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Hershey post office building part of mixed-use development plans

A Cumberland County commercial real estate agent and developer and a Dauphin County custom home builder have mixed-use development plans for a 5-acre parcel along West Chocolate Avenue in Derry Township that was owned by the Hershey Trust Co.

Jamie Pascotti, owner of Hampden Township-based Realty Management Associates LLC, said the plan is to renovate the two-story limestone building that currently houses the Hershey post office and the Hershey Laundry and Dry Cleaning.

The nearly 35,000-square-foot building, located by the Hershey Story Museum and near the Houlihan’s and Devon Seafood Grill, would be transformed into retail and office space, said Pascotti, who is partners with Massimo Rizzotto with Lower Swatara Township-based Carricato Homes Builder LLC.

“We want to work with the community and show our concept,” Pascotti said of the project.

Along with the renovation of 157 W. Chocolate Ave., the partners in 169 Chocolate Group LLC are developing plans for additional buildings that could house retail shops, restaurants, personal service businesses and offices. They are calling this the Hershey Downtown Center project.

“We have to make sure we have the right harmony,” Pascotti said of the future development and tenant mix.

It will be a few months before any land development plans are submitted to the township for review, he added. The purchase occurred last week and the partners are still assessing the potential impacts, he said. Parking will be one.

Pascotti said renovations to the existing building, constructed in 1936, could occur this fall. However, with the post office in there until at least January, some of that work might be delayed.

The new construction work, which is expected to include one- and two-story buildings, isn’t likely to occur for at least two years, Pascotti said. The partners are currently planning at least two buildings.

Having the opportunity to buy something in downtown Hershey and develop it as part of the downtown revitalization effort is rewarding, Pascotti said.

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