The corner of Harrisburg’s South Dewberry and Blackberry streets doesn’t scream “technology hub.”
It’s quiet, with little traffic, tucked away in the city’s South of Market district.
But the former Martz Bros. Hardware building at 316 Blackberry St. is in an area about to see a series of mixed-use redevelopment projects from Harristown Enterprises Inc.
It’s here that local developer Mayur Patel and his wife, Tina, are looking to create what could be a space for tech-related spin-offs tied to nearby Harrisburg University of Science and Technology or other institutions of higher education.
“This is the time when things are starting to happen,” said Mayur Patel, who is putting the finishing touches on third-floor renovations at the three-story Blackberry Technology Center, a 3,600-square-foot building his parents have owned since 2007.
Tina Patel served as the project developer on the building, which features a new roof and new plumbing and electrical equipment. The interior design maintains many of the original materials with some exposed brick walls and high ceilings.
“The building easily lent itself to becoming the contemporary collaborative workspace that today’s technology professionals are looking for,” Tina Patel said, noting that its solid bones and open floor plan can encourage collaboration, research, development and entrepreneurialism.
The development is a positive for Harrisburg, according to Brad Jones, Harristown’s president and CEO. “The idea of having tech-related companies in a building that could be doing a wide variety of tech is all good for the downtown.”
Camp Hill-based By Design Consultants Inc. was the project architect. Harrisburg developer Derek Dilks was the construction manager.
The Blackberry center really took shape over the summer, Mayur Patel said, citing the momentum of the Harristown developments, which will include luxury apartments and commercial spaces, plus a co-working space. That work should be done by next summer.