Downtown Carlisle Businesses Welcome Urban Redevelopment Initiative

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cumberland County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cumberland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When new development projects surface, the logical question for surrounding business owners is: How will this affect my business?

Downtown Carlisle business owners are optimistic when asked the same question about the borough’s highly anticipated urban redevelopment plan.

If the right balance of businesses and residences land on the three large abandoned industrial sites targeted for redevelopment in the borough’s northwest quadrant, there should be more than enough room for existing and new businesses not only to coexist, but to mutually benefit each other, Carlisle proprietors said.

“I’m on the fence. I’d love to have that [part of Carlisle] built up, because Carlisle has no more room for building extra tax revenue [downtown],” said John Bogonis, who owns the Carlisle Bakery at 35 S. Hanover St. with his wife Nadeen. “I want to see how they plan on getting people from [the development site] to here.”

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Harrisburg’s West Shore Communities Focusing On Curb Appeal

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cumberland County

Image via Wikipedia

Several suburban Harrisburg communities, across the river in Cumberland County, are trying to make their downtown’s more attractive to shoppers, motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists by completing major streetscape projects in their downtowns.

Lemoyne is trying to become a destination rather than a “drive-through” community by making their downtown attractive and welcoming to shoppers.  Phase Two of their streetscape improvements will start in the fall of 2012. The new project will extend existing improvements made in Phase One and focus on safety and appearance.

Wormleysburg has a plan in place, but it is on hold due to the economy.

Camp Hill also approved a plan but placed it on hold due to a sewer project priority.

West Fairview, in East Pennsboro Township, will have their streetscape project begin in mid-August.

New Cumberland is seeking a block grant to extend their existing streetscape improvements.

Dillsburg completed a streetscape project last fall,

Carlisle recently added bike lanes and trails.

Mechanicsburg used a grant to make sidewalk and crosswalk improvements near several schools.

New Kingston, in Silver Spring Township, is also working on a streetscape plan.

Two Mixed-Use Projects In Cumberland County Receive DCED Funding

In downtown Newville, a former bank and a Lutheran Church are being developed into a mixed-use commercial and residential project.  The Cumberland/Perry Housing and Community Partnership received $460,000 from the Department of Community and Economic Development toward this project, which will help fund the $1.75 million renovation.  The project will feature commercial space on the first floor and nine apartments on the upper two floors.  The idea behind projects like this is to increase foot traffic in the downtown business district and add to the tax base.

In Carlisle, the Cumberland/Perry Housing and Community Partnership received $248,000 from the DCED toward a $400,000 renovation project in the 100 block of High Street.  This project will also feature first floor commercial space and upper floor residential space.  Carlisle has undertaken a project to reduce traffic in the downtown by making streets one-way and adding bike lanes.  The hope is to create a more pedestrian friendly atmosphere.  Carlisle is a walkable community and these improvements should help attract downtown residents.

The DECD’s Housing and Redevelopment Assistance Program has received zero funding in the proposed 2011-2012 budget.

Two Harrisburg Area Companies Make Fortune 500 List

Rite Aid store in Cedar Hills area of Beaverto...

Image via Wikipedia

The 2011 Fortune 500 List was released today and includes two Harrisburg area companies.  The Rite Aid drug store chain, based in East Pennsboro Township (Cumberland County) was ranked number 100.  Hershey Co., based in Derry Township (Dauphin County) was ranked number 402.  The rankings are based on total sales.

Walmart held the number one spot again this year.