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  #2841  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2017, 9:23 PM
ePlanningPhila ePlanningPhila is offline
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Originally Posted by mville1 View Post
I really liked many of the elements of Harrisburg's recently released comprehensive plan. I think BRT is a good idea and I think it should be explored beyond the CBD, Midtown, Uptown, etc. Ideally, it would be great to use the Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge and extend it into Lemoyne, Camp Hill and possibly to Mechanicsburg. I don't think there is enough regional political will to muster up another commuter or light rail proposal despite the worsening congestion and traffic around the entire region. Finally, it was nice to see some vision to better use the space around the transportation center. I hope the demand is there to make those renderings a reality, but I believe we might be decades away from that.
I agree from an economic development stand point, a BRT system is the #1 thing the region needs. HART (Harrisburg Area Regional Transit) is a fantastic element in the plan. I am actually starting a Greater Harrisburg Transit Advocacy Organization called Harrisburg 3.0.

https://www.facebook.com/Harrisburg-30-311484495998066/

Long term, creating a rail network would be a priority. But in the short term starting BRT pilots within the next 2 - 3 years is a top priority! Feel free to join on facebook!
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  #2842  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2017, 9:25 PM
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https://theburgnews.com/news/more-re...nsion-downtown

The projects just keep on coming! About 60 new apartments total coming to Midtown and Downtown. These projects continue to build from one another, and as they continue to increase the vibrancy in the city, the momentum is only going to continue to build. Go Harrisburg!
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  #2843  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2017, 8:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ePlanningPhila View Post
I appreciate your advocacy for Harrisburg, and I know you also post on Philadelphia's forum. But this is absolutely the first problem. DC and Harrisburg. Are both Capital Cities. Beyond that, there is no comparison. Zero. Harrisburg and Albany. 100%. Harrisburg and DC. ZERO. You are undermining the work going on in Harrisburg because you are comparing one of the most vibrant cities in America to one of the most sleepy. This is what ends in failure.

This is like trying to say Georgetown and HAAC are comparable. I mean come on.
You're still missing my point, I am talking strictly cosmetic and in form and function, nothing else. I am not comparing economies, projects, world importance... To not be super duper excited about a bike share and a new stop sign on a corner says nothing at all about my comparisons, as they are completely unrelated. But on the same token Harrisburg sometimes does want to play in a bigger league and I can support that but it needs to step its game up for sure.

In other very big and exciting Harrisburg news a portion of a street may be going two way, hooray

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/11..._harrisbu.html

The old photos were neat.
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  #2844  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:17 PM
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Originally Posted by EastSideHBG View Post
Whoa yeah, this thread is a blast from the past! RE: HIA (MDT) yep they are planning a lot, I know people in Middletown along the river whose houses were bought out a few years ago due to expansion and/or upcoming "noise pollution" from new and lower flight patterns so I assume we will be seeing a lot of changes in the coming years.

Due to some unfortunate circumstances I had to spend a lot of time in Harrisburg again April through May and the area is definitely changing. It's still a weird animal to me but it doesn't seem to be as "stuck" as it was prior to now and there seems to be some good momentum going.
Its been a long time since this thread has been active. Maybe I should have been contributing more.

The last 10 years have been rough on the burg. The pent up issues of the trailing years of the Reed administration had to be dealt with. Thompson the following mayor was totally incapable of dealing with said issues and it put many investment opportunities on hold. The last 4 years has seen progressively more functional city government. (still miles to go) and investment is starting to take advantage of opportunities.

Downtown (where I have lived for 11 years now) is starting to pick up. While not numbers that over cities would be proud of, and almost totally unrecognizable from the street level. There has been about 400 apartments and condos added to the downtown in the last 3 years. Most getting old buildings back on the market. Demand for new units are high and vacancy downtown is mostly transactional. Making rents rise. Rents probably need to rise about another 20% before developer led new construction will be profitable. So we are going in the right direction.

"Upper mass market retail" is starting to take chances and in many cases is succeeding.

Parking lots are getting replaced with quality infill projects of varying sizes. Tower cranes are in the air and will likely be in future as well.
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  #2845  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:19 PM
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No thankfully, but the area immediately around the Capitol kind of developed that way.

