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  #2041  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 3:37 PM
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That Aloft Hotel looks great.
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  #2042  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 4:14 PM
crs921 crs921 is offline
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Sounds good Jer

Looking forward to the status update and any pics you can get today of the Hbg U tower....
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  #2043  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 2:55 AM
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Originally Posted by crs921 View Post
Looking forward to the status update and any pics you can get today of the Hbg U tower....
Had to unexpectantly go out of town today. Didn't get the photos taken. The basement window frame was beyond repair. The entire thing was dry rotted. I've spent most of the day in my father's workshop build new window frames. It should look awesome when I'm done.
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  #2044  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 3:01 AM
crs921 crs921 is offline
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no prob bud

when do you think when you will get pics taken and an update on a floor count/progress???

sounds like you have the work cut out for you with your house - but it seems great with the pics. hang in there.

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  #2045  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 3:02 AM
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Originally Posted by EastSideHBG View Post
I guess this all comes down to the chicken or the egg argument, as more singles need to move there to change this, but the area needs to be open to them for them to want to come (and stay). Time will tell I guess...on the bright side, it seems as if HBG is beginning to experience its first reversal of the "brain drain" in decades.
At least in my building the trend is reversed. All of my tennants have moved in from out of town. My second floor tennant is from Philly. I am not sure where the one kid on the third floororiginates from but it is out of town. The other girl on the third floor is from an hour up 78. Not sure what the name of the town was. She went to Penn State Middletown and seems to be sticking in the area for now.

As previously stated I grew up in Waynesboro, PA. I find the area pretty open to new comers, but then I grew up in a smaller town where the thought of someone different sent the villagers running for their pitchforks and torches. I guess it all is relevant to your past expirences.
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  #2046  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 3:57 PM
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At least in my building the trend is reversed. All of my tennants have moved in from out of town. My second floor tennant is from Philly. I am not sure where the one kid on the third floororiginates from but it is out of town. The other girl on the third floor is from an hour up 78. Not sure what the name of the town was. She went to Penn State Middletown and seems to be sticking in the area for now.
Good to hear! The area definitely needs some fresh people from elsewhere w/ new ideas.

Quote:
As previously stated I grew up in Waynesboro, PA. I find the area pretty open to new comers, but then I grew up in a smaller town where the thought of someone different sent the villagers running for their pitchforks and torches.
Sadly, you aren't far from the truth LOL
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  #2047  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 10:38 PM
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a few observations

I was walking my pups the other night and I think I counted almost 10 floors at HBG UNI. I also noticed the walkway (Dewberry St) connecting International House to Market St is about halfway complete and the new Messiah College building looks great. I lived at Pa Place 6 years ago and it's amazing how much has changed in that area. Just about half of the 300 Blk of Chestnut was abandoned when I resided there.


It also looks like something is finally happening at Tracy Mansion. They now have billboards advertising the condos. The place looks pretty nice. www.Tracymanor.com

Riverview is a new 32 suite residential condominium to be constructed adjacent to the restored Tracy Mansion.

Landscaping and a beautiful courtyard plaza will connect the new condominium building to the mansion, creating a park-like setting and complimenting the riverwalk and tree lined streets.

Two parking decks below the condominium building will provide secured parking.

Prices start at $349,000
Sizes from approximately 1,090 to 3,030 square feet.
1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites are available.
Construction on Riverview is targeted to begin in late 2007
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  #2048  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2007, 1:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrmidtown View Post


It also looks like something is finally happening at Tracy Mansion. They now have billboards advertising the condos. The place looks pretty nice.
Those billboards are huge!!! I was getting on here to post that. I got back in town too late to take photos. Camara is shitty in low light and I don't have a tripod. (Santa if you are listening) I hope the jury duty doesn't take too long and I can get back some free time.
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  #2049  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2007, 4:40 PM
MidtownMike MidtownMike is offline
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Nervous markets don't deter hotel bid
Sunday, November 04, 2007
BY DAN MILLER
Of The Patriot-News

Hersha Development Corp. committed to a new hotel in downtown Harrisburg last week, despite signs that tight credit is slowing down such development.

