Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Developer halts rezoning effort in Midtown Harrisburg, vows more community engagement in new year

These undeveloped parcels at Reily and N. 6th streets make up part of the area that a developer would like to rezone.

A Harrisburg developer has halted an effort to change zoning for a swath of Midtown Harrisburg, stating that his company will put off any further action until next year.

Ian Wewer, the director of development and operations for Seven Bridges Development, said on Thursday that his company will not immediately pursue a change in zoning for a 14-block area just north of the Broad Street Market.

“After collecting the feedback of the residents of Midtown Harrisburg and the surrounding areas, Seven Bridges is withdrawing the Zoning Amendment Application for the proposed area of Midtown,” Wewer said, in an email to TheBurg.

In April, the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority (HRA) named Seven Bridges as its potential developer in the Marketplace townhouse community. The HRA holds some 60 lots in the area, after buying them back earlier this year from State College-based S&A Homes, which stopped developing in the neighborhood more than a decade ago.

Before undertaking any projects, Seven Bridges stated that it needed to change the zoning for the area from “residential medium neighborhood” to “commercial neighborhood,” which would permit greater height, density and mix of uses. A split city Planning Commission recommended the zoning change in early October.

The company was due to make a presentation before City Council on Tuesday on the amendment, as council members need to approve any zoning change. That presentation has now has been cancelled.

“Our intent is to return in the new year with an application infused with greater community involvement and input in the design of the future of their community,” Wewer wrote.

Seven Bridges held a community meeting in September on its zoning change proposal and was met with a mix of support and skepticism from residents. The same occurred at a second, well-attended meeting last month, with several residents requesting greater detail on what Seven Bridges planned to build.

To date, Seven Bridges has been reluctant to reveal details about potential projects, saying only that they may include a mix of residential and commercial uses.

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