Big news, DT having a grocery store is a huge selling point:

Grocery store 'similar to Trader Joe's' to open in Strawberry Square
http://www.pennlive.com/food/index.s...rt_river_index

This is unfortunate:

Monthly Harrisburg food truck feast is relocating to the West Shore
http://www.pennlive.com/food/index.s...art_most-read_

The Food trucks aren't really a loss. The Broad Street Market has begun being open on Friday evenings and has cut the feet out of the Feast. Food is better at the market anyhow and more local in ownership
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  #2846  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:20 PM
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Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
I've been out of the loop of goings-on in Harrisburg ever since we moved from central PA to Michigan 2 years ago. I recently discovered this thread, thanks for the updates.



The Senate Plaza area is a blast from the architectural past; anything that will be done here will likely be an improvement, at least in terms of activating the area more and making it feel less stuck in the 1970s. Not that gas stations and fast food joints are something to jump up and down about. But the 5-story apartment building might have some potential.
I rode my motorcycle over to watch the implosion. 2nd Implosion I got to watch in the last 2 years. Both less than 2 miles from my house.
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  #2847  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerdman View Post
Train/Bus Station Expansion?

Which one’s best? Harrisburg bus, train station expansion down to
three sites


http://www.planthekeystone.com/PDF_s...hree_sites.pdf

Again, Older news, But I haven't seen this posted previously.
PennDOT is doing major renovations to HTC (train station). Since I'm on HARB I got to review what they are planning. Mostly just heavy maintenance, but adding some amenities. Should jive well with the redevelopment of the general area.
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  #2848  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:27 PM
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Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
To state the obvious, a Harrisburg-Amazon HQ2 is a long shot. But I like the effort that the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC put into creating renderings and a conceptual masterplan for the company, based around the former Harrisburg State Hospital Site, which DGS has been hoping to sell to anyone for a while. We know that this is the one-and-only site being offered in Harrisburg's bid; what we don't know is what types of financial incentives were included in the submitted proposal. Seems like wishful thinking to me, but if nothing else, this exercise shows what huge potential that site would have, should the right investor come along.


Image Source: Central Penn Business Journal




Images Source: The Burg News


The biggest positive that I think will come from the HQ2 bid is that for the first time I can remember the entire region, minus Cumberland County Commissioners of course(remember Corridor One), worked together to do something positive.
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  #2849  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ePlanningPhila View Post
I agree. Central PA has so much potential, but there is so much competition amongst each municipality in the region. AOL founder Stave Case held a Rise of the Rest tour in Harrisburg this fall, and commented Central PA, indeed has all the assets of a 1.2 Million person metro to make it great, but it is so disenfranchised that it does not capture its potential.

We really need some regional leaders to form a coalition to share cost of services, and also share cost of benefits with one another. This way a more regional mindset can be developed, and in terms of economic development better planning can be implemented, especially in targeting more cohesive and strategic land use planning.

The sprawl of the region is really starting to cut out quality of life and add a negative.

I also think there is huge potential for leaders to partner with Penn State, State College, and establish a tech/entrepreneurial incubator in Harrisburg. The Harrisburg metro is the closest, sizable/significant metro to PSU, and there is tremendous opportunity with Economic Development on that front.

Also the region desperately needs to improve public transit. First implementing some Bus Rapid Transit lines, and some TOD development would be a huge start. The region will continue to become more attractive as cost of living continues to increase in NYC, DC and Philadelphia. In the past young leaders would seek better opportunities in those cities, because they were so close to Harrisburg.

But now that they are not as sustainable in terms of living, Harrisburg really has a chance to live out its potential.
There is TOD being planned around the Train station. In conjunction with improving Market Square the Central Train Station will be moved to the HTC.

The empty parking lots to the East of the train station are in the planning to be redeveloped. Remaking lost street grid, Paxton Creek Greening etc. As with most things involving HBG. The state has their fingers in it so it may take a bit.
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  #2850  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:36 PM
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Good news indeed. Although I think your height estimates are bit generous.
If industry standard floor heights are kept it will be about 450 as proposed. There is a the RFP that lays out the number of floors. I think it is in the Central Penn Business Journal version of the story.
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  #2851  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ePlanningPhila View Post
There is definitely a lot of momentum building in Harrisburg. It would be great to make this forum active again.

