Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

January News Digest

AutoZone Veto Overturned

Harrisburg City Council last month rejected the wishes of the city’s mayor, unanimously overturning a veto that will allow an auto parts store to proceed with plans to locate in Harrisburg.

By a vote of 7-0, council affirmed its December vote to let AutoZone, a Memphis-based car parts store, advance in the city planning process as it seeks to build a store at N. 7th and Maclay streets.

Their vote vacated several unused “paper streets” on the lot owned by Susquehanna Township-based Vartan Group, which wants to sell the property to AutoZone.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse vetoed the measure, arguing that the city could use its discretion in approving street vacations to ask developers to abide by community standards, including the creation of affordable housing and job opportunities for minority and women laborers.

For example, council could withhold approval for a street vacation until a developer agrees to set aside affordable units in a housing project or employ local laborers—particularly minorities—on job sites.

“I think there is an opportunity for City Council to establish a review criteria for street vacations linked to the land development process that will help the city achieve some of its goals with regard to contracting and affordable housing,” Papenfuse said.

Council members, though, bristled at what they said was a new rationale for controlling a development project.

“The mayor has not sent down any legislation to address affordable housing or [minority business] participation,” Councilwoman Shamaine Daniels said. “So, I really I find this administration’s position just to be really artifice and not anything of much substance.”

Budget Dispute Resolved

Harrisburg City Council and the administration agreed to resolve a 2019 budget dispute without changing the original spending plan.

The approved, $70.8 million municipal budget contained flat spending compared to the prior year and no tax increases.

After a one-week delay, council members did not amend the mayor’s proposed budget, but they did attach two conditions to their approval. First, the mayor must provide written justification for awarding salary increases greater than 5 percent, and, secondly, must provide council with quarterly reports of unused salary funds.

Council also amended the 2019 budget to re-institute the director of community and economic development position, a role that was omitted from the city’s organizational chart as part of Mayor Eric Papenfuse’s proposed reorganization of city departments.

The amendment does not carry any new funding, so the city’s 2019 spending plan is unchanged. Councilman Ben Allatt said that the council will seek grants in the new year to pay the salary for a new director.

As always, the city’s largest operating expenditure in 2019 — $32.7 million — will be for personnel. Debt service and healthcare will eat up $9.8 million and $11 million from the operating budget, respectively. The budget also allocates $6.8 million in capital improvement spending.

Even though personnel expenses increased by $500,000 from 2018, Papenfuse said a priority for the 2019 budget is to maintain Harrisburg’s current staff capacity, which his administration has rebuilt after years of austerity.

Rather than add new personnel in 2019, the mayor proposed reorganizing the city’s departments to more closely align with the city council committee structure.

The city’s new organizational chart creates seven city departments to correspond with the seven council committees. The chart dissolves the Department of Community of Economic Development and replaces it with the Department of Engineering and Development.


Body Camera RFP Issued

The Harrisburg Police Bureau is eyeing a late spring launch for its department-wide body camera program, according to city hall documents.

The police bureau last month issued a request for proposals (RFP) to potential vendors, inviting them to submit cost estimates and specifications for 100 body-worn police cameras and a video storage system.

Bidders must provide detailed descriptions of their camera equipment and IT services, as well as a budget narrative that includes a unit price for cameras and accessories, a price for cloud-based video storage, and a fixed yearly rate for maintenance and support.

The RFP does not state a budget for the new program. The bureau was given $150,000 in Harrisburg’s 2019 budget to purchase body camera equipment, a figure that included $80,000 in unspent funds from 2018.

City officials announced in September 2017 that they would equip the city’s uniformed patrol officers with body cameras the following year.

The program was delayed, however, as police officials tried to determine which specifications they needed in recording and video storage equipment.


Kline Plaza Sells

Harrisburg’s Kline Plaza has sold to a New York-based realty company, which hopes to bring new life to the aging shopping center.

Nassimi Realty LLC, based in Manhattan, bought the mid-20th century, low-slung retail and office complex for $8.7 million on Dec. 24, according to Dauphin County property records.

Kevin Nassimi, vice president of leasing, said that the family-run company was interested in the property because “this is what we do.”

“The agent for the seller brought us the opportunity, and it made sense for us,” he said.

The company specializes in multi-unit retail and currently owns 25 million square feet of shopping center space in the eastern United States, including four other properties in Pennsylvania, Nassimi said.

Kline Village, located near the city line with Penbrook, is anchored by Giant Food, which recently signed a 10-year lease extension, and includes a Fine Wine and Good Spirits store, a Rent-a-Center and a Family Dollar, in addition to several other stores, a gas station and a state Department of Health walk-in location.

Nassimi purchased the property for about half the price of the last sale. According to Dauphin County, KOP Kline Plaza LLC, another New York-based realty investment group, bought the complex for $17.3 million in 2004.

Kevin Nassimi attributed the much lower sales price to 10 current vacancies in the 240,000-square-foot complex, including two office tenants that recently left.

“That’s a big hit financially,” he said. “That’s a tall task.”


