Catherine Hershey Schools breaks ground on first resource center

Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning recently broke ground on the new program’s first Early Childhood Resource Center scheduled to be completed in 2023. 

CHS, a subsidiary of Milton Hershey School (MHS) has begun work on a two-story, 50,827-square-foot resource center on the MHS campus.  

When complete, CHS Hershey will provide an early learning program for 150 students from birth to age 5 from economically disadvantaged and at-risk homes. CHS expects to have 80 employees and volunteers work at the Hershey location. 

“Today marks a significant milestone as we build on Catherine and Milton Hershey’s legacy,” said Senate Alexander, executive director of CHS. “Their vision continues to be our guide as we look to help many more children and families in need at CHS Hershey and future locations.” 

CHS Hershey is expected to begin the student admissions process next fall with a focus on serving children and families in Hershey and the surrounding area. It is currently looking to hire a director for the resource center with other school-level positions coming soon. 

The facility is one of six planned for the region, with the second announced for Harrisburg’s Midtown neighborhood. 

Harrisburg marketing firm opens new Midwest branch 

Merit Marketing, a Harrisburg-based marketing and strategy consulting firm, has launched a new regional branch with the hiring of three employees based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Merit said on Tuesday that following the establishment of its new Merit Midwest branch, the company will be rebranding its existing locations in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Washington, DC under the new Merit East banner. 

The new Midwest branch is staffed by Denise Kohnke, chief strategy and growth officer; Susan Hoeft, account director; and Steve Drifka, chief creative officer. 

“Merit has known for some time that the industry of marketing and advertising as we know it today is broken. Coupled with the economic and cultural turbulence we’re all living in, our clients are seeking a company that thinks beyond marketing tactics and media channels to drive real transformation within their businesses,” said Adam Vasquez, founder and chief economics officer at Merit. “Denise, Susan and Steve all have proven track records of being industry trailblazers and I’m grateful they have chosen to join us at Merit to bring their experience and brainpower to our company and clients.” 

Along with working with clients in the Midwest, the new branch will also work with Merit’s Pacific Northwest clients. Merit serves clients in industries including luxury fashion, electric vehicles, cyber security and health and human services. 

Merit’s new regional approach is part of an operational shift by the company as many companies continue to survey the changing landscape created by the pandemic, said Alexandra Rhodes, Merit’s COO. 

“While other companies may be scaling back, we’re focused on targeted growth in new markets that provide broader access to top, senior-level talent like Denise, Steve and Susan that can guide our global clients and their businesses,” Rhodes said. 


Harrisburg industrial property sells for $12.8 million 

A Harrisburg-based 927,828-square-foot industrial property sold this week for $12.8 million by Marcus & Millichap. PHOTO PROVIDED

A 21.3-acre Harrisburg property consisting of eight industrial warehouses sold this week for $12.8 million. 

Commercial real estate brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap sold the 927,828-square-foot industrial property to an undisclosed buyer. 

Craig Dunkle, Chad Thomason and Mher Vartanian, investment specialists in Marcus & Millichap’s Philadelphia office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a limited liability company. The team also represented the buyer, another limited liability company. 

“Due to the uncertainty of near-term market conditions, including tax law changes and interest rate hikes, all parties worked diligently to close this transaction quickly,” said Vartanian. 

The property at 1001 Herr St., is divided into four sections, currently occupied by PPL Electric Utilities Corp., Capital Building Supply, Martin Logistics and Midwest Transport Inc. 

The property’s remaining 5.8 acres of industrial laydown area are available for lease. 

“This was a very unique transaction,” said Dunkle. “In today’s market, being able to find and secure over 20 acres of industrial land within the Harrisburg area is rare, which makes this property a diamond in the rough. In addition, the site’s future development potential as a major transportation and logistics hub could bring a myriad of employment opportunities to the city of Harrisburg.” 

