Harrisburg, PA – Construction is booming in the capital city. Spurred by government grant money and a large federal infrastructure investment, Harrisburg is entering a renaissance period of development.
In Downtown, Harrisburg University hopes to undertake an ambitious construction project that would expand its academic programs, redraw the city skyline and in some ways reshape the future of the capital city itself.
The new Harrisburg University tower will be located at the corner of Chestnut and South Third streets. Ground breaking should start by late July and be open by summer 2021. The project will now include 17 floors and cost the university about $135 million.
At the train station, a $15 million project includes improvements to the decades-old Harrisburg Transportation Center building. It also includes plans to create retail and commercial space. The money for the project is coming from the state and federal governments. PennDOT says the design is 90 percent complete. It will begin looking for contractors in the summer.
The city has also received an additional $500,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to repair concrete on the entire length of the city’s historic river walk — 11,000 feet stretching from the Shipoke neighborhood to Maclay Street in Uptown.
In Midtown, Harrisburg officials have been eagerly awaiting the new Federal Courthouse project’s launch, anticipating the economic boost the courthouse is expected to bring to that area of the city.
Plans for the courthouse call for a 243,000-square-foot building with 79 parking spaces on the four-acre tract. There will be eight courtrooms – double the current number – and 11 judges’ chambers.
This is an artist’s rendering of the proposed courthouse to be built at 6th & Reily at the intersection of Midtown/ Uptown Harrisburg.
Vartan has held interest in this section of town for decades, and the return on investment may soon be realized.
The executive vice president and general counsel for Vartan Group is predicting that the project will trigger at least $300 million in investment around its site in the city’s Midtown section.
For Harrisburg’s Chestnut Street corridor, the new HU tower would anchor a decade of investment by Harristown Development Corp., which has been redeveloping properties in the South of Market neighborhood, nicknamed SoMA.
The educational space in the tower is slated to accommodate at least 1,000 new students and a health science education center that would serve degree programs in nursing, pharmaceutical sciences and other allied health programs. The university will have classrooms and training space for advanced manufacturing and interactive media programs, the latter fueled by the esports boom at Harrisburg University. Harrisburg-based Reynolds Enterprises Inc. and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., based in Baltimore, were hired to support Butler County architect Alex Wing of Stantec on preconstruction plans for the building.
With demand for healthcare professionals growing in central Pennsylvania, the tower could play a huge role in allowing Harrisburg University to fill that void.
The Federal Courthouse project has been more than a decade in planning, and the anticipated construction comes during a boom in development for the capital city.