Downtown Steelton looking to expand and grow with new development project

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The Steelton Borough community has six blocks of prime downtown space up for grabs.

The Borough, along with Dauphin County, wants to transform the area and their economy.

There is nearly six acres along Front Street that have been empty for about ten years.

The County and Borough have a vision for the space, they just need a developer.

Front Street in Steelton has always been busy.

"A lot of traffic goes by but unfortunately not a lot of it stops," said business owner Trish Abbatello.

Abbatello's family has owned a building in Steelton since 1974, and she thinks new development could help her business.

"To have a little town that is quaint to come and walk through, see different shops, have a local grocery store...things like that would really, really help the economy here."

Dauphin County and Steelton Borough are working together to find a developer to transform downtown the downtown area.

"Pretty much it goes from Front and Pine to Front and Trewick Street, and they’re going to get this entire area," explained borough manager Doug Brown.

Brown says their town needs more business downtown.

"We envision a mix of retail, office space, and some residential or flex space as well as an anchor tenant, like a grocery store. [We want it] in a walkable format where somebody can come eat, live, and play."

It's a project that would have a ten year tax abatement, says Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste.

"So what that means is, any improvements that they would make they wouldn’t have to pay taxes on that until that ten year period is over and they would just be paying taxes on what’s called the predevelopment value of the land. So that’s great windfall for that developer."

It's a welcome change that could help the town keep moving forward.

"Just a great little town and I'd like to see it be what it used to be," said Abbatello.

The borough manager says the project has spiked interest with different companies since it was announced yesterday.

Developers have until July 27th to submit their proposals.

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