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  #2821  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2017, 6:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ePlanningPhila View Post
Huge News!!!

Harrisburg University is sending out RFP for mixed use building at corner of 3rd and Chestnut. (Currently a surface lot).

Plan calls for School of Pharmacy and School of Nursing, hotel and student housing, calling for about 500,000 square feet. The proposal also allots the developer to add additional residential space for apartments etc. Given the lot size and the potential to have 600,000 square feet, this looks to be over 400 feet, possibly 500 feet and I would say around 20 - 30 stories.

This is huge news for Harrisburg, and most certainly kicks off some new momentum for the city!

https://theburgnews.com/news/healthc...own-harrisburg
Good news indeed. Although I think your height estimates are bit generous.
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  #2822  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2017, 10:15 PM
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Even at 350 feet or 400 feet this would mean a new tallest for Harrisburg.



Harrisburg University plans to build city's tallest tower
Quote:
The growing university will issue a request for proposals on Thursday to find development teams capable of erecting what could be the tallest building in the capital city when it opens in 2021.

President Eric Darr said the proposed mixed-use tower could be 36 stories and cost $130 million to $150 million to develop

Preliminary plans for the new tower, which could be 10 stories taller than any other building in Harrisburg, also call for student housing with at least 300 beds and other amenities including a 144-room boutique hotel, restaurant and executive conference center.

"This will be the biggest project in Harrisburg in at least 30 years," Darr said. "You're not going to find people who are local. This will attract national players that build large health-science, mixed-use buildings."

The university will select finalists by Feb. 23 and make its selection by April 10. Darr said he hopes to have a final agreement in place with a development team by the end of June to begin detailed design and approvals with the city.

The goal is to have shovels in the ground by the summer of 2019. Construction is expected to take about two years
http://www.cpbj.com/article/20171115...-tallest-tower
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  #2823  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2017, 10:32 PM
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I always was hoping one of these Philly satellite cities: Trenton, Wilmington, Harrisburg would get a new tallest. Here's hoping!
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  #2824  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2017, 4:35 PM
ePlanningPhila ePlanningPhila is offline
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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!
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  #2825  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2017, 6:27 PM
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Looking forward to Feb 2nd.
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  #2826  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2017, 11:30 PM
ePlanningPhila ePlanningPhila is offline
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Originally Posted by mville1 View Post
Even at 350 feet or 400 feet this would mean a new tallest for Harrisburg.



Harrisburg University plans to build city's tallest tower


http://www.cpbj.com/article/20171115...-tallest-tower

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.
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  #2827  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2017, 6:58 PM
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I'll remain cautiously optimistic, as I have seen way too many failures in Harrisburg to get my hopes up too high. The city/area does need a major shift, though, and outside of being the capital it's in too good of a location on the map to be as boring and blah as it is decade after decade.
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  #2828  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2017, 7:58 PM
ePlanningPhila ePlanningPhila is offline
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Originally Posted by EastSideHBG View Post
I'll remain cautiously optimistic, as I have seen way too many failures in Harrisburg to get my hopes up too high. The city/area does need a major shift, though, and outside of being the capital it's in too good of a location on the map to be as boring and blah as it is decade after decade.
Harrisburg's geographic location for decades has been the reason why it has stayed complacent for so long, because it is so close to so many other larger cities that offer more opportunity that many times young people would simply settle there. And with a lack of innovative young rising leaders, the city/region largely has played the same circle and done nothing major.

The shift transition is that these larger cities (NYC, Philly and DC) are getting more and more expensive, and that trend is only going to continue, and therefore more young people are turning to medium size and smaller cities and are beginning to invest there; including Harrisburg.

Once this shift happens, within the next decade Harrisburg is going to really catapult with interest and investment. You are already starting to see the pieces come together. Midtown in the past 5 years has totally underwent a major transformation and that momentum is growing. The city is gaining residents again! Which is huge.

Harrisburg is unique, because it is a well planned city, and has a strong CBD/urban neighborhoods, that truly make the city feel 2 - 3 times the size, but without the hassles of living in a larger city. As the more expensive cities continue to price people out. Harrisburg is going to have its shining moment. I guarantee it.