PA Farm Show Complex adds 150 jobs 

The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg is hiring 150 new employees ahead of its peak event season. 

The host of the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show announced on Monday that it will be hiring first, second and third shift positions as well as weekend shifts for farm show week laborers, security officers, tradesmen helpers, electricians and more. 

“This complex and the events we host have a significant impact on the overall economy of the Harrisburg-Hershey region,” said Sharon Myers, executive director of the expo center. “These events create jobs here within our facility, but also for the entire region as tourists patronize area restaurants, stores, and hotels.” 

The facility is most well-known for hosting the annual farm show, which is responsible for bringing in nearly half a million visitors to the Harrisburg area and injecting $39 million into the region’s economy, according to a press release by the expo center. 

Along with the farm show, the complex and expo center hosts agricultural events, outdoorsmen shows, gift and craft shows, motorsports events and more. 

“Working at the Farm Show Complex, our days are full of excitement and diversity. No show or host is the same, each one brings a new set of faces to the facility,” said Myers. 

McNees Wallace & Nurick partners with Boyer & Ritter to open new company 

Law firm McNees Wallace & Nurick and CPA firm Boyer & Ritter launched a new company as part of a joint venture that the two firms say will provide comprehensive services for companies looking to buy or sell auto dealerships. 

Keystone Advisors officially launched on Tuesday at its new headquarters at 211 House Ave., Suite 101 in Camp Hill. The company offers the joint expertise of McNees’ attorneys and Boyer & Ritter’s CPA’s, the two companies wrote in a press release this week. 

“For decades, auto dealerships have turned to McNees for trusted legal counsel related to buying, selling or expanding their businesses,” said Brian Jackson, McNees chair. “Now, by partnering with Boyer & Ritter, we can offer clients a dedicated legal and accounting team to meet their needs through Keystone Advisors.” 

McNees employs more than 130 attorneys across offices in Harrisburg, Devon, Lancaster York, State College and Scranton, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Frederick, Md.; and Washington, D.C. 

Boyer & Ritter provides accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services from its offices in Camp Hill, Carlisle, Chambersburg and State College. 

“Buying or selling a business can be a taxing decision in more ways than one,” said Bob Murphy, CEO of Boyer & Ritter, who also is a senior member of the firm’s Dealership Services Group. “With the combined power of McNees’ legal counsel and our accounting and tax advice, dealerships know they’re not in this alone.” 

Texas-based real estate investment firm acquires 35,430-square-foot self-storage facility 

Rosewood Property Company acquired a self-storage facility adjacent to its current property in Harrisburg. PHOTO/PROVIDED

A 35,430-square-foot self-storage facility in Harrisburg was recently acquired by Texas-based Rosewood Property Company. 

The property, located at 5700 Linglestown Road, was renovated from an old warehouse into a self-storage space in 2019. The property sits adjacent to an existing Rosewood Property self-storage asset. 

Rosewood Property Company currently owns a portfolio of 57 operating self-storage projects across 12 states totaling more than 4.1 million square feet and approximately 32,500 storage units. 

The new Harrisburg property includes state-of-the-art security features for its 342 rentable units with a majority being climate-controlled. 

“Acquiring this self-storage space is the perfect complement to our preexisting property in Pennsylvania,” said Matt Janes, director of self-storage for Rosewood Property Company. “Adding over 300 units for rent allows us to better serve to surrounding community while strengthening Rosewood’s self-storage portfolio.” 

Dauphin County Library System begins $3.5 million expansion of historic riverfront library

A rendering of Dauphin County Library System’s incomming expansion to its McCormick Riverfront Library. PHOTO PROVIDED.

The Dauphin County Library System broke ground on a $3.5 million project on Thursday that will combine two historic Harrisburg properties. 

The library system’s project will expand its McCormick Riverfront Library by connecting it with the 5,458-square-foot Front Street residence of Sara Haldeman Haly, who seeded the Dauphin County Library System in 1896. 

