Harrisburg Happening

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My plans for Harrisburg

The following commentary was rejected by the Patriot for As I See It (guess I am now persona non grata) so I'll post it here:

As a long time Harrisburg resident, I have seen development ideas come and go, with no apparent overriding plan. In the Capital City, it seems anyone with a half-baked idea can announce plans for "revitalizing" neglected neighborhoods and abandoned buildings. With the prospect of a mid-town federal courthouse in the near future as a jump-off point, I’m announcing my own plans.

Davenport Communications Announces Plans for Midtown Development
HARRISBURG, Pa., May 11, 2006 –
Davenport Communications today announced a four-phase development plan for Midtown Harrisburg. The projects will complement the GSA federal courthouse project being planned for either the Jackson-Lick or the Cumberland Court lots in Midtown. Davenport Communications project director Anniken Davenport hailed the development plan as "the final step that will be the crown jewel of Midtown redevelopment. No longer need federal employees fear that their post 9-11 secure facility will be a barren outpost. This plan assures that our new neighbors will enjoy urban amenities in their home away from suburban home. In fact, we hope judges, lawyers and federal marshals may find the neighborhood so safe and inviting, they will consider making one of our new condos their permanent home. We hope that the plan announced today will allay the ‘local crime concerns’ cited by GSA’s Abby Low during a recent meeting with the Patriot News editorial board."

Phase One will see the conversion of the five-story Furlow Building on North Third Street into the Furlow Condominiums, including one Penthouse unit with a rooftop deck. The unit will have spectacular Susquehanna River views and is expected to be the first residential property in Harrisburg to sell for more than $1 million. The first floor will house the first downtown full-service Starbucks, a sign that perhaps more than any other heralds Harrisburg has arrived. The second floor will be legal office space, reserved exclusively for attorneys who purchase condominiums on the third and fourth levels. Commuting will be a thing of the past for a new breed of urban legal eagles.

Phase Two will see the conversion of the old Police Athletic League building on North Third into a first rate athletic facility and health club. The basement swimming pool will undergo restoration of its art deco mosaic tile. Membership in PAL II will be included in the condominium maintenance fee for Furlow Condominium owners. PAL II will also be available to children enrolled in the Ronald Brown Charter School located on North Third and Green Streets until the Mayor’s School District management team succeeds in its effort to revoke the school’s charter. At that time, Davenport Communications proposes developing the charter school property into the National Charter School Museum. Mayor Reed, who recently announced that he favors the creation of more museums to "link heritage tourism initiatives to the broader economic development of the city," is expected to support the initiative with a transfer of the charter school operational funds to the museum budget.

Phase Three will see the development of the old printing press at North Third and Reily Streets into luxury loft condominiums with garage parking. Already, New Yorkers are referring to Harrisburg as the "new Tribeca." Work will begin as soon as the EPA issues the all-clear on industrial cleanup from the lead presses and chemical contamination left behind after the 30 years the building housed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources test labs. The abandoned gas station across the street will be converted into a drive-thru deli and gourmet convenience store where customers can park, get gasoline and pick up chef-prepared ready-to-heat meals. In addition, the vacant lot adjoining the Broad Street Market will be converted into an outdoor park and arena available to community bands and organizations. The band stand will be designed to imitate those more commonly found in small-town America, allowing the playing of patriotic music by the Marine Corps Recruiting Band. The developer is also donating office space for a military recruiting station. Given the "local crime concerns" cited by the GSA’s Abby Low, recruiters should find the area fertile cannon fodder territory. After all, nothing reduces the crime rate like sending hot-headed, testosterone-laden drug-fueled urban youth to the battlefield.

Phase Four will see the conversion of the parking lot in the New Fox Ridge development into an outdoor oasis and restaurant featuring exotic cuisine from around the world. The proposed plaza will offer easy access from the courthouse, and will allow the Marshall Service a clear shot at any element of the "local crime" problem that remains and sees fit to approach any federal workers attempting to enjoy a peaceful respite from the stress of court business. Presently, the parking lot with its 105 spaces for 63 town-homes is clearly over-kill. Using the ratio approved for the federal courthouse project parking garage, 63 units need no more than 5 parking spots. This frees nearly an acre for the plaza.

DISCLOSURE; The developer, Davenport Communications, does not own the Furlow Building, the Police Athletic League, the printing press, the abandoned gasoline station or the vacant lot, nor has the developer contacted the owners or occupants of the proposed conversion properties. Nor do the principals have any means of funding the project. They do, however, have a daughter with grant-writing experience and do own a 1/63 undivided share of the common area at New Fox Ridge, the site slated for conversion into an outdoor restaurant.
SOURCE: Davenport Communications
MEDIA CONTACT: Anniken Davenport 717-770-2250

10 Comments:

Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

Oh, by the way, the word combination harrisburghappening is now banned on Penn Live forums. I can only post the web address for this blog by putting a space between harrisburg and happening and then spelling out dot. At first, I thought it was just the web address that was being blocked, but as I tried to post the address, I got the "innapropriate" language each time I had the string harrisburghappening in the message.

May 11, 2006  
Blogger Jones1234 said...

I love it.

May 11, 2006  
Blogger Ad Hominem said...

the competition is fierce.

May 11, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

It seems PennLive and the City of Harrisburg are reading the blog again.

May 11, 2006  
Blogger Jones1234 said...

That's 'cause you remimded them.

Sometimes they need reminding.

May 11, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

Milton deleted my invitation to read about development on the blog. They are so afraid of competition, it isn't even funny anymore. Cowards.

May 11, 2006  
Blogger TattooJim said...

(are youz guys ready to agree with me that the Mayors' reach just might make it to Pennlive yet?)

May 11, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

Not yet - I just think I have become a PennLive thorn in the side. NO one at the Patriot ever returns my emails these days. And I've had a previous piece published.

The problem with the mayor's office is this - they think big but aren't big on the follow up. It's like if I told you I was going to win a Pulitzer but never got beyond chapter one of my novel

May 12, 2006  
Blogger Jones1234 said...

Nope. Sorry Jim. You can't convince me this is the mayor.

I believe they act on their own with the forum censorship. My main reason for disagreeing with you at this point is that they censor unreasonably on MANY of the forums, not just Harrisburg, and not just Dauphin County.

May 12, 2006  
Blogger TattooJim said...

Point well made jones'

May 12, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home