I have good friends from Philadelphia who made an overnight trip to Harrisburg over the summer, and they were blown away. They loved it, and while they are still young (late 20s) and live in Philadelphia, they told me they definitely want to go back and explore more, as it offers many urban amenities at a far more affordable price. And for settling down to them its very attractive. Philadelphia is still affordable, but those first time home buyer properties are starting to get pretty far out from the urban core, as real estate here as increased dramatically in the past 5 years. When you can buy a home for $150,000 less, and still live in an attractive place, the attractiveness of Harrisburg increases dramatically.

That mindset is only going to escalate. The other battle is to market the region better; and build a coalition that shares costs and also shares benefits. This way we can adopt a more regional mindset and promotion. The west shore v. east shore battle alone is absolutely ridiculous, and I think even rivals or exceeds the SEPA v. SNJ divide that exists in Philadelphia.
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  #2829  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2017, 9:19 PM
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ePlanningPhila, I agree with some of what you said but not all and I will comment on those parts. I appreciate your mindset and enthusiasm, though, and the area needs more people like you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ePlanningPhila View Post
Harrisburg is unique, because it is a well planned city, and has a strong CBD/urban neighborhoods, that truly make the city feel 2 - 3 times the size, but without the hassles of living in a larger city. As the more expensive cities continue to price people out. Harrisburg is going to have its shining moment. I guarantee it.
I disagree. The traffic in the area is atrocious, crime is bad, etc., so it has all of the hassles of a bigger city without any of the perks.

Quote:
I have good friends from Philadelphia who made an overnight trip to Harrisburg over the summer, and they were blown away. They loved it, and while they are still young (late 20s) and live in Philadelphia, they told me they definitely want to go back and explore more, as it offers many urban amenities at a far more affordable price. And for settling down to them its very attractive. Philadelphia is still affordable, but those first time home buyer properties are starting to get pretty far out from the urban core, as real estate here as increased dramatically in the past 5 years. When you can buy a home for $150,000 less, and still live in an attractive place, the attractiveness of Harrisburg increases dramatically.
Complete opposite experience of anyone I have ever taken to Harrisburg and shown around but of course this is subjective and relative and I am glad that they liked it as much as they did.

The mindset in the area needs to change big time for it to become something big but hopefully we are seeing that now. I am still pretty plugged in there and year after year it's been the same old same old. I hope that in a decade+ there may be some good things but what annoys me about that is that it has already been decades and we are all still playing the "some day, some day!" game.
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  #2830  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2017, 9:55 PM
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Developments in the past year that have really set Harrisburg on a positive trajectory:

1) Population Growth (the city is actually gaining residents, not loosing them)
2) Millworks; continues to expand adding a rooftop Beer Garden.
3) Broad St. Market has seen record investment and new occupants.
4) Susquehanna Art Musuem; has had a very enriching curation of events the past 2 years.
5) HMAC; just hosted a huge start up event by AOL founder.
6) Bike Share Launched this year
7) Startup HBG; incubator for small startups in the region
8) Provisions; a small urban market opened downtown; serving residents
9) Strawberry Square has seen record investment the past 2 years with new tenants; Little Amps, Rite Aid, Provisions, Freshido, UPMC, and more. Residential conversion. And curation of events.
10) SOMA has had several pop up street festivals this year; and new lighting; which really adds some character
11) More businesses have moved operations into the city; I do not have the list, but its well over 500 new workers total; and this is just the past 15 months.
12) Over 100 New Luxury apartments have been converted within downtown. And over 100 more are in the works now to be built/converted over the next 2 years.
13) 3rd in the Burg. (Highly successful monthly series)
14) HBG Flea; monthly maker series, that brings together regions independent artist, makers and sellers. A really cool and well crafted event!
15) HBG Mural Fest (city added 10 new murals in 10 days)
16) Harristown is building a new midrise commercial building downtown; highlighting there is growing demand for businesses to relocate to downtown.
17) Harrisburg U is expanding with 2 new schools. Pharmacy & Nursing.



