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New study offers a snapshot of Harrisburg’s workday population

If you were planning to open a restaurant in downtown Harrisburg, you would easily have more than 20,000 employees as potential customers every weekday.

Illustration / Larissa Newton

That estimate comes from a new study by Harristown Enterprises Inc. of employee concentrations in downtown buildings between Chestnut and Forster streets.


Harristown, which owns and manages several properties in downtown Harrisburg, including Strawberry Square, today released an estimate of the top 20 properties by employment (see map).


The largest is the state Capitol complex with an estimated 5,400 workers. PinnacleHealth System’s Harrisburg Hospital is No. 2 with about 4,000 employees, followed by Strawberry Square with about 3,300.


“We’re going to use it as an economic development tool to recruit more businesses to downtown,” Brad Jones, Harristown’s president and CEO, said of the map. “We think we have a powerful density that is reflected by that map. It’s essentially 40 years in the making.”

The map would have looked a lot different in 1980 when the first phase of Strawberry Square was completed.

Harristown hopes the results will be a tool for city investors to attract more office and retail users, as well as restaurateurs.


“This is a pretty big field of customers here that you don’t see in very many downtowns,” Jones said.

Harristown is planning to continue refining the map, he added. The company will be partnering with Harrisburg University of Science and Technology to make the map more user-friendly.


“We may add an additional layer of residential and then actual (Harrisburg) visitorship,” Jones said. “We’re not saying the map is perfect. It’s a good start and captures most of the bigger numbers, the more obvious buildings.”

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