Council Approves Projects, Artifact Sale
At a final legislative meeting before taking a summer break, Harrisburg City Council last month approved two development projects.
A village of tiny homes for veterans on S. Front Street can move forward, along with a mixed-use office and apartment building on N. Cameron Street.
The tiny home village received a vote of 6-1, with council member Shamaine Daniels voting against it.
The project was proposed last year by the nonprofit Veterans Outreach of Pennsylvania, which plans to build 15 tiny houses and a community center at 1103 S. Front St. to provide temporary housing and support services for homeless veterans.
At the council meeting, some residents expressed concern with the site of the project, saying that it was prone to flooding.
However, representatives with the nonprofit said that, while the area is in the floodplain, they plan to build the houses a few feet off of the ground, alleviating flooding concerns.
In a 5-2 council vote, another development proposal—converting a long-abandoned building into office and apartment space on Cameron Street—got the go-ahead. Council President Wanda Williams and council member Danielle Bowers voted in opposition.
Bowers explained that she would not vote for the project because developer Harrisburg Commercial Interiors would not commit to participating in the city’s affordable housing program.
In other council action last month, Harrisburg will move towards ending what has been a long process in dealing with artifacts purchased by former Mayor Steve Reed. In 2015, numerous collectibles and artifacts were seized from Reed’s home and storage units, many bought with public money.
Council approved a resolution to work with Cordier Auctions & Appraisals, as well as Reed’s estate, to auction off the remaining items and split the funds between the city, estate and auction company.
On the topic of Harrisburg history, council also approved the adoption of updated “Historic District Design and Preservation Guidelines,” which lay out the rules for property changes and repairs for houses in the city’s historic districts.
Council is on summer hiatus until Aug. 24.
Senior Housing Proposed
A new affordable housing initiative for seniors has been proposed in Harrisburg.
The almost $15 million “Bethel Village” would constitute the largest phase of the “Jackson Square” project at N. 6th and Herr streets, according to Ryan Sanders, co-owner of Harrisburg-based RB Development.
Along with RB Development, Paladin Development, a branch of the Harrisburg Housing Authority, Gardner Capital Development and Bethel AME Church are partners in the project.
The proposed four-story, nearly 45,000-square-foot building would be available for low-income seniors 62 years of age and older. It would provide one- and two-bedroom rental units ranging in price from $300 to $1,000 per month.
Generally, residents would pay about 30% of their income on rent, explained Ava Goldman of Gardner Capital, which specializes in providing affordable senior living. They plan to have designated units for visually and hearing impaired residents, as well.
Previously, Sanders had proposed a market-rate, mixed-use residential and commercial complex for the site.
The proposed site of the project sits on the land where the historic Bethel AME Church once stood before burning down in 1995. The lot currently contains paved parking and grassy areas.
Bethel Village developers are under contract with both Bethel AME, which owns about one-third of the proposed ¾-acre building site, and owners of the connected lots.
New Owners, Plans for Midtown Bars
Two Midtown bars once targeted for closure by Harrisburg’s mayor have been sold, with plans to create a restaurant, retail space and apartments.
Last month, restaurateur Josh Kesler bought 1400 N. 3rd St., which most recently housed the Third Street Café, and, before that, the 1400 Club and Club Wanda’s.
Kesler, who owns the Millworks in Midtown and the Watershed Pub in Camp Hill, said that he would like to open a two-floor restaurant/bar, but doesn’t yet have a firm plan for the two-story, 2,500-square-foot space.
“I want to do something cool and creative, something that adds uniqueness to the neighborhood,” said Kesler, who paid $153,000 for the building.
He expects to complete the renovation and open in 2022.
The Third Street Café has been closed since April under terms of a conditional licensing agreement between the owners and the PA Liquor Control Board. The owners since have placed the license into safekeeping, according to their attorney, Chris Wilson.
The co-owners of the Third Street Café, Anthony Paliometros and the heirs of the late Frank Karnouskos, also owned the building next door, 1402 N. 3rd St., once the home of the Taproom bar.
Sean Linder and his Bethlehem-based investment group, SJL Rentals LLC, bought that building for $231,000.
Linder said that he plans to undertake a restoration of the three-story, 4,000-square-foot building, creating five market-rate apartments with commercial space on the first floor. He also plans a small addition in the rear, which would add another 350 square feet of space.
