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Smith Land unveils redevelopment plan for Market Street block in Camp Hill

Smith Land & Improvement Corp. has moved one step closer to construction on a multimillion-dollar redevelopment project on Market Street in Camp Hill.

The Camp Hill-based developer on Tuesday received approval from the borough’s planning commission for what it is calling the Neighbors & Smith project, a proposal that would redevelop the south side of the 1800 block of Market Street. The plan now goes to borough council, which next meets on May 9.

Smith Land acquired four connected commercial properties at 1801, 1845, 1847 and 1849 Market St. in December, hoping to transform the block. Smith Land is based across the street at 1810 Market St.,

The proposed redevelopment plan, according to Smith Land President and CEO Richard Jordan III, calls for 35,000 to 40,000 square feet of retail and office space spread across two connected two-story buildings with ground-level retail at the back. 

Hoping for council approval in May, Jordan said the company’s goal is to start the two-phase project this summer and open the first part of the development by the first quarter of 2019. He declined to disclose construction costs.

The first phase of Neighbors & Smith would include demolishing the former Nino’s Bistro restaurant at 1801 Market St. to make room for a new building that would eventually house active businesses.

Those existing businesses — Little Black Dress, Body Logic, Underneath It All, One Good Woman, Mitrani and Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation — would move to the new building.

Just Plain Yoga Studio, another current tenant, plans to move to the nearby West Shore Plaza. Smith Land also owns the plaza.

In addition to the construction of a new building, the first phase of the project would include site work such as parking lot improvements and building a stairway and elevator tower for improved access between the ground-level retailers and businesses on the Market Street level and second story of the new buildings.

Once the existing tenants are moved into the new space, the other structures on site will be demolished and rebuilt during the second phase of the project to tie in with the first phase. The goal is to build a more cohesive commercial complex, Jordan said.

Jordan hopes to have parking improvements done this fall and to complete phase one by March 2019. Smith Land would then immediately start on the second phase of the redevelopment, aiming for a fall 2019 completion. Jordan hopes to attract new retail, office and restaurant tenants to the rebuilt structures once the existing businesses have new homes.

He believes the entire site may support about 15 total tenants.

“We have had a lot of interest, but no commitments yet,” he said.

The developer is hoping to attract a restaurant, potentially a brewpub, to the corner of the site that abuts South 19th Street. Jordan said his company is planning to build a walking plaza area at the corner, along with outdoor seating.

The Market Street corridor is lined with mostly local merchants and restaurants, and Jordan said he expects the Neighbors & Smith center will attract more of the same. Most of the available spaces will range in size from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet.

Camp Hill-based By Design Consultants Inc. is the architect on the project. Lancaster-based RGS Associates Inc. in the civil engineer and Harrisburg-based Pyramid Construction Services Inc. is the general contractor.

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