Two crucial projects were approved that will help continue the transformation of Midtown Harrisburg into an arts/cultural/entertainment district. The Susquehanna Art Museum was approved for a $5 million grant to transform a vacant bank building into a state of the art museum for Pennsylvania’s capital city. The arts bring revitalization and economic development!
The second project, approved a day later, is one of my most favorite kinds of adaptive reuse scenarios. Take an old and empty commercial building, add commercial space on the first floor and transform the top floors into apartments or townhouses. The Furlow Building will have the top five floors repurposed into 20-24 one-bedroom apartments for professionals. This building is in a KOZ and renters will be eligible for tax abatement. The bottom floor will be used for commercial tenants. The project developer received a $2.5 million matching grant from the state to make this happen.
These two projects represent an investment (by the state) of $7.5 million into Midtown Harrisburg. A new Federal Courthouse is slated to be built in Midtown and will represent a significant monetary investment. It will also serve as a vehicle to draw more professional people (with discretionary income) into Midtown.
Midtown is Harrisburg’s arts destination, the site of the 3rd in the Burg monthly event along with galleries and restaurants. Harrisburg Area Community College also has a Midtown campus.