Hersha entered a joint venture with WCI Partners to develop the proposed 13-story, 138-room Starwood Aloft hotel at Second and State streets. The project, which was first announced by WCI last year, would be the first hotel built in the city since 1990.

In September, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted 3,000 fewer hotel rooms being built in 2008 than first forecast, because of lenders postponing or canceling financing. The firm also expects a nearly 1 percent drop in consumer demand for rooms in 2008 compared to initial projections.

Mayur Patel, general counsel for the Hersha Group family of companies, which includes Hersha Development Corp., said the study is no cause for concern.

"Most of the decline you see is among properties being built along highways and in suburban settings, where you put up a hotel and the next day there are two or three guys getting approvals and the zoning to put up a hotel right next to you," Patel said.

Patel said the Starwood Aloft is in a sector of the lodging industry that is growing -- "boutique" hotels in the heart of cities.

"If you look at city centers like Manhattan and Philadelphia, and to a lesser extent places like Harrisburg, you are seeing an increase in rooms," Patel said.

J. Alex Hartzler, president of WCI Partners, unveiled his hotel plan in September 2006, which with a year of hindsight looked like a much more stable economy. But Hartzler sees no reason for changing plans for the project, which would be the first new downtown hotel since the 341-room Hilton Harrisburg opened on Second Street in 1990.

The downtown also has Crowne Plaza Hotel on Second Street, which opened in 1965. The 261-room Crowne Plaza finished a $10.5 million renovation in 2000.

"There's increasing demand for a downtown location where business travelers want to stay, somewhere where they can take care of multiple things at a certain time. That's always been our premise," Hartzler said. "If you stay here, you can walk to your appointment at the capital, you can frequent the restaurants, you can do all your business without having need of a car."

Patel said the downtown can use another hotel.

Joseph B. Massaro, Hilton's general manager, has said he has no doubt that downtown can support a third hotel. Massaro said that the average occupancy rate for hotels in Harrisburg so far this year is 65 percent, according to Smith Travel Research. Massaro would not disclose a current occupancy average for the Hilton.

Hersha's private hotel management company operates 54 hotels, including many in urban centers from Boston to Washington, D.C. Hersha runs 10 hotels in New York City.

Hersha started in Harrisburg in 1984 when founder Hasu P. Shah -- Hersha is named for Shah's wife -- bought the Riverfront Hotel in Shipoke, which is closer to Interstate 83 than downtown. Hersha's corporate headquarters, which was recently expanded and renovated, is on North Front Street in Harrisburg.

Patel said Hartzler is giving Shah the chance to do something he has always sought to do, which is to develop a hotel in Harrisburg from the ground up.

Hartzler made his fortune as one of three men who bought and grew an Internet company called Webclients .net before selling it for $141 million in 2005 to California-based ValueClick.

Through WCI Partners, Hartzler has plowed much of his profit into redeveloping houses in Harrisburg, particularly in midtown.

Hartzler said Hersha's efforts to reinvest in Harrisburg meant that they were a "kindred spirit." But Hartzler's courting of Hersha is more than a feel-good story about watering one's corporate roots.

For instance, Hartzler said financing for his proposed $10 million hotel isn't yet secured, but that Hersha's involvement makes that issue "one of the next stages."

"One of the advantages of bringing in an operating partner like Hersha is that they have been down this road many times," Hartzler said. "They have contacts with the leading lenders in the industry throughout the U.S.

"We're in a far better position with Hersha than we would be on our own," Hartzler added.

Patel is confident the project will get all the money it needs, even in today's nervous markets.

"If there's a tightening of credit, you figure the most experienced and most savvy builders are going to get what's left of the available funds," Patel said. "We wouldn't have gone this far if we were not 99 percent sure that we're going to get not only financing, but great financing."

