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Harristown to convert empty office building into apartments

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Harristown Enterprises Inc. is adding another project to its slate of construction sites in downtown Harrisburg.

A Harristown affiliate has signed an agreement to buy 221 N. Second St., and redevelop it.
A Harristown affiliate has signed an agreement to buy 221 N. Second St., and redevelop it. - ()

The owner of the mixed-use Strawberry Square complex today said it plans to convert a long-vacant office building in the heart of restaurant row into a new upscale apartment complex. 

A Harristown affiliate has signed an agreement to buy 221 N. Second St., which is next to Hornung's True Value hardware store, and redevelop it.

The plan for the 11,000-square-foot building calls for 12 apartments — 10 one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom rentals — and a small first-floor retail space.

Brad Jones, Harristown's president and CEO, said he expects the whole project, including purchase of the building, will cost about $1.8 million.

A Harristown apartment study in January said Harrisburg has the potential to absorb as many as 300 new market-rate apartments over the next three years. 

"Upscale apartments in the downtown are in high demand," Jones said.

The challenge has been finding space for multifamily projects. Many of the recent apartment projects, including those done by Harristown, have involved converting older office spaces to residential rentals.

Jones said he's hoping to get through the land development process for 221 N. Second St. over the next few months.

Once the project approved, construction is expected to take about six months, he said. Susquehanna Township-based A.P. Williams would serve as construction manager on the project and Camp Hill-based By Design Consultants Inc. would design it.

Harristown recently announced plans to demolish the long-vacant Coronet restaurant building at 21 S. Second St., which is next to the Crowne Plaza hotel. Tearing down the vacant and blighted three-story building will make room for a new six-story commercial building that will cater to professional office users and first-floor retail.

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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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