This list are accomplishments only within the past 2 years; and most have really taken off within the past year.

The list continues but this is simply the short version. If we didn't have such vibrancy in Midtown and see the renaissance that is happening right now at the Broad Street Market, I would agree with you. But Midtown is really becoming a very attractive place to live. work. and play. And as those amenities continue to improve, it will only attract more residents, and thereby the neighborhood will only get safer, and desirability will continue to spillover.

Yes the region faces challenges, mostly based on the fragmentation of municipalities and lack of regional thinking.

Harrisburg is a small city, its only 12 square miles. The violent crime is highly concentrated, and nearly none of it is random, but rather occurs between inter-related individuals. And when you look at the scale and concentration of the problem, it honestly is very mild. Yes Harrisburg has challenges, but in retrospect they pale in comparison to a major city like Baltimore, and are far easier to solve.

I understand what you are saying, but the problems are much easier to resolve since the scale is so much smaller. The major reason why Harrisburg has been stuck in time, is that young leaders (the change makers) have always made their way to the larger cities that are within reach to Harrisburg to seek better opportunities at a relatively low cost. But now that cost is increasing in many ways unsustainable rates. DC 1 Bedrooms average around $2,000+. NYC average over $3,000+. And the desirable parts of Philadelphia have increased in costs over the past several years. Meaning that migrating to say NYC or DC, just is not as attractive as its once been. And staying somewhere like Harrisburg suddenly becomes worth looking into. When before it never even was thought of.

I go to Harrisburg often, and when I go to these places in Midtown/Downtown, many of these people working at all these new places are not from the area, and many are not even from Pennsylvania. They moved to Harrisburg because they were attracted to what it had to offer, at a modest cost. The fact I can buy an extremely nice property in Midtown at around $150,000 is extremely attractive to me tbh. When you consider the amenities at your disposal for that price. Here in Philadelphia that same house in a comparable neighborhood is now going for $350,000, in some areas. That difference in cost, suddenly has Harrisburg more attractive in my mind than ever before. 10 years ago, when housing in Philadelphia was more affordable, then I wouldn't even think of Harrisburg.

My point is, Harrisburg is most certainly on the brink of some major changes, and this new highrise (my guess is it will be at least 450ft) is the landmark project that launches. Harrisburg 2.0.

Last edited by ePlanningPhila; Nov 17, 2017 at 10:10 PM.
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  #2831  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2017, 10:57 PM
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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.
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  #2832  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2017, 12:56 AM
ePlanningPhila ePlanningPhila is offline
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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.

Something small like Harrisburg getting bike share is HUGE. See the propulsion of a city all deals with amenities. Slowly and surely as that list of amenities continues to increase; the attractiveness and desirability increases.

Also mistake number 1. Harrisburg is a small city; it is considered to be a Class C city. Its peak population was about 90k and it is only 12 square miles, and is not even a player in the large city category. There are about 8 Class A cities in the USA, DC and Philadelphia and NYC are all part of that. Class B cities are places like Pittsburgh and Portland and Austin. Harrisburg is a Class C. And for being a Class C city, the built environment is quite impressive. And this is what truly makes it have so much potential. If you got the right leaders in place. There 100% would be potential to make Harrisburg a Class B city, albeit it would take nearly 30 years of leadership and vision. But Harrisburg has the potential to be on par with say Buffalo, NY in size/scale/scope.

But the point is, you can't compare Harrisburg to DC.

What does make it unique and very attractive though, is that its layout and design, feels like a MUCH LARGER PLACE. Which to me is badass. I mean Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has a larger and more impressive skyline than Phoenix, AZ. And to me that is badass. BUT what people cannot do is compare Harrisburg to DC. There is ZERO COMPARISON.

Harrisburg can be compared to:

Asheville, NC
Portland, ME
Springfield, MA
Charleston, SC

I mean you get the idea. Providence, RI is a bit of a stretch. Trust me, I acknowledge that there is still TONS of work to do in Harrisburg, and to be honest there is as much work to do within the city, as there is to do to change the leadership and regional government structure of the whole Harrisburg Metro.

