Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Condo building envisioned for former Salvation Army building in Midtown Harrisburg

A rendering of the exterior of “The Lofts”

New condominiums appear headed for Midtown, as a Harrisburg-area developer is proposing over a dozen market-rate units in the former Salvation Army building.

Wormleysburg-based Integrated Development Partners has plans to construct 16 efficiency, one-bedroom and two-bedroom condo units in the mid-century brick building located at Cumberland and Green streets, said Jonathan Bowser, a managing partner. The building would be renamed “The Lofts” due to the high ceilings in several of the units, he said.

“It’s a nice building in a nice, historic neighborhood,” Bowser said, when reached by phone. “For us, it’s critically important to keep the character of the building, which maintains the character of the neighborhood.”

The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region left its long-time home in late 2019 after moving into a new, larger facility on S. 29th Street. The 18,500-square-foot building has been on the market for many years and includes a small parking lot that fronts Penn Street and another, larger parking lot across on Green Street.

Earlier this year, another developer, Michael Lam, proposed a 25-unit apartment building for the space. However, he bowed out as the coronavirus pandemic hit. His proposal also received substantial pushback from the community, with some residents asserting that his plan was too dense.

Bowser, a former chair of the Broad Street Market board, said that his company pursued the building after Lam dropped out.

“There’s the new courthouse and other plans that I believe are boosting the demand—the need—for housing,” he said. “So, we decided to look into that opportunity.”

In addition, the market for housing in Midtown has improved immensely for both rentals and sales, driven in part by the relocation of people to Harrisburg from larger cities, Bowser said.

The front of the Salvation Army building on Green Street

Right now, the plan, Bowser said, is to build for-sale, market-rate condo units, ranging in size from about 650 square feet to about 1,200 square feet. However, that plan is fluid and could change if the company deemed rental apartments to be a better option, he said.

“There isn’t enough condo product in the walkable downtown or Midtown,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of vacancies there.”

He declined to provide a potential range of sales prices.

The project would retain the parking lot across the street, which includes 32 secure parking spaces for residents. A brick building on that lot probably will be converted to storage units or maybe a gym for residents, he said.

The parking lot for the building

Bowser said that he expects to begin the city approval process in January and hopes to begin construction in the summertime, for delivery in early 2022. His company has a contract on the building pending site plan approval from the city.

Bowser and his partners founded Integrated Development Partners in 2018 after he left as CEO of the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp., where he served for over six years.

Since then, the company has undertaken numerous new construction and historic conversion projects, including the mixed-used Steel Works revitalization project in Steelton.

“We really like adaptive reuse,” Bowser said. “We (he and his partners) are all born and raised here and want to see our community do well.”

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