ULI Philadelphia’s Central Pennsylvania Regional Council held a Mayoral Update, “A Tale of Three Cities“, on Thursday, April 11th at Gamut Theater in Harrisburg, PA. Due to the ever-changing infrastructure demands and the need for creative developments, the council thought it was important to highlight three Pennsylvania cities that are evolving to these changes.
Mayors from Harrisburg, Lancaster and York were invited to share their visions, strategic plans, and current real estate projects for their respective cities. The speakers included:
During this dynamic conversation, the audience got a sense of urban development trends across the region and an overview of the most exciting upcoming urban projects in Central PA. As host mayor, Mayor Papenfuse kicked off the morning with a rundown of the top 10 construction projects happening in Harrisburg, including a $130 million tower coming in August 2021 that includes a 17-story Nursing School for the University of Harrisburg and a 10-story hotel with almost 200 rooms. Harrisburg’s population has been growing for the first time in 70 years, which has been driving the construction of new market rate apartments.
Mayor Helfrich followed with a presentation on some recently completed projects in York as well as notable developments currently in the works. Projects included both adaptive reuse and new construction projects, including a $60 million new home for United Fiber & Data in a former county jail. He emphasized that his approach to development is about getting to the social issues that are holding us all back and discussed how Opportunity Zones can support future development in the city.
Lastly, representing the City of Lancaster, Mayor Sorace highlighted the evolution of Lancaster Square and provided a snapshot of their Strategic Plan. The revitalization of the square will include a mixed-use project consisting of a local business headquarters, a hotel, a public library, and a parking garage. Developments such as this are apart of the city’s overall Strategic Plan that is focused on build strong neighborhoods block by block. So far in conjunctions with the plan, the city has hired its first ever Director of Neighborhood Engagement, created neighborhood working groups and leveraged data to drive decisions.
The event also included an audience Q+A for attendees to go more in depth with the mayors. Many questions focused on how we can work together as a region to create better developments, communities and economic growth. The consensus was that each city is committed to working together to build a stronger PA, increase jobs, and create safe streets.
ULI Philadelphia would like to thank our sponsors, speakers and all of the members and volunteers who made this event possible. For more information on how to get involved with ULI, including joining our Central PA Council, click here.