Commissioners Seek Re-Election

Long-time incumbents Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George Hartwick last month announced their intention to run for re-election for four-year terms as Dauphin County commissioners.

Republicans Haste and Pries have served on the three-member board since 2002 and 2010, respectively. Hartwick, a Democrat, was first elected in 2003.

In their re-election announcements, all three incumbents cited 14 years without a county property tax increase as a significant accomplishment.

Diane Bowman, a former Susquehanna Township commissioner, will join Hartwick as his running mate on the Democratic side.

This year, the primary election is slated for May 21, with the general election on Nov. 5.

So Noted

Barley Snyder last month announced that attorney Sarah C. Yerger had joined its Harrisburg office as part of the law firm’s employment practice group. Yerger worked for more than 13 years in the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office, moving to the private sector in 2013.

Elementary Coffee Co. announced last month plans to open a new roastery and coffee shop at 256 North St., Harrisburg. Owner Andrea Grove said that she expects to open this spring inside the newly renovated building, but will retain her stand in the Broad Street Market.

Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC boards of directors last month named Barb Bowker of PSECU as chair of the chamber and Jeannine Peterson of Hamilton Health Center as chair of CREDC for 2019. Other Chamber officers for 2019 include Tom Sposito of S&T Bank, Merone Yemane of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Greg Gunn of Gunn-Mowery, Karen Gunnison of Capital Blue Cross and Zachary Khuri of First National Bank. Other CREDC officers for 2019 include Ben Dunlap of Nauman Smith, Mayur Patel of Laughner Patel Developers, Mike Funck of Wohlsen Construction, Casey Khuri of NAI CIR and Wade Becker of RKL.

PSECU last month named George Rudolph as its new president. Rudolph will join PSECU in April to succeed the retiring Greg Smith, who has served as PSECU’s president for the past 28 years.

S&T Bank last month promoted Jordan Space to executive vice president, market president for the central Pennsylvania region. Space, who joined S&T in 2015, also was recently appointed to the Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s board of trustees. In addition, he is a member of the Lancaster City Alliance executive leadership team.

UPMC Pinnacle plans to add several floors to its West Shore Hospital in Hampden Township to accommodate the growing needs of area residents. Plans call for adding floors above the emergency department to provide 58 more beds. The Ortenzio Cancer Center at UPMC Pinnacle is also expanding its cancer programs to include infusion treatment for thoracic, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, head and neck and other cancers.

Urban Churn announced last month that it would open an ice cream production and retail space at 1004 N. 3rd St. in Harrisburg. Owner Adam Brackbill expects the craft creamery and scoop shop to open in early spring. Urban Churn also has a stand inside the Broad Street Market, which Brackbill plans to retain.

Changing Hands

Adrian St., 2245: S. Nolan to A. Kusery, $69,000

Adrian St., 2253: D. Rivera to E. Rivera Jr., $70,000

Antoine St., 500: L. Benzie to R. & P. Kotz, $165,000

Benton St., 620: PA Deals LLC to E. Shenk, $65,900

Benton St., 632: LMK Properties LLC to R. & B. Lomax, $30,000

Berryhill St., 2419: D. Seng to PT Capital Properties LLC, $55,000

Boas St., 414: A. Antoun to Berlin Group LLC, $75,000

Boas St., 420: M. Cohen to PA Deals LLC, $55,000

Calder St., 209: D. Weaver to M. Packard & C. DeAngelis, $143,500

Cumberland St., 121: J. & K. Bowser to J. Gurreri, $124,900

Delaware St., 263: Secretary of Veterans Affairs to R. & C. Steele, $67,000

Delaware St., 267: J. Renue to H. St. Phard, $127,500

Duke St., 2441: T. Nguyen & D. Thu to A. & R. Clark, $60,000

Fillmore St., 622: KAB Rental Properties LLC to S. Pierce, $68,500

Forster St., 2007: J. Claiborn to S. & M. Simpson, $55,000

Green St., 1319: K. Umbenhauer to V. Bajpai & J. Pierce, $109,900

Green St., 1712: S. Heredia to S. Jusufovic, $35,000

Green St., 1904: S. Watkins to R. & A. Gonsar, $195,000

Greenwood St., 2031: M. & M. Kochenour to S. Thomas, $82,000

Hillside Rd., 210: P. & M. Walsh to C. Rockwell, $107,000

Hoffman St., 3102: J. & A. Edwards to E. Mishler, $129,900

Holly St., 2002: Skye Holdings LLC to J. Elias Holdings LLC, $32,000

Hunter St., 1535: S. Costa to Delmax Properties LLC, $35,000

Kensington St., 1918 & 1920: Rohrer Rentals and B., C. & K. Rohrer to J. Willingham, $45,500

Lewis St., 320: B. Williams to Wyco Investments LLC, $53,500

Magnolia Dr., 2402: J. Hamburg to R. Gatling, $170,900

Manada St., 1918: 2013 Central PA Real Estate LLC to 1918 Manada Street LLC, $64,900

