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Midstate construction roundup: What you'll see this spring

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A fresh set of construction projects advances in Central Pennsylvania every spring. Here is a roundup of some of the places you can expect to see earth moving or other activity in 2017.

The retail landscape will be expanding quite a bit in Manheim Township this year with two big projects starting to take shape.
The first, the Shoppes at Belmont, is already underway on Fruitville Pike at Route 30. Site work began last fall and dirt has been flying this year as developers plan to start buildings this spring.
Kevin Lahn, vice president at R.J. Waters & Associates Inc., said the plan is to complete tenant buildings this fall and open the center by the first quarter of 2018. Whole Foods is the lead anchor in the center, which is about 90 percent pre-leased. Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Nordstrom Rack and Michaels are other major tenants in the center, which will cover about 370,000 square feet.
The retail landscape will be expanding quite a bit in Manheim Township this year with two big projects starting to take shape. The first, the Shoppes at Belmont, is already underway on Fruitville Pike at Route 30. Site work began last fall and dirt has been flying this year as developers plan to start buildings this spring. Kevin Lahn, vice president at R.J. Waters & Associates Inc., said the plan is to complete tenant buildings this fall and open the center by the first quarter of 2018. Whole Foods is the lead anchor in the center, which is about 90 percent pre-leased. Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Nordstrom Rack and Michaels are other major tenants in the center, which will cover about 370,000 square feet.
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The retail landscape will be expanding quite a bit in Manheim Township this year with two big projects starting to take shape. The first, the Shoppes at Belmont, is already underway on Fruitville Pike at Route 30. Site work began last fall and dirt has been flying this year as developers plan to start buildings this spring. Kevin Lahn, vice president at R.J. Waters & Associates Inc., said the plan is to complete tenant buildings this fall and open the center by the first quarter of 2018. Whole Foods is the lead anchor in the center, which is about 90 percent pre-leased. Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Nordstrom Rack and Michaels are other major tenants in the center, which will cover about 370,000 square feet. Road improvements around Belmont are expected to start this spring. Across from Long’s Park on Harrisburg Pike, High Real Estate Group is preparing to break ground on the Crossings at Conestoga Creek. Anchored by Wegmans, the Main Street-oriented development will include about 210,000 square feet for retail and restaurants. High also is planning 258 apartments and an unnamed 120-room hotel. Wegmans is the only known tenant so far. Steve Evans, High’s senior vice president and retail division managing director, said the plan is to deliver the pad site for the Wegmans building this summer and open the project by late summer or early fall 2018. “We anticipate (other tenant) announcements once we go vertical on the Main Street,” Evans said, which could be this summer. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) Columbia, Levi’s and Under Armour are among the retail names that will be added this year to the Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. location in East Lampeter Township. Overall, the outlet center is adding 145,000 square feet of retail on a 13-acre parcel next to its existing stores. Other newcomers include Cole Haan, Francesca’s, H&M, Express, Michael Kors, North Face, Rack Room and Sanibel Sunglass Company. They join existing stores like Banana Republic, Nike and Talbots. The renovation and construction are expected to create more than 200 jobs, while the completed project will create more than 300 full- and part-time retail management and sales positions. Pittsburgh-based Rycon Construction Inc. and East Lampeter Township-based H.L. Wiker Inc. are working on the project, which is expected to be complete in fall 2017. The center and all existing stores will remain open throughout the renovation, Tanger said. Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials are moving ahead with a public-private partnership (P3) to develop parking and commercial space around the Middletown Amtrak station, which will be rebuilt through a multi-partner project. The P3 development will complement work by PennDOT, Amtrak, and Norfolk Southern Corp. to build a new Middletown station. Work on the new station and platform, estimated to cost $24.4 million, is expected to start late in 2018, PennDOT said. Site preparation under a $2.6 million contract is underway, and is expected to be completed in May, officials said. Norfolk Southern is expected to start an estimated $6.5 million in track work later this year, while $4.3 million in Amtrak work will start late next year. PennDOT issued a request for qualifications on the P3 project last year. Keystone Connections, a team comprised of Cedarwood Development Inc., Star America Capital Advisors LLC, Raudenbush Engineering Inc., JEM Group LLC, U.S. Facilities Inc., and Walker Parking Consultants/Engineers Inc., qualified for the next phase of the procurement. PennDOT’s next step is to issue a draft request for proposal to Keystone Connections. When finalized, that document will establish the criteria for Keystone’s proposal to develop, design, build, finance, operate and maintain parking facilities that provide a minimum of 400 parking spaces for transportation use, as well as undertaking commercial development around the new station. - (Photo / File) Three major construction projects are scheduled to begin in and around Harrisburg International Airport this spring or summer, HIA officials said. They include a new Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel, a new corporate aircraft hangar and a new facility to serve corporate and general aviation users. “While there will be a lot of construction at the airport this year, no significant impact on the day-to-day operation of the airport is expected,” executive director Tim Edwards said. The hotel is a project of State College-based Shaner Hotel Group, a privately held owner-operator of properties throughout the region, including Courtyard by Marriott hotels near Shippensburg University and in Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County. Shaner also is developing a Hershey Courtyard on East Chocolate Avenue in Derry Township. Airport officials said plans for a fourth construction project — building an Enterprise car rental facility on HIA property across Route 230 — also are progressing. That work involves construction of a 10,000-square-foot, two-story office building to house 