Harrisburg just released its Comprehensive Plan after nearly 1.5 years. Definitely some great ideas, within. HART (Harrisburg Area Rapid Transit) is my personal favorite.

https://theburgnews.com/news/its-her...-plan-released

Ill share and see what other input posters have. I think there is too much activity going on in the city now to let this forum be dormant!
For the longest time I ignored this forum as I felt like I was talking to a wall... Good to see people back!
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  #2852  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ePlanningPhila View Post
I am familiar with the building site and how tall 600,000 square feet is. The building site is quite small and 600,000 square feet is very large. Which means that this building is definitely going to be significant.

The tallest building right now is 333 Market at 341 feet, that building is around 300,000 - 400,000 square feet, give or take.

A 600,000 square foot building on that site, certainly would command at least 30 stories, and would most definitely be 100 feet taller than 333 Market. Putting it at about 450 feet. Give or take, and depending on how much of a residential/commercial use the developer wants to incorporate into the building, it could easily top 500 feet. When you are developing a mix use building, it is quite easy to get to 500 feet to be honest. If the lot size was extremely bigger, than all that square footage would command a building that was not as tall.

But given that the lot is not extremely large, we are looking at over a 400 feet building and my guess breaking very close or slightly over 500 feet. Definitely a new landmark building for the city.

Now let's hope that the design/architecture will also be landmark! It would be great to get a new glass highrise, the city has enough concrete boxes from the 90s building boom.

Once this is built I really see it kicking off a trend for another mixed use highrise. Incorporating residential and commercial space! The city is just waiting to ignite with development. As Philadelphia, DC and NYC continue to escalate in cost of living, smaller cities are going to be the next wave of major development.


The currently proposed design is following the Tall and skinny trend in Residential construction as we see in many towers in midtown NYC. I am guessing it they did add more residential to the project it would simply tack floors onto the dormitory segment of the building. (they really should as the cost of the foundation, elevators, etc is already sunk and it is well short of when cost per floor starts to increase again.)
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  #2853  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:48 PM
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Originally Posted by EastSideHBG View Post
All very important but some on that list are pretty small scale and you still see those gain one/lose one trends, the loss of the food trucks and the stupid parking meter rules and rates that have done some damage over the years for example.

I have to disagree just a bit about Midtown. When it is deads-ville and becomes less deads-ville it's noticeable but when you compare with other cities it's still kind of meh to me. But on the right track for sure and hopefully the transformation continues.

I know sometimes the issue is that I compare Harrisburg to bigger places but that is because it likes to tout itself as a bigger city (and we both agree that it can look and feel like one when you are standing in the heart of DT, at least during the day) but I think that it keeps falling short in every big city category.

DT and much of the city is very DC-esque to me and that is huge, as DC is one of my favorite cities and that urban model offers quite a bit. HBG should really capitalize [pun intended ] on this.

Harrisburg is heading in the right direction but there needs to be more.
When it comes to redevelopment of a region I think trends are more important than where one currently is. I believe its very hard to argue we're going in the wrong direction. And after the initial emptying of DT with parking increase, its largely returned to its preraise parking levels. I think most have normalized the cost (the raise was a necessary evil I think we all know about). Those that still use it to beat on HBG would have come DT anyhow so it's really a moot point.
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  #2854  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:51 PM
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I sure can:

Strong DT but an overall decentralized metro.
Government center.
Potential for strong regional transportation.
Mostly a low-rise area.
Far more new than old across the metro due to when the metro grew.
Strong and convenient highway network but bursting at the seems.

My comparison was its look, feel and function and agreed that it will never be DC like it will never be NYC.
Agree with you. Larry Binda the managing editor of the previously mention Burg Magazine came from DC and will frequently make apt comparisons to DC.
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  #2855  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 3:56 PM
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Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
I lived in Central PA for a few years after college, from 2013 to mid-2015 (closer to Williamsport). Beautiful part of the country, in terms of nature, and every borough / city is so unique. I wish I had explored more of Harrisburg though. I remember that downtown was very walkable, felt safe, and had a lot of great historic architecture. And it certainly does punch way above its class when it comes to skyline. Great core density too. At least compared to many other cities that size.
Its funny that DT feels safe (and largely is) but because of night life and associated issues it has the 2nd highest crime rate in HBG right behind the Hill. Now if you don't get wasted and watch yourself walking on the weekends, you are totally fine.
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  #2856  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 4:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ePlanningPhila View Post
I agree from an economic development stand point, a BRT system is the #1 thing the region needs. HART (Harrisburg Area Regional Transit) is a fantastic element in the plan. I am actually starting a Greater Harrisburg Transit Advocacy Organization called Harrisburg 3.0.

