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Vartan Group unveiling historic renovation today on North Front Street

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H. Ralph Vartan, CEO of Vartan Group Inc., will unveil his Briggs House luxury apartments today in downtown Harrisburg. Above is a look at the kitchen space inside of an apartment, which includes granite countertops and high-end custom cabinetry.
H. Ralph Vartan, CEO of Vartan Group Inc., will unveil his Briggs House luxury apartments today in downtown Harrisburg. Above is a look at the kitchen space inside of an apartment, which includes granite countertops and high-end custom cabinetry. - (Photo / )
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H. Ralph Vartan, CEO of Vartan Group Inc., today will unveil his $1.1 million historic renovation of the John H. Briggs House in downtown Harrisburg.

Vartan purchased the property at 17 N. Front St. last year for $525,000.

His Susquehanna Township-based development company has converted it back to a residential use with seven luxury apartments, which range from 900 to 1,132 square feet. There are five one-bedroom units, one studio and one two-bedroom unit.

"It's a rewarding feeling," Vartan said of the Briggs House project, which preserved much of the historic finishes, including the brownstone and brick façade, plaster walls and ceilings, antique hardwood floors and historic doors.

As part of the nearly six-month renovation, Vartan installed new heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as electrical and plumbing systems. High-end fixtures and appliances, including custom cabinets, have been installed. 

Rents range from $865 to $1,050 on the smaller units and $1,300 to $1,400 on the larger floor plans, Vartan said. He is hoping to have apartments leased in the coming weeks.

The riverfront property was built in 1863 by attorney John Briggs, a prominent civic leader and direct descendent of John Harris Jr., the founder of Harrisburg.

The 7,224-square-foot property was last used as an office by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. 

It is the second historic renovation Vartan has worked on in the city. He also owns 223 Pine St.

An open house is slated from noon to 2 p.m. today. A ribbon-cutting ceremony with Dauphin County commissioners, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse and City Council President Wanda Williams will follow.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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