Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Commonwealth to construct new building for 900 state workers on D&H Distributing site

The D&H Distributing building in Uptown Harrisburg

When D&H Distributing announced its departure from Harrisburg, many city residents wondered what would replace the company at its longstanding Uptown headquarters.

Now we know.

Today, the state Department of General Services announced that the commonwealth plans to build a three-story, 120,000-square-foot building to house hundreds of workers displaced from the former Harrisburg State Hospital grounds in Susquehanna Township.

“We are glad to be able to announce the award of this lease that will put nearly 900 employees into a physically and technologically advanced workspace,” said DGS Secretary Curt Topper, in a statement. “In addition to being the lowest-cost option, this new building will bring those employees into the downtown area where they can contribute to, and enhance, the local economy.”

[Editor’s note: the location is in Uptown, not downtown, Harrisburg.]

In January, D&H announced that it would move to a new office campus in Lower Paxton Township  after almost seven decades on the 2500-block of N. 7th Street.

DGS said that the new office building will house employees from the Office of Administration’s Office of Information Technology and the Department of Human Services, including staff from offices of its medical assistance programs, income maintenance, administration, youth and families and its 24/7 ChildLine operations.

Most workers will be relocated from buildings at the former State Hospital, which the state is trying to sell. Some also will relocate from an office building on Herr Street and the Office of Medical Assistance Programs space in Camp Hill.

According to DGS, the state is entering into a build-to-suit lease with Hudson Asset Advisors, which will demolish the low-slung, sprawling D&H building. On the site, it then will build a 120,000-square-foot building with 1,000 parking spaces.

DGS expects to break ground in early 2020, with the first workers moving in during the first quarter of 2021.

DGS did not reveal financial terms, but said that it would once the pricing and terms of the lease are finalized in a few months.

“Currently, Human Services employees at the DGS Annex are spread across multiple buildings,” said Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller, in a statement. “Moving to a centralized, technologically advanced space creates opportunities to improve processes and create efficiencies that can strengthen our work.”

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