“Midtown is obviously an up-and-coming area,” Linder said, when asked why he was interested in the building. “There’s a lot of great development going on in the city.”
Linder credited Justin Heinly of Midtown Property Management for bringing the property to his attention and mentioned that anyone interested in the first-floor retail space should contact Heinly.
He said he expects to complete the building renovation by spring 2022.
Notably, in 2015, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse tried to revoke the business licenses of both bars, claiming that they were “nuisance bars.”
Dave Larche, then the owner of the Taproom, agreed to close his bar and later sold his building to his next-door neighbors, Paliometros and Karnouskos. For their part, Paliometros and Karnouskos repeatedly appealed the city’s business license revocation, eventually winning their case in court.
Alice Anne Schwab, the executive director of the Susquehanna Art Museum, located directly across the street from the bars, said that she looks forward to the renovations of the two buildings.
“We’re super-excited about something positive happening there,” she said. “The proposals I have heard about are really very much in keeping with businesses that are above board and operate with the public interest in mind.”
Kesler said that, in part, he was motivated to make the purchase in order to add to the growing vibrancy of the Midtown commercial district on 3rd Street, where numerous small businesses have opened recently.
Linder added that he also wanted to ensure that the block retained its architectural character.
“For years, they just let their beautiful buildings deteriorate,” he said. “There’s so much historical integrity there that needs to be preserved.”
Business Grant Program
Through a local grant program, some Harrisburg businesses have a chance at receiving financial support.
Impact Harrisburg last month rolled out its “Making an Impact” funding to benefit projects that impact the city economically.
“We can affirm that access to our funding has been a benefit to the economic structure and overall wellbeing of our community,” said Gloria Martin-Roberts, board chair of Impact Harrisburg.
The program will distribute $300,000 to eligible businesses and nonprofits. Eligible projects include those that wouldn’t have adequate funding otherwise and will be started immediately. Businesses must also contribute a match to the project, financial or otherwise, and have annual net revenues of $500,000 or less.
The Impact Harrisburg board plans to focus on assisting minority-owned businesses, Martin-Roberts said.
Applicants may request up to $25,000 for activities such as minor construction, building façade improvements, equipment purchases, furniture and fixture purchases, installation costs and job training, explained Sheila Dow-Ford, executive director of Impact Harrisburg.
In May 2020, Impact Harrisburg, along with the city, distributed around $1.5 million in “Neighborhood Business Stabilization” grant money to 314 small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. That program allowed businesses to utilize funds for general administrative expenses like rent, mortgage and payroll. This new round of funding cannot be used for those purposes, Dow-Ford said.
Dow-Ford described the “Making an Impact” program as “small, but mighty,” with the possibility to uplift often overlooked organizations in the city.
“This is a good news story in Harrisburg,” she said.
Home Sales, Prices Rise
Harrisburg-area home sales continued to show strength in June, in terms of both transactions and prices.
The Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors (GHAR) reported that 819 housing units sold in June, compared to 530 in June 2020, while the median price rose to $228,000 from $199,900 a year ago.
Last year, the number of home sales was depressed due to the pandemic. A better comparison may be June 2019, when 850 houses sold for a median price of $190,788.
In Dauphin County, 376 homes sold in June for a median price of $209,000, versus $179,950 the previous year. In Cumberland County, 394 houses sold for a median price of $258,500, compared to $224,900 in the year-ago period, according to GHAR.
Prices also were up in Perry County, where 35 houses sold for a median price of $200,000 versus $175,900 last year.
Houses were also selling quickly. According to GHAR, the “average day on market” dropped to 16 days in the three-county area, compared to 45 days last year and 41 days the year before.
Camp Curtin Memorial-Mitchell UMC Church has been purchased by a Harrisburg couple, Chris and Erica Bryce, for $50,000. Two years ago, the Susquehanna Methodist Conference put six churches on the market as it consolidated congregations. Chris Bryce said that he had no firm plans yet for the building, but that conversion to apartments was probable.
Dustin LeBlanc was named last month as the managing director of the West Shore Theatre in New Cumberland. In this position, LeBlanc will be responsible for most operations of the 81-year-old theater, which is set to reopen next year following a renovation.