Patel said the hotel will rely primarily on private financing. The partnership will be looking into any tax-incentive or tax-abatement programs that the government might provide.

The Hilton cost nearly $40 million. The city got a $7.5 million grant from the federal government to help build the hotel.

The 100,000-square-foot Starwood Aloft will have retail space on the street level, and a 140-seat restaurant. Guests can park in the South Street garage now being built behind the hotel.

Hartzler expects a 2008 hotel construction start and a 2009 opening.

DAN MILLER: 255-8440 or danmiller@patriot-news.com
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  #2050  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2007, 5:34 PM
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On yesterdays evening news. South Street Garage is officially open for business today.
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  #2051  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2007, 5:39 PM
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Hey Jer.... pics? :)

Jer, hope the window is going well. When will u get a floor count and pics of the HU tower?
Any other updates?
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  #2052  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2007, 6:56 PM
danwxman danwxman is offline
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On yesterdays evening news. South Street Garage is officially open for business today.
Ahh, I was wondering why the Walnut Street garage was only filled up to the fifth floor this morning.
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  #2053  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 5:47 AM
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Originally Posted by crs921 View Post
Jer, hope the window is going well. When will u get a floor count and pics of the HU tower?
Any other updates?
I'll take pics tomorrow morning. I don't have to be to jury duty till 8:30 so I'll take some in the morning before I go to the courthouse and post over lunch. Window are coming along well. I have a pic here I need to glue the frames together. Sand them and paint them.

Today was crazy. I had jury duty till 4pm. Had to go to work and pass off a project that I won't be able to work on this week. Visited dad in the hospital. and worked on the windows till 10:30 before driving back to Harrisburg.
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  #2054  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 5:48 AM
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Ahh, I was wondering why the Walnut Street garage was only filled up to the fifth floor this morning.
supposedly there was a huge backlog of people that wanted monthly passes for downtown parking. I guess they get get them now...
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  #2055  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 1:51 PM
MidtownMike MidtownMike is offline
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Bookseller to close
Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The B. Dalton Bookseller store in Strawberry Square will close on Nov. 17 to make way for a larger Hallmark store.

In the meantime, all books, magazines and anything else in the B. Dalton inventory is being sold for 50 percent off, said a store manager who asked not to be identified. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Strawberry Patch Hallmark store, located next to B. Dalton, will take over the 2,500-square-foot B. Dalton space, said Bradley Jones, vice president of Strawberry Square owners Harristown Development Corp.

Jones said the added space means Hallmark can add to its selection of books, magazines, compact discs, DVDs (music and video) and Crayola products.

The Hallmark expansion will begin Dec. 1 and the new store is to open Feb. 1.

©2007 The Patriot-News
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  #2056  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 2:24 PM
MidtownMike MidtownMike is offline
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If they ever get the stadium renovated, a restaurant and sports hall of fame built, City Island will be even more prosperous:

Mini-amusement park envisioned at City Island
BY JERRY L. GLEASON / Of The Patriot-News, 11/05/07 4:00 PM EST
UPDATED: 11/05/07 6:51 PM EST

The new owner of the City Island railroad and carousel has long-term plans to build a mini-amusement park around them.

Mak McKeehan, president of Steam Works LLC, bought the attractions from City Island Railroad Corp. and City Island Carousel Corp. last week. The railroad and carousel, which normally close after September, will operate through the end of December, weather permitting.

He said he hopes to add other attractions that will make them a destination for central Pennsylvania families, railroad enthusiasts and carousel buffs. It is too early to say what the attractions might be, he added.

“I have tremendous faith that we’ll be able to do things here that will help Harrisburg continue to grow in popularity as a destination for families,” McKeehan said.

McKeehan said the train, which is pulled by a one-quarter size copy of an actual Civil War-era locomotive, goes hand-in-hand with the 24-horse carousel.

