Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Developer unveils plans for 2 Midtown apartment buildings, additional construction planned

A rendering of the apartment building that Seven Bridges Development plans to build at N. 4th and Calder streets.

A Harrisburg-based developer today unveiled a plan to build two small apartment buildings in a suddenly hot development area in the city.

Seven Bridges Property Development held a public event at the site of one of the proposed development parcels at Calder and N. 4th streets, where it wants to construct a nine-unit building.

The company also has plans to construct a 12-unit building a block away at Calder and Marion streets, said Ian Wewer, director of development and operations for Seven Bridges. Both buildings would contain one-bedroom apartments ranging from 700 to 900 square feet.

Wewer said that Seven Bridges plans to begin the land development approval process in November, with an appearance before the city Planning Commission. The project’s land development plan also must be OK’d by City Council.

Seven Bridges hopes to break ground in the spring and anticipates a three-to-five month construction timeframe for the 4th Street building, followed by a similar timeframe for the other building, Wewer said. He projects monthly rents in the $800 to $1,000 range, with two “workforce” units that would rent for about 80 percent of the market rate.

The grassy lot where Seven Bridges Development hopes to build at N. 4th and Calder streets.

The Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority currently owns the land, but has granted Seven Bridges “potential developer” status for 60 parcels throughout the MarketPlace neighborhood, a 14-block area just north of the Broad Street Market.

Wewer said that his company considers these two buildings to be the first of many, as they would like to build on other empty lots in the neighborhood.

Earlier this year, another developer, Midtown Development LLP, believed that it had secured the rights to build on these lots. However, the HRA later asserted that Seven Bridges continued to have potential development rights through the end of the year.

The HRA did give Midtown Development “potential developer status” for 106 parcels in Capitol Heights, a neighborhood north of Reily Street that has experienced little development in over a decade after the original builder, Baltimore-based Struever Rouse Homes, abandoned the project in 2009.

Chris Bryce, a Midtown Development principal, said that his Harrisburg-based company plans to begin building single-family town homes soon on the lots.

The Reily Street corridor has become a development hotspot now that the new federal courthouse is rising at the corner of N. 6th and Reily streets. The 243,000-square-foot building is slated for completion in summer 2022.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the HRA approved “potential developer” status to another group that wishes to build in the immediate area.

A partnership called KevGar Holdco LLC wants to build the “Judicial Office Center at Midtown” on 40 lots, 25 of which are currently owned by the HRA, between Reily, Boyd, Fulton and N. 5th streets. The project would consist of a five-story, 75,000-square-foot office and retail building, along with a five-story parking garage with 420 parking spaces.

At the HRA meeting on Tuesday, company principal Kevin Baird, a Philadelphia-area businessman, said that a portion of the garage likely would be reserved for courthouse users, though most would be available for other parking customers. His partner in KevGar is Gary Nalbandian, a founder of both Lemoyne-based NAI CIR realty brokerage and Mechanicsburg-based Metro Bank.

To help finance the project, KevGar has put in an application for $3.7 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant. The commonwealth is expected to announce 2020 RACP grant recipients soon.

Following the HRA meeting on Tuesday, Baird declined further comment except to say that the project is still early in the development process.

“It’s all a big ‘if’ right now,” he said. “A lot of things need to come together.”

Last year, the state awarded a $2 million RACP grant to another proposed project in the immediate area. GreenWorks Development wants to construct a 135,000-square-foot, 135-unit apartment building, along with street-level retail, at 320 Reily St., which is currently a parking lot.

The project has not yet gone through the city’s land development approval process.

The Seven Bridges event on Wednesday was well attended, including by people who live in the neighborhood.

“I want property values to go up, and I know that new construction will do that,” said resident Pat Edwards. “There needs to be a happy medium for making the city better.”

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