Eric Turman last month was sworn in as the new superintendent of the Harrisburg School District. Turman, the former principal of Reading High School in Reading, replaces Chris Celmer, who served as acting superintendent until a permanent replacement was hired.
Fresh Pressed HBG held its grand opening last month at 221 N. 2nd St. in downtown Harrisburg. It’s the second location for the York-based business, which offers juices, smoothies and cleanses.
Harrisburg University last month announced “Tech ‘n Town Week,” which will feature concerts, a crypto-currency conference and the return of the e-sports tournament, the HUE Invitational, among other events. The festival takes place Sept. 19 to 25, with full information at www.harrisburgu.edu/tech-n-town-week.
H*MAC’s former owners last month were awarded $4.7 million in actual and punitive damages in a defamation lawsuit. A Dauphin County judged ruled that John Traynor and the former partnership of Bartlett, Traynor & London, which owned the Midtown Harrisburg arts and entertainment venue, were defamed by online comments that later turned out to be false.
Kipona will return next month with a live, three-day festival in Riverfront Park and on City Island, according to Harrisburg officials. The Labor Day weekend event will feature art, music, food vendors, fireworks, a beer garden and Native American cultural performances, among other activities. Due to the pandemic, much of last year’s festival was held virtually.
Trader Joe’s is slated to open its first store in central PA next year, as it repurposes about 12,500 square feet of space in the former Camp Hill Bon-Ton in Lower Allen Township. Trader Joe’s has about 500 stores in 42 states and is known for offering high-quality food products at affordable prices.
Verber Dental Group last month announced Search Dental, a $2.5 million dental facility, which will open in Silver Spring Township in April 2022. The 7,500-square-foot, 12-operatory facility is the first phase in a 3.5-acre dental campus located adjacent to Cumberland Valley High School, according to Verber.
Zachary’s BBQ & Soul opened last month as the newest restaurant concept at H*MAC in Midtown Harrisburg. Philadelphia-area chef Keith Taylor offers his take on soul food staples such as Carolina pulled pork, pulled chicken, boneless short rib, pork spare ribs and Caribbean jerk barbecue chicken, as well as some bar food favorites.
Barkley Lane, 2527: D. Sharp to H. Alberto, $69,900
Bellevue Rd., 1915: J. Charles & D. Vanlee to C. Bouslama, $61,000
Benton St., 700: J. Sourbeer to SPG Capital LLC, $62,000
Berryhill St., 1506: RWH Properties LLC to RRMM Real Estate LLC, $42,000
Berryhill St., 1645: M. & M. Quinones to P. & C. Baquero, $46,100
Berryhill St., 2016 & 2020: Staley Berryhill Street Properties LLC to W. Stanley, $850,000
Berryhill St., 2146: J. Elias Holdings LLC to R. & C. Murphy, $65,000
Berryhill St., 2258: T. Baka & R. Teklit to E. Tesfamicael & L. Ghebremichael, $50,000
Boas St., 405: J. Varner & C. Fowler to H. Lewis, $185,000
Boas St., 424: C. Furlong to J. Smith, $170,000
Boas St., 1907: Ultra Renovations and Investments Inc. to T. Roebuck, $115,000
Brookwood St., 2314: E. Hager to M. Kraft, $89,000
Calder St., 118: Lynch Financial LLC to A. & W. Harvey, $190,000
Calder St., 500: R. Metzger to E. Shellenberger, $180,000
Chestnut St., 2031: K. Hassinger to N. & C. Hamani, $68,829
Conoy St., 114: W. McMartin to B. Stehle & A. Johnson, $147,500
Croydon Rd., 2854: R. Williams to G. & M. Romero, $88,000
Delaware St., 262: A. Hanlon to C. Zeger, $138,000
