By Jason Scott, September 6, 2018 at 8:30 AM
A longtime Harrisburg law firm is moving into a larger office in Strawberry Square, a deal that helps pave the way for a bigger mixed-use makeover on Second Street.
SkarlatosZonarich and Harristown Enterprises, the owner of Strawberry Square, today announced that the law firm will move into the sixth floor of the Bowman Tower in the square in January. SkarlatosZonarich will occupy about 11,000 square feet.
As part of the move, which will double the firm’s office space downtown, Harristown is buying the firm’s current building at 17 S. Market Square. Harristown owns the neighboring property at 21 S. Second St., which it demolished to build a new six-story tower.
The Harristown plan has been to renovate the SkarlatosZonarich tower and connect the two buildings for a mixed-use project. The combined facility would have about 50,000 square feet of commercial space.
The state recently approved a $1 million grant under the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, or RACP, for the new tower.
The overall building project is still in planning, said Brad Jones, Harristown’s president and CEO. However, he expects the new tower at 21 S. Second St. will cater to professional office users. The building also could have first-floor retail or restaurant space.
Plans for the building at 17 S. Market Square could include a mix of residential and office uses. Harristown has seen high demand for apartments over the last three years, so housing is quite possible, Jones said.
“We are still reviewing plans,” he said. “That could be entirely residential with first-floor retail and it could be all office.”
Jones said the total project will likely cost about $10 million, including $4 million for construction of the new tower. Construction should get underway sometime in 2019, Jones said, expecting the project will take until 2020 to complete.
Harristown hopes to close on the purchase of the law firm building in October. It also has hired Silver Spring Township-based Mowery to renovate the Strawberry Square space where SkarlatosZonarich will be moving. That project is expected to cost more than $1 million and begin around Oct. 1.
New Cumberland-based Diversified Design and Camp Hill-based By Design Consultants Inc. have been tapped to design the office layout.
SkarlatosZonarich has 35 employees in its Harrisburg office. That number is expected to grow with the move. The firm represents clients throughout the U.S. with a concentration in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia.
Once the firm moves in, Strawberry Square will be about 95 percent occupied, Jones said. There is about 10,000 square feet of space left on the third floor that was formerly occupied by Gamut Theatre Group. The former Gingerbread Man restaurant on Market Street also is available.