When finished, the combined building will boast more than a 3,400-square-foot family area incorporating STEAM learning support, a 950-squaure-foot public meeting space, added public computer resources and more, said the library system in a press release. 

“We’re excited to get started and look forward to standing here about a year from now and welcoming everyone to a dynamic educational and cultural center,” said Karen Cullings, the Dauphin County Library System’s executive director. “The demand for our services has never been higher, and this location in the heart of downtown Harrisburg is easily accessible.”   

The project is expected to be finished in 2022 and the library will remain open during that time. 

The library system is paying for the project with funds from its “Your Place to Belong” campaign. The campaign has raised $2.6 million, or 76% of its goal. 

“For more than a century, this community has generously donated its time and treasure to The Library,” said Your Place to Belong campaign co-chair Andrew Enders. “Now, The Library is returning the favor by investing in the community. We are well on the way to creating an ideal space that models the direction of libraries for the 21st century and beyond.” 

Harrisburg tasting room to add to new locations in SoMa neighborhood 

Harrisburg-based developer Harristown Enterprises plans to open two new Sip@SoMa tasting rooms in Harrisburg’s South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood. 

The success of Harristown’s first Sip@SoMa, currently located at 13 S. 3rd Street, convinced the developer to add two more spaces to host Pennsylvania brewers, vintners and distillers with the inclusion of new Sip@SoMas at 23 S. 3rd and 17 S. 3rd streets, it announced in a press release this week. 

Sip@Soma at 23 S. 3rd  Street is about 1,000 square feet and will be equipped with a four-tap kegerator, display coolers to store canned and bottled products for sale, seating inside for 25, plus about a 600-square-foot outdoor patio in the rear with seating for another 15.  

Sip@17 at 17 S. 3rd Street is a smaller space at about 600 square feet and is designed for informal gatherings and small group tastings. A seating capacity of 20 will allow vendors to showcase their products in a more intimate setting. 

“Harristown is thrilled to add these two new tasting rooms to this thriving neighborhood,” said Brad Jones, president and CEO of Harristown. “The first Sip@SoMa was a great success; these two new tasting rooms will add to the vibrancy of this block and create a destination tasting row for the SoMa neighborhood. Harristown intends to offer these spaces for lease eventually and will be looking to build additional tap rooms in the neighborhood at other storefronts it owns.” 

Sara Bozich, an area influencer, will book vendors and promote events at the Sip@SoMa locations. 

“We’re excited to again partner with Harristown with these new tasting rooms; adding to the success of the original Sip@SoMa will continue to grow this neighborhood and showcase downtown Harrisburg’s potential,” said Bozich. “We’re looking forward to introducing brewers and producers from around the state to the SoMa district – and vice versa.” 

Snyder County civil engineering firm opens midstate office in Cumberland County 


Justin Ross and Andrew Barton founded Selinsgrove, Snyder County-based civil engineering firm LIVIC in 2017.

Snyder County-based civil engineering firm LIVIC Civil Engineering opened an office in Wormleysburg, Cumberland County office this month, the company’s first brick-and-mortar location in the region. 

LIVIC specializes in transportation and commercial, land development and municipal engineering. It was founded in Selinsgrove in 2017 by Justin Ross and Andrew Barton. 

The Wormleysburg office joins LIVIC’s Selinsgrove and Bloomsburg locations. 

The firm announced in January that it would open its third office in the midstate, hiring Doug Gamber and Kevin Burke to lead the office. 

Gamber is the firm’s new regional director and a site development and landscape architect for 35 years. He previously worked at midstate engineering firms Navarro & Wright Consulting Engineers, and Raudenbush Engineering. 

Burke shaped traffic and transportation-focused studies and projects across the state, according to a company statement. 

LIVIC has statewide and national clients. In the Harrisburg market, the firm will pursue jobs for institutional clients such as the state departments of Environmental Protection, and Transportation.