Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg City Council approves former Methodist Church transformation, six-story downtown apartment building

The former First United Methodist Church will become apartments.

A few Harrisburg developers have cleared the final hurdle to begin their projects.

At a Tuesday night legislative session, City Council approved land development plans to convert a vacant church into an apartment building and another to build a six-story apartment and retail building, along with four other projects.

Developer Derek Dilks plans to transform the former First United Methodist Church at 260 Boas St. into an eight-unit apartment building. He received zoning relief for the $1.2 million project in January in order to change the use of the 140-year-old church building.

Also approved were a range of renovation projects that Dilks plans for downtown. These include:

  • 25 N. Front St., converting an office building into an eight-unit apartment building
  • 321 N. Front St., converting an office building into a six-unit apartment building
  • 130 State St. converting an office building into a five-unit apartment building

With a unanimous vote, Harristown Development can also move forward on its project at 21 S. 2nd Street. The company plans to construct a six-story, mixed-use building with apartments, offices and first-floor retail space.

Harristown purchased the property in 2017, demolishing the blighted commercial building that then occupied the site.

Other approved resolutions included:

  • 1605-1609 Swatara St., consolidating and re-subdividing the parcels comprising the project site into three parcels and constructing three, single-family townhomes
  • Awarding up to $10,000 in funding to the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium to co-sponsor the Pennsylvania Environmental Justice Symposium

Several more land development plans for new projects are slated to appear on the City Council agenda in the coming weeks, including the “Carpets and Draperies” building on N. 3rd St., a long-blighted retail building that will be repurposed as apartments.

Also coming to council is a large project in the block bounded by Boyd Street, N. 5th Street, Reily Street and Fulton Street, which will include 85 apartments, a grocery store and a parking garage.

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