HARRISBURG, Pa. — North Front Street serves as the gateway for the City of Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township. However, several lots sit empty along that corridor. Local officials are now looking at ways to spruce up the area.
“Having vacant buildings is a concern for every community," said David Pribulka, township manager of Susquehanna Township.
Pribulka says Susquehanna Township is hoping to revitalize the area as part of its ‘Susquehanna 2030 Plan.’ He says the goal is to bring in new businesses to fill the empty spaces.
“If it’s done properly, it will be one of the most vibrant parts of the township," said Pribulka. "It has a lot of potential.”
“It helps the residents, locally, it helps the existing businesses in that corridor and in Susquehanna Township as well," said George Connor, executive director of the Dauphin County Department of Community and Economic Development.
George Connor is in discussions with local leaders to implement a tax abatement program for the blighted plots, called the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance program.
He said the program has successfully converted blighted areas in Lykens and Hummelstown.
“By doing these commercial deals like this, it cuts down on taxes for the local residents," said Connor. "Because if you’re commercial tax base is up by having multiple businesses, the local municipalities don’t have to raise taxes for residents.”
He says Susquehanna Township and Dauphin County Commissioners need to approve the program before its implemented. Connor believes developers will start moving into the empty lots as soon as the program is up and running.
“I would say within the next 12 to 24 months, it may be a different Front Street Corridor," said Connor.