482: 2482 Rudy Road Trust to K. Ross Seals, $84,000

Seneca St., 530: Neidlinger Enterprises LLC to RA Love Homes LLC, $159,500

Seneca St., 615: M. & G. Toro to N. Dunbar, $95,500

S. 14th St., 328: M. Valdez to J. Meija, $50,000

S. 14th St., 349: G. Vargas to D. Boyle, $45000

S. 14th St., 437: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to Chand Living Trust, $139,995

S. 16th St., 566: M. Dones to D. Illanes, $68,000

S. 18th St., 1323: McCoy Rentals LLC to R. Rammouni, $62,000

S. 19th St., 1111: K. Saqib to D. Strausbaugh, $188,000

S. 19th St., 1125: Mann Realty Associates to J. Halkias, $205,000

S. 19th St., 1129: M. Montano to R. Gutierrez, $147,000

S. 20th St., 614: G. Hanslovan to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $65,000

S. 21st St., 1000: K. Roach to Golden Brick Road LLC, $607,143

S. 27th St., 803: B. Turner & B. Faulkner to M. Arellano & V. Bravo, $150,000

S. Cameron St., 1327: J. Swigart to Rainey’s Lighthouse LLC, $95,000

State St., 112: Pennsylvania Republican Home Inc. to Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Inc., $750,000

State St., 231, Unit 805: M. Tantardini to B. Azevedo, $185,000

Swatara St., 2042: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to D. Boyle, $43,500

Swatara St., 2051: J. & L. Krum to K. McClain, $123,000

Verbeke St., 1330: K. Byers to J. Castro, $190,000

Wendy St., 1126: Keystone K9 LLC to Warnell LLC, $1,850,000

Whitehall St., 2021: Sunny Day Real Estate Solutions LLC to M. McCall, $155,000

Wiconisco St., 564: D. Fernandez to J. Cruz & A. Sanchez, $160,000

Wyatt St., 310: M. & E. Shapiro to G. Archer, $142,500


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


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