Delaware St., 268: F. Hamid to C. & E. Batista, $137,500
Derry St., 1441: SNL Realty Holdings LLC & Touch of Color to K. Tejada, $80,000
Derry St., 2403: Tassia Corp. to A. Lopez, $115,000
Derry St., 2529: T. Thornton to SPG Capital LLC, $65,000
Division St., 505: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital LLC, $45,000
Edgewood Rd., 2307: J. Perkins to M. Bailor & S. Yann, $226,000
Emerald Ct., 2451: J. & S. Theodorou to M. Spence, $111,000
Forster St., 226: League of Women Voters Pennsylvania to J. Dubina, $88,750
Fulton St., 1409: R. Buyers to R. Davis Jr., $130,000
Green St., 710: N. Pinkston & C. Maximowicz to J. Elliott, $202,000
Green St., 916: J. Ehring to Capozzi & Ehring Realty LLC, $160,000
Green St., 1401: Hunter Properties to R. Rammouni, $80,000
Green St., 1405: A. Stouffer to C. & C. Thomas, $195,000
Green St., 1412: J. Ehring to Capozzi & Ehring Realty LLC, $150,000
Green St., 2810: Church of God of Prophecy & Christian Insight Ministry to Christian Insight Ministry, $145,000
Green St., 3208: G. Arrieta & K. King to J. Aponte & D. Torres, $235,000
Green St., 3232: B. Spangler & S. Keene to J. Jones, $155,000
Greenwood St., 2111: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital LLC, $48,000
Hale Ave., 411: D. Wilson to I. Yolov, $50,000
Harris Terr., 2465: J. Davis to E. Garcia & Y. Marcucci, $35,000
Herr St., 307: B. Andreozzi to J. Varner & C. Fowler, $192,500
Herr St., 313: J. Kleinfelter to J. & M. O’Callaghan, $178,600
Holly St., 2002: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital LLC, $48,000
Hummel St., 340: M. Nichols to K. Torres, $55,000
James St., 1329: V. Paredes to I. Mallouli, $85,000
Liberty St., 1610: Ivy Leaf Properties LLC & Lehman Property Management to H. Lopez, $60,000
Manada St., 2031: R. Torres to D. Perez, $120,000
Market St., 1811: HE Pressley Properties LLC to Jimruz LLC, $72,000
North St., 1711: SPG Capital LLC to P. Marte, $80,000
North St., 1842: Sunshine ABQ Real Estate Investment LLC to O. Perez, $105,000
N. 2nd St., 809: Vantage Rentals LP to A. & S. Grimes, $179,000
N. 2nd St., 1009: J. Kok to J. Flothmeier to J. Ambridge, $215,000
N. 2nd St., 1102: L. & A. Morato Lara to S. & J. Toole, $195,000
N. 2nd St., 2323: A. & A. Mathew to A. Deitrich & J. Cortez, $190,000
N. 2nd St., 2404: K. Liu to JLE Ventures 2404 LLC, $90,000
N. 3rd St., 1218, 1220 & 1222: Furlow Partners Inc. to COBA Apartments LLC, $2,800,000
N. 3rd St., 1619: T. Fridirici to J. Pronio, $187,500
N. 3rd St., 3010: Equitable Builds LLC to S. Ruiz & A. Ramirez, $212,000
N. 4th St., 1920: Tang & Perkins Property Management LLC to A. Nix, $109,000
N. 4th St., 2112: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital LLC, $60,000
N. 4th St., 2215: L. & C. Sukhwinder to K. Torres, $54,000
N. 4th St., 2333: Dauphin County Property Investors LLC to I. Molina, $51,500
N. 4th St., 2448: S. Lewis to J. Graf, $100,000
N. 4th St., 2709: T. Landis to H. Fountain, $137,000
N. 5th St., 1504, 1504½, 1506, 1506½, 1508, 1508½, 1510, 1510½, 1512, 1514, 1516, 1516½, 1518; 439, 441 & 443 Boyd St.; 427, 429, 429B, 429½, 431 & 433 Kelker Alley; 1517 Fulton St.; 420, 426 & 428 Reily St. & 1515 Walker Alley: Redevelopment Authority to 400 Reily Street LLC, $81,000
N. 5th St., 1634: P. Hardy to N. Kamel, $150,000
N. 6th St., 1328: W. Zhang to M. Osborne, $170,000
N. 6th St., 2211: Curtin Heights ME Church to 608 N. Third LLC, $50,000
N. 6th St., 2612: MNK Properties LLC to C. Guerrier, $50,000
N. 6th St., 2665: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital, $48,000
N. 6th St., 2667: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital LLC, $55,000
