Over the last few decades, Market Street in downtown Harrisburg has been transformed by such projects as Whitaker Center, Harrisburg University and the Rachel Carson Building.
Another project is now on the boards that again would change the complexion and the skyline of the key commercial corridor.
Harristown Development and Select Capital Commercial Properties are teaming to build a new, mixed-use building in the center of the 300-block of Market Street, directly across from Strawberry Square.
“This is the last area on Market Street in the core of downtown that needs redevelopment,” said Harristown CEO Brad Jones. “This is the final piece.”
The developers envision a 10- to 12-story, 100,000-plus-square-foot office and retail building at 307 to 313 Market St. The building–called 311 Market Street–also would have several floors of parking and might include residential space.
For the past few years, Harristown has been purchasing properties to assemble the site. Last week, the company closed on the final, and largest, piece, buying the former Rite Aid drug store from the Camp Hill-based company for just over $1 million. That low-slung building has been empty since Rite Aid relocated a few years ago into Strawberry Square.
Jones said that plans are to demolish the existing structures, probably next year. In the meantime, the developers hope to recruit an anchor tenant.
He said that the building would suit any company or organization seeking a large amount of new office space in the heart of Harrisburg, such as a corporate headquarters. The building would be able to support 500 to 1,000 workers, he said, depending upon office configurations.
If construction is delayed following demolition, the developers would turn the site into a “pocket park” in the interim, a space that could be used for events, Jones said.
“We would have a nice transitional use,” he said.
Harristown this year applied for a state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant in the amount of $5 million for the project, which is estimated to cost $25 to $40 million in all. It didn’t receive the funds, but will apply again next year, Jones said.