The carousel was built by the Mangels Carousel Works in Coney Island, New York. The City Island locomotive, named “The General” after its full-size Civil War counterpart, was built by Crown Metal Products in Wyano, Pa.

William Firestone, president of the City Island railroad and carousel companies, bought the steam train and carousel in 1993 from Michael Trephan, who established the rides on Harrisburg’s City Island in 1989 and 1992, respectively.

“It’s easy to get lost in the romance of days gone by when you ride a train like this,” McKeehan said. “There weren’t many locomotives like this one built – two of them are in Hershey, the rest are scattered around the country. I see a lot of potential, both for entertainment and for education.”

McKeehan’s firm also plans to convert an existing City Island trolley ride into a larger operation that will go all around the island. Christened the “City Island Trolley Works”, the new service will begin in the spring of 2008.

A test run during Labor Day weekend was encouraging, McKeehan said.

“We had 2,400 trolley riders, all within three days.”

JERRY L. GLEASON:255-8424 or jgleason@patriot-news.com
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  #2057  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 2:33 PM
crs921 crs921 is offline
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Nice Idea

If anyone who has any sort of influence on the possible City Island project --- I'd like to see a big Ferris Wheel (ala Chicago, London, etc.) --- maybe not quite as big but substantial, with maybe a swing ride or something. They can be open year-round - and be a nice addition to the Harrisburg cityscape.
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  #2058  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 2:56 PM
crs921 crs921 is offline
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City Island Ideas

I could totally see these types of attractions on Harrisburg's City Island - open year round.





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  #2059  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 3:28 PM
danwxman danwxman is offline
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Originally Posted by MidtownMike View Post
Bookseller to close
Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The B. Dalton Bookseller store in Strawberry Square will close on Nov. 17 to make way for a larger Hallmark store.

In the meantime, all books, magazines and anything else in the B. Dalton inventory is being sold for 50 percent off, said a store manager who asked not to be identified. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Strawberry Patch Hallmark store, located next to B. Dalton, will take over the 2,500-square-foot B. Dalton space, said Bradley Jones, vice president of Strawberry Square owners Harristown Development Corp.

Jones said the added space means Hallmark can add to its selection of books, magazines, compact discs, DVDs (music and video) and Crayola products.

The Hallmark expansion will begin Dec. 1 and the new store is to open Feb. 1.

©2007 The Patriot-News
Lines were crazy yesterday...I am going to hold out for 75% off though...

I hope we get another bookstore downtown, kind of a shame this is closing. They seemed to always be fairly busy, especially during lunch hour.
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  #2060  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 3:48 PM
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Originally Posted by crs921 View Post
If anyone who has any sort of influence on the possible City Island project --- I'd like to see a big Ferris Wheel (ala Chicago, London, etc.) --- maybe not quite as big but substantial, with maybe a swing ride or something. They can be open year-round - and be a nice addition to the Harrisburg cityscape.
The Harrisburg Eye?? I love it. Why don't you put together a more definative idea? Maybe a proposal? Send the idea to the gentleman listed above? A tall Ferris Wheel where you can see all of Harrisburg could be a good draw. It would need to be big enough to be more of an attraction and not just a ride. I'd do a photoshop job, but I'm just don't have the energy right now. I would have the wheel cantilevered over the water. Instead of being a straight wheel I would have it canted over at 30 degrees or something so you loaded on the island then traveled over the water as you gradually gained elevation. Have a glass floor to the cab so you can look down from it. Oh and make it 136m tall to one up the Londoners

And as requested here are photos of the UT <- (I think we should name it this) I counted 9 stories, but it is a little difficult to tell because the top few stories have a set back and can't be seen from street level. That building is hard to photograph.

I got a couple crappy pics.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

And a photo of the hotel site.

Hotel

Last edited by Young Gun; Nov 6, 2007 at 4:03 PM.
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