N. 6th St., 3014: C. Dixon to A. & W. Keisling, $83,500
N. 14th St., 210: PBTB Group LLC to Dreams2Reality Services LLC, $67,500
N. 16th St., 606: 2020 Real Estate Ventures LLC to J. Moore, $120,700
N. 16th St., 820: Truemac Homes Trust to E. Hubbard, $123,000
N. 18th St., 802: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to B. Nevid, $119,000
N. 19th St., 706: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to L. Murrell, $40,000
N. 19th St., 1001: M. Myers to Neidlinger Enterprises LLC, $45,000
N. Front St., 1525, Unit 305: M. DiMatteo to Zinc One Texas LLC, $195,000
N. Front St., 3201: F. & W. Krevsky to Y. Duan, $310,000
Park St., 1840: T. & S. Rollason to J. Pichardo, $35,000
Penn St., 1311: A. Genre to Integrity First Home Buyers LLC, $75,000
Penn St., 1526: Heinly Homes LLC to H. Stevens, $190,500
Penn St., 1702: A. & D. Schade to T. Underkoffler, $175,000
Penn St., 1726: A. Hovne to C. Benedict & J. Sarji, $190,000
Penn St., 1820: Alex Manning Enterprises LLC & D. Kapil to Lancaster County Restoration LLC, $135,000
Penn St., 2334: N. Symons to T. Jackson & R. Pennypacker, $135,000
Pennwood Rd., 3204: C. Heckert to A. Daniels, $95,000
Prince St., 713: J. Mosco to Z. & A. Einhorn, $106,100
Reel St., 2618: E. Chattah to L. Ware, $88,450
Reel St., 2725: J. Louden to D. & C. Huffer, $56,000
Seneca St., 640: Kirsch & Burns LLC to B. Brown, $130,000
S. 13th St., 431: R&K Realty Group LP to Dima Properties LLC, $65,000
S. 13th St., 1413: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to 1413 S 13th St Harrisburg LLC, $116,000
S. 13th St., 1440: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital LLC, $45,000
S. 13th St., 1463: J. White to D. Adams, B. Groft, E. Roy & A. Sullivan, $62,500
S. 15th St., 316: Great Row LLC to Cooperwink LLC, $42,900
S. 16th St., 16: M. Carter to NA Capital Group LLC, $35,000
S. 16th St., 524: W. Brown to J. Camacho, $46,500
S. 16th St., 1014: M. Batista to D. Cario & Y. Mercedes, $123,500
S. 19th St., 1324: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital LLC, $48,000
S. 24th St., 700: C. Barna to J. Valverde, $82,000
S. 25th St., 734: G. Mathias to SPG Capital LLC, $63,000
S. 26th St., 622: M. Cain to K. Seitz, $140,000
S. 26th St., 628: R. & R. Seneca to A. Rai, $163,000
S. 27th St., 655: B. Dehning to T. Young, $99,000
Spencer St., 1855: M. Castro, B. Villalobos & R. Alexandra to M. Hoogerbrugge, $75,900
State St., 231, Unit 204: J. Montenegro to S. & Y. Yates, $130,000
Susquehanna St., 1703: R. Taylor to L. Mayton, $130,000
Susquehanna St., 1915: D. James to E. Seaman & J. Baran, $145,000
Susquehanna St., 2116: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPF Capital LLC, $48,000
Susquehanna St., 2118: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital LLC, $48,000
Sycamore St., 1506: J. Elias Holdings LLC to SPG Capital LLC, $50,000
Verbeke St., 254: D. Bixler to R. Unger, $205,000
Verbeke St., 1327 & 1329: DC Projects LLC to Phantom Property Investments LLC, $75,000
Vernon St., 1306: Sweet Properties of Philadelphia LLC to JCAS1 LLC, $240,000
Vernon St., 1407: G. Thomas & K. Hernandez to JIMRUZ LLC, $30,000
Vineyard Rd., 212: E. Kawa to R. & J. Aronson, $222,000
Walnut St., 1610: C. Hall to J. Cherry Jr., $30,000
Zarker St., 1942: Next Generation Trust Services FBO Leon Wriole IRA to G. & L. Boone, $38,500
Harrisburg property sales for June 2021, greater than $30,000. Source: Dauphin County. Data is assumed to be accurate.
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July 30, 2021 | by Lawrance Binda and Maddie Gittens