A vacant property is set to become the new home of the Susquehanna Art Museum in Midtown Harrisburg. Midtown is a neighborhood in transition. If you recall my 3rd in the Burg post, I touched on Harrisburg’s emerging arts and cultural scene. This neighborhood has become a focal point of urban renewal and revitalization by making itself a “destination” that is attracting people to Harrisburg.
Millions of dollars are being poured into Midtown redevelopment. Creative business owners like Midtown Scholar Bookstore, Midtown Cinema, Midtown Harrisburg Arts Center and a growing list of restaurants and cafés are also leading the way. The addition of the Susquehanna Art Museum will strengthen the fledgling district and attract more business to the area. Having events like 3rd in the Burg already in place will only accelerate revitalization efforts.
Another huge addition to Midtown will be the new federal courthouse that will break ground in 2013. The $130 million building will bring an influx of workers into the neighborhood that have disposable income to spend on things like food and arts/culture, along with other businesses that will sprout up as the result of all this development. The site of the new federal courthouse is now a parking lot.
GreenWorks Development has been busy spending redevelopment dollars in Midtown. They own a large amount of property in the neighborhood, including the new museum site. In addition to the $50 million they have spent thus far, they plan to spend another $75 million on future projects. Harrisburg Area Community College and Fulton Bank have already benefited from GreenWorks’ projects. A four-story Campus Green building, costing $14.3 million, is another project that has benefited Midtown. GreenWorks is also involved with residential development by creating affordable and market-priced housing in Midtown, which will be critical for Midtown’s continued redevelopment.
Midtown Development has also been a player in this neighborhood’s revitalization efforts by renovating blighted properties.
Local business owners and residents are optimistic. Most see a bright future for Midtown. There are always some skeptics and detractors, but the majority of residents see these changes as taking their neighborhood in the right direction. There is still a long road ahead and things take time, but tangible progress is being made to revitalize Midtown Harrisburg and make it “the place to be” in Pennsylvania’s capital city.