https://www.facebook.com/Harrisburg-30-311484495998066/

Long term, creating a rail network would be a priority. But in the short term starting BRT pilots within the next 2 - 3 years is a top priority! Feel free to join on facebook!
There was a pretty well funded group in the area. MTP. (Modern Transit Partnership). Their webpage has gone dark so maybe they have went out of existence?

If you want to Contact David Morrison at HHA (Historic Harrisburg Association) he was once very active with the group. He's a wonderful resource of all things Harrisburg.
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  #2857  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 4:02 PM
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Originally Posted by EastSideHBG View Post
You're still missing my point, I am talking strictly cosmetic and in form and function, nothing else. I am not comparing economies, projects, world importance... To not be super duper excited about a bike share and a new stop sign on a corner says nothing at all about my comparisons, as they are completely unrelated. But on the same token Harrisburg sometimes does want to play in a bigger league and I can support that but it needs to step its game up for sure.

In other very big and exciting Harrisburg news a portion of a street may be going two way, hooray

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/11..._harrisbu.html

The old photos were neat.
HBG always seems to want to find the biggest kid in the room and pick a fight. We punch above our weight, but not our ego.. lol...

The strides that city government is taking to try to make HBG more livable will have long term impact I believe. 2-way second will really help with that. So much more to do.
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  #2858  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2017, 10:13 PM
ePlanningPhila ePlanningPhila is offline
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Originally Posted by Young Gun View Post
There was a pretty well funded group in the area. MTP. (Modern Transit Partnership). Their webpage has gone dark so maybe they have went out of existence?

If you want to Contact David Morrison at HHA (Historic Harrisburg Association) he was once very active with the group. He's a wonderful resource of all things Harrisburg.
Thanks for the information. I will definitely reach out. May I ask what capacity you work in planning/development or related field in the area? There definitely is a lot of momentum in the city, as you can see from this forum coming back to life. Its still in the early stages but there definitely will be lots of future opportunities.

I think HART (Harrisburg Area Rapid Transit) is one of the most intriguing aspects of the comprehensive plan released. The region has some major issues with land use planning, and I feel it has only escalated. There has been a great deal of poor quality/poorly planned and aesthetically unpleasing projects over the last 5 years that 100% cast a negative shadow on the region.
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  #2859  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2017, 4:10 PM
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HBG always seems to want to find the biggest kid in the room and pick a fight. We punch above our weight, but not our ego.. lol...

The strides that city government is taking to try to make HBG more livable will have long term impact I believe. 2-way second will really help with that. So much more to do.
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  #2860  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2017, 7:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ePlanningPhila View Post
Thanks for the information. I will definitely reach out. May I ask what capacity you work in planning/development or related field in the area? There definitely is a lot of momentum in the city, as you can see from this forum coming back to life. Its still in the early stages but there definitely will be lots of future opportunities.

I think HART (Harrisburg Area Rapid Transit) is one of the most intriguing aspects of the comprehensive plan released. The region has some major issues with land use planning, and I feel it has only escalated. There has been a great deal of poor quality/poorly planned and aesthetically unpleasing projects over the last 5 years that 100% cast a negative shadow on the region.
Sorry for taking a couple days to get back to you. It's been a crazy few days.

I think I may have mentioned it. I sit on the Board of HARB . (architectural review board), I have friends that sit on the boards of CAT, CRW, local developers and architectural firms. Twice failed city council candidate. So while I don't work directly in planning I am better connected to information than the average citizen has the ability to obtain.

I'm that person that sits at the bar with friend and debates traffic calming, or the likelihood of building proposals getting built. lol

p.s. CRW has a lot of money banked to spend on green infrastructure. So heres to hoping we get many of our street trees back that have been slowly disappearing the last 50 years.
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