But even something as small as a brewery opening within Broad Street Market is HUGE. To think that 5 years ago, the market barely had any form of life, and now it is THRIVING. This small things, are what people are craving. Vibrant, enriching community centers. And Harrisburg is slowly piecing these together.

Even in SEPA, you are really starting to see investment within these walkable centers. Bala Cynwd town center has been left to disinvestment for decades. And now; we have proposals for hundreds of apartments in its core, adding vitality and vibrancy in these walkable communities. Usually it only takes a few investments projects, for this snowball effect to take hold, where the economic development just sky rockets. Phoenixville is a great example. Those small projects; all happening within one year, are things that people 10 years ago would think are crazy, and they are happening.

Harrisburg is getting a 400 footer, and I think it will be closer to 450 feet, based on the 600,000 square feet and the small lot size. This is landmark. Do you read TheBurg publication? It really highlights the new leaders emerging in Harrisburg. The city is on the brink, of being one of the coolest small cities in America. It definitely still needs some work, but the changes are definitely happening.
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  #2833  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2017, 4:54 PM
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But the point is, you can't compare Harrisburg to DC.
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.
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  #2834  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2017, 1:27 PM
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I am new here. I have landed on this page in the past when searching for Harrisburg-related topics but with all the recent activity (Comprehensive Plan, Amazon bid, new potential "skyscraper," plans to revamp Market Square) I decided to join.

I love Harrisburg and the surrounding area. I am actually from the NYC met area and that lifestyle just didn't work for me. I much prefer a smaller city, especially in a beautiful natural setting such as this, and Harrisburg fits the bill with its low cost of living, easy access to a great state park system, and overall reasonably laid-back lifestyle. I currently live in Cumberland County, and have been in the area for over 20 years now.

It's exciting to see so many good things going on in Harrisburg; I hope they can pull it all off.
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  #2835  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2017, 2:50 PM
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Originally Posted by GTMustangDad View Post
I am new here. I have landed on this page in the past when searching for Harrisburg-related topics but with all the recent activity (Comprehensive Plan, Amazon bid, new potential "skyscraper," plans to revamp Market Square) I decided to join.

I love Harrisburg and the surrounding area. I am actually from the NYC met area and that lifestyle just didn't work for me. I much prefer a smaller city, especially in a beautiful natural setting such as this, and Harrisburg fits the bill with its low cost of living, easy access to a great state park system, and overall reasonably laid-back lifestyle. I currently live in Cumberland County, and have been in the area for over 20 years now.

It's exciting to see so many good things going on in Harrisburg; I hope they can pull it all off.
Welcome!
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  #2836  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2017, 11:08 PM
ePlanningPhila ePlanningPhila is offline
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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.
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.
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  #2837  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 11:47 PM
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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.
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  #2838  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2017, 12:48 AM
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I would like to contribute more to this thread and the general Pennsylvania cities thread, but I recently moved out of the region and can only contribute from afar. I will say generally Harrisburg, Lancaster and York are all moving in the right direction, albeit at different paces. People in the lower Susquehanna Valley just need to be willing to make investments in infrastructure upgrades needed to accommodate this growth and look to the long term benefits. It always confounded me when I lived in Lancaster that there was almost a universal agreement that traffic was bad and getting worse, but when a trolley line was proposed in the 1990's to connect downtown to Park City the plan was strongly opposed. Now there is a ton of new development along Harrisburg Pike like the Crossings at Conestoga Creek, F&M's continued development and LGH's new behavioral hospital. Other public transportation expansion plans have also been panned, but people wonder why traffic continues to get worse.....
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  #2839  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2017, 2:05 AM
GTMustangDad GTMustangDad is offline
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Welcome!
Thanks! It's nice to see so much enthusiasm for what Harrisburg could be. I moved to South Central PA in the mid-nineties and thought even then that it had lots of potential.
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  #2840  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2017, 6:25 PM
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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.
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