State Grant Provides $3 million for Revitalization Project in Allison Hill

Last week a $3 million state grant was awarded for the redevelopment of a blighted section of the South Allison Hill neighborhood in Harrisburg. The “MulDer Square” revitalization project includes streetscape improvements, construction of commercial retail space and affordable housing, and the demolition of several blighted properties in and around the intersection of Mulberry and Derry streets.

The MulDer Square Project is anchored by four key components: 

·       Streetscape Enhancement: Upgrades to streets, walkways, trees, storm water inlets, ADA curbing, and traffic signal.

·        Housing & Elimination of Blight: Redeveloping 15 Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority (HRA) properties and one privately owned property into 50 new, high quality affordable apartments. Harrisburg House Authority (HHA) will construct three new buildings: one 26-unit, one 21-unit, and one 3-unit. The first floor of one of the 26-unit building (Mulberry Apartments East) will house the commercial/retail space as part of the MulDer Square activity. This space is presently planned for use as a pharmacy. HHA will eliminate blight by demolishing seven abandoned, severely deteriorated houses to construct Mulberry Street Apartments. MulDer Square will demolish an additional three targeted houses in similar condition.

·        Economic Development: Developing 2,500 square feet of commercial/retail space within HHA’s Mulberry Street Apartments. This retail space fit-out is a component of larger strategic economic development in South Allison Hill. The City is partnering in new economic activities with the South Allison Hill Neighborhood Business Association; and in partnership with HRA, the City has delivered several new economic activities, including the new Hamilton Health Facility, first-floor retail/commercial space in prior developments, and Tri County Community Action’s off-street parking in the MulDer Square Target Area.

·        Public Safety Improvements: Plan for increased police presence through special initiatives, community policing, and staffing of a sub-station.

The $3 million grant will be specifically designated for streetscape improvements, retail construction, and acquisition and removal of blight.

The MulDer Square project will begin in 2017 with public meetings and the hiring of consultants to provide a scope of work. Initial work is expected to begin in 2017, with completion expected in 2018.

This project will add more energy to the positive changes already going on in the South Allison Hill neighborhood. I'm proud to have worked with Governor Wolf, Mayor Eric Papenfuse and Senator Rob Teplitz to make this happen.