The Capital Region Economic Development Corp., the economic development arm of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, is proposing to add 181 acres — the majority in Dauphin County — to Central Pennsylvania's Keystone Opportunity Zone.
CREDC said in a newsletter that it's working on a new designation for the eight-county KOZ, the zones that exempt businesses and individuals from property taxes to spur redevelopment. The proposal would expand the number of previously used properties, with the ultimate goal of increasing the tax base.
In Dauphin County, 176 acres are included in the application to the state. The properties being considered are around Harrisburg International Airport, in Harrisburg and in the northern part of the county.
The HIA properties are owned by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority and would be focused on industrial development. There are five authority sites, including the old airport terminal in Lower Swatara Township, the former Crawford Station in Middletown and two Whitehouse Lane tracts in the township and Highspire. Together, they total more than 123 acres, according to CREDC.
In Harrisburg, CREDC is looking at industrial and other types of properties near the Hamilton Health Center on 17th Street. The Harrisburg list also includes city school district properties, as well as the former Bishop McDevitt High School on Market Street and the unfinished Capitol View Commerce Center on North Cameron Street.
In northern Dauphin, residential properties in Millersburg and Lykens are being considered. The properties were previously developed but are currently vacant or have been sitting empty for a long time, CREDC said.
The Lykens properties are in the 500 block of North Second Street and 600 block of Main Street. The lone Millersburg site is on Main Street, according to CREDC.
In addition, there are about 5 acres in Lebanon County, said Shaun Donovan, CREDC's economic development specialist. The KOZ would expand into the city to include a full city block near the downtown that the redevelopment authority has been trying to acquire for several years, CREDC said.
It could be redeveloped with the KOZ designation to tie together the residential and commercial aspects of downtown, according to CREDC. The site has been deteriorating for years.
The expanded KOZ would take effect Jan. 1, Donovan said.