Zembo Shrine back on market
The Zembo Shrine Center in Harrisburg is back up for sale after a potential buyer decided not to pursue a deal.
That’s according to Bill Gladstone, a Realtor with the Bill Gladstone Group of NAI CIR in Wormleysburg. He has the building listed for sale at $950,000 and said he has been contacting others who have expressed interest in the 62,621-square-foot structure.
"We’re actively working on it," Gladstone said.
The potential buyer was an affiliate of Beaty Capital Group, an Arkansas-based firm that has purchased similar structures and converted them into concert and event venues.
"While we remain interested in the property, we were unable to get entirely comfortable with the economics associated with the way that property would integrate into the entertainment market surrounded by the developed markets of Hershey, Baltimore and Philadelphia," Beaty Capital President Lance A. Beaty wrote in an email.
Gladstone said Beaty had encountered challenges that would have limited its ability to bring entertainers to Zembo.
Built in the 1920s, the Zembo Shrine hosts an annual circus and other large-scale events. It also is home of the Harrisburg affiliate of the Shriners, an international organization that administers the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The Shriners put the building up for sale in 2017, citing declining membership and high costs of keeping the building. The organization has been looking for a smaller home and remains committed to that goal, said Richard H. Smith, potentate of the Harrisburg group.
"We’re still going to be here somewhere, someplace, but we really can’t move anywhere until we find a buyer for this facility," Smith said.
Members are disappointed the sale to Beaty fell through, Smith said. But, he added: "We’re resilient and we’ll still continue to move forward."
(Editors' note: This story has been updated to include comments from Beaty.)