Market St., 1152, 1152½ & 1154: S. Peart to 1152 1154 Market St. LLC, $135,000

Market St., 1842: Adonis Real Estate LLC to A. & R. Clark, $92,000

Market St., 1916: C. Centeno to J. Alvarado, $41,500

Muench St., 607: N. Clouser to Buonarroti Trust, $35,000

North St., 1842: SRJ Realty to Sunshine ABQ Real Estate Investment LLC, $34,250

N. 2nd St., 110, 112 & 115; 211 Locust St.; 206 Walnut St.: Sandton Fund II Holdings LLC & NAI CIR to Second & Locust Investors LLC, $1,850,000

N. 2nd St., 515: Candlelight Properties Inc. to E. & H. Harbilas, $525,000

N. 2nd St., 1001: Tang & Perkins LLC to AON LLC, $212,000

N. 2nd St., 1319: A. Pruett to A. Black, $95,000

N. 2nd St., 1909: S. Jusufovic to S. Catanese, $167,000

N. 2nd St., 2432: M. & R. England to B. Eisner, $60,501

N. 2nd St., 2443: M. Myers to M. & R. Row, $112,500

N. 2nd St., 2735: K. & H. Thornton to B. Eisner, $123,201

N. 2nd St., 2841: W. & W. Miller to Michael Barrett Market Street LLC, $200,000

N. 2nd St., 2846: G. Harke & B. Voss to C. Souchek, $126,500

N. 3rd St., 1211: T. & E. Chance to C. & L. Eby, $145,000

N. 3rd St., 2211: D. Chen to J. & A. Sanderson & B. Sheaffer, $92,500

N. 3rd St., 3020: PA Deals LLC to D. & K. Borelli, $99,900

N. 4th St., 1630: Leahy Family Trust to J. Parfitt, $91,500

N. 5th St., 1619: RMAC Trust & Rushmore Loan Management Services LLC to R. Par, $67,500

N. 5th St., 3009: N. Acharya to T. Fenderson, $119,900

N. 5th St., 3108: J. Charlton to P. Stawski, $74,000

N. 6th St., 2526: G. Neff to L. & N. Perry, $34,000

N. 10th St., 23 & 27: Equity Trust Co. FBO Robert Clay IRA to 812 Market Inc. & Property Management Inc., $100,000

N. 10th St., 31: R. & B. Clay to 812 Market Inc. Property Management, $250,000

N. 19th St., 26: A. & S. Ali to D. Paulino, $70,000

N. Front St., 1525, Unit 307: PA Housing Finance Agency & U.S. Bank National Association Trustee to K. Russell, $85,900

N. Front St., 1605: M. Sibrava to AON LLC, $595,000

Paxton St., 1638: CNC Realty Group LLC & C. Brown Sr. to AUM Investments LP, $36,000

Paxton St., 1726: Kirsch & Burns LLC to L. Dinh & T. Truong, $48,000

Peffer St., 232: E. Horn to S. Leister, $119,900

Regina St., 1813: Atlantic North Star Properties LLC to Sunshine ABQ Real Estate Investment LLC, $30,000

Reily St., 309: L. Fickes & J. Heath to M. & A. Manning, $95,275

Rumson Dr., 2639: J. & C. Renninger to R. Asplen, $87,500

Rumson Dr., 2856: Zelda Marilyn Rosenbaum Trust to S. Aiken, $76,000

Sassafras St., 203: R. Sohmer to W. & E. Branter, $85,000

Seneca St., 217: D. & V. Fry to M. Hoffman, $140,000

Seneca St., 239: A. Manderino to J. Payne, $72,000

Seneca St., 323: A. Otwell to M. & R. Khan, $35,000

Showers St., 577: C. Mulkey to M. Koerner & A. Koch, $104,900

Showers St., 607: C. & R. Haigh to E. Moffet, $143,000

Showers St., 716: N. & R. Godfrey to L. Kraynak, $134,000

S. 13th St., 1531: J. Beebe to Fruition Holdings LLC, $61,500

S. 15th St., 351: M. Gray to R. Levasseur & R. Similien, $30,000

S. 18th St., 916: Crist Holdings LLC to 916 S. 18th LLC, $325,000

S. 19th St., 232: S. & K. Sanderson to B. Dessalegn, $30,000

S. 25th St., 101 & 101 Rear S. 25th St.: KOP Kline Plaza LLC & Ryan LLC Tax Compliance to Kline Plaza LLC & Nassimi Realty LLC, $8,700,000

S. Front St., 315: S. Eicher to K. Campbell, $144,000

State St., 231, Unit 101: LUX 1 LP to Commonwealth Entrepreneurs LLC, $362,500

State St.,. 1720: Vista Properties LLC to J. Virbitsky, $82,300

State St., 1812: R. Burnett to R. Burnett Sr., $55,000

State St., 1934: D. Schneider to Wilton Hampshire LLC, $85,000

Swatara St., 1914: P. Miller Sr. to A. Padua, $31,000

Swatara St., 2144: D. Selvey to K. & F. Pichardo, $94,000

Woodbine St., 420: T. Griese to J. Cheatham, $51,500
Harrisburg property sales for December 2018, greater than $30,000. Source: Dauphin County. Data is assumed to be accurate.

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