50 Enterprise employees and 100 part-time employees. The property will be leased long-term by PENRAC LLC, which is the Central Pennsylvania division of Enterprise Holdings. Meanwhile, HIA continues to develop plans for the demolition of two older structures on its own campus, Building 26 (a former military headquarters building) and Building 29 (a former barracks). - (Photo / File) Swatara Township remains on track to have a new municipal building by 2019. Officials from the Dauphin County municipality announced plans for the new space last year, saying they had outgrown their current, 47-year-old home. Their chief complaint: their building at 599 Eisenhower Blvd. is too cramped for the township's 90-plus employees. The new campus will sit on a 60-acre tract, bisected by Highland Street, that the township purchased for $1 million in 2012. It will eventually house the township's employees, including its police department, as well as a community park. Since announcing the plan, officials have moved ahead with looking at designs for the municipal building part of the project, said Township Manager Jan LeBlanc. They hope to award bids this December, break ground in spring 2018 and finish the building between June and September 2019. The municipality has also had more conversations with members of the public, via surveys and an open house, about what they want to see in the park. Their requests range from trails and benches to pavilions and a dog park. The township is also looking into the possibility of a pump track: a bicycle trail with a series of specially designed hills and banked turns. The timeline for the park will depend on pricing, LeBlanc said. - (Photo / Chris Beck) Vartan Group Inc.’s proposed town-center-style community at Progress Avenue and Linglestown Road in Susquehanna Township could be under construction by the end of 2017. The 58-acre plan, which has been in the works since 2014, is expected to enter the land development phase this spring following a lengthy rezoning process and township ordinance changes designed to accommodate the project. The latter changes would create a traditional neighborhood development district, or TND, for the site. Vartan is looking to build a mix of single-family homes, a senior-living campus and a variety of retail and other commercial buildings, including a limited-service hotel with up to 110 rooms. Because the project runs along two well-traveled state roads, which will need additional lanes to accommodate the expected traffic flow, the developer’s plan will require approval from the state Department of Transportation. Depending on the length of that review, CEO H. Ralph Vartan said the first phase of construction might not happen until early 2018. The Vartan family has owned the tract for three decades. CEO H. Ralph Vartan’s late father, John, a prominent local investor and developer, tried before to develop the site. Sam's Club expects to finish construction of a new store in Hanover by late summer. The Walmart-owned warehouse chain has been setting the groundwork for a location in the southwestern York County borough since at least 2012, according to local newspaper reports. Crews broke ground on the project last year. The planned 136,000-square-foot store will have a fuel station and offer the store's standard array of grocery and retail items, much of which are sold in bulk. Its neighbors include national retailers like Target, Hobby Lobby and Ross Dress for Less in the Gateway Hanover shopping center. The store does not have an opening date yet, a Sam's Club spokesperson said. Adams County-based Conewago Enterprises is currently doing paving and other site work on the project. The location will be the Arkansas-based chain's first foray into the Hanover area, where neither of its major competitors — BJ's Wholesale and Costco Wholesale — have a presence. Sam's Club also has locations in Springettsbury Township, York County and Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County, as well as two Maryland locations within about 30 miles of the planned store in Hanover. On one side of the 200 block of South George Street sits the imposing old York Post Office, a 120-year-old structure. Even sitting empty, it has lost little of the elegance it had back when it housed both the post office and the local IRS office. Across the street on South George, the main entryway into the White Rose City from the south, sits the less-imposing Cobblestone’s bar and nightclub building. A local real estate official is among those in York excited about the potential the two buildings that face each other have “to open up the entire southern part of the city” with the right development projects. The Cobblestone’s building, also a former Knights of Columbus headquarters, would be a great dinner theatre or other kind of performing-arts center, said John Birkeland, brokerage adviser for York’s Rock Commercial Real Estate. “Think of how many people come into the city on South George Street,” he said. “There's a tremendous opportunity to redevelop that entire area with those two buildings.” A York developer couldn't come up with enough money for the building last fall, and it went back on the market, Birkeland said at the time. The property is listed with Rock for $375,000, Birkeland said. At the same time, there have been rumors of developments coming to the post office building, but so far none have materialized, real estate and York City officials have said. Pictured is the York Post office building on the 200 block of South George. - (Photo / Amy Spangler) The business of sports brought more than a $24 million economic impact to York County in 2016, and that figure could go up in years to come. Plans are expected to be introduced in the first quarter of the year for a new multi-use sports facility in Manchester Township, York County. The much-discussed project, whose exact location has yet to be settled, moved forward in November when township supervisors approved zoning changes for a “community commercial sports facility” in the township’s five office and high-density residential zones. While no specific location for the complex has been named by the developers, Rutter’s Properties LP of York, it could be built in a large cornfield that Rutter’s owns north of York on the west side of Susquehanna Trail, just south of First Assembly of God Church. The next step toward building the sports facility would be submitting plans for the complex in one of the zones where the complex is now permitted. Details should emerge as the township holds upcoming meetings on the proposal, local officials said. The process likely will be eagerly watched. “We can’t overstate the significance of sports-related tourism for our industry,” said Melanie Myers, general manager of the new LaQuinta Inn & Suites, which opened in West Manchester Township in April, adding 81 rooms to York County’s supply. - (Photo / Thinkstock)

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