As released by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
Harrisburg, PA – State General Services Secretary Curt Topper today announced that the department has submitted the “Department of General Services Annex Disposition Report” to the Pennsylvania General Assembly for review, comment and approval.
In January of 2016, DGS contracted with Lancaster County-based RGS Associates, Inc. The two-year, $258,900.00 contract was for services including, but not limited to, the development of a formalized report containing recommendations for future use of the DGS Annex and encompassing the research and engagements described; property appraisals, environmental site assessments, zoning & planning, financial analysis, stakeholder input, public meetings and marketing of the property.
“When we sought out the services of a land planning consultant, our primary goals were to make sure that this process was transparent, thorough, inclusive of all interested parties and to present a set of recommendations that would enable us to make the best decision on how to move forward with the future of this property,” Topper said.
“This report is the culmination of hundreds of hours of stakeholder engagement, property analysis and due diligence in order to develop the most effective plan to market this property for sale. The Department of General Services fully supports the top recommendation to sell all four parcels together in order to put fort the most appealing opportunity for potential developers and enable them to develop the property in a way that will be most beneficial to the community.
“We look forward to working with the Pennsylvania General Assembly to get the DGS Annex off of the commonwealth’s inventory and back onto the local tax rolls where it can contribute to the economy. In addition, the sale would free up the $5 million in annual carrying costs associated with the DGS Annex and allow those taxpayer dollars to be put to better use elsewhere in state government.”
The DGS Annex property, formerly known as the Harrisburg State Hospital, was opened in 1851 and operated as the state hospital until 2006. The total acreage that would be available for sale is 295 acres, which includes 140-acres where the former state hospital campus is housed. The property is still in use by state agencies with approximately 800 employees still onsite. In early 2016, more than 850 employees were moved into the former Verizon Tower in Strawberry Square in downtown Harrisburg.
“Our intention is to take the remaining workforce that is using the DGS Annex and to reduce our physical footprint by moving them into more modern and efficient workspace,” Topper said. “Current space management evaluations from the DGS Bureau of Real Estate show that we can significantly reduce the 1 million square feet in space we are currently maintaining, down to approximately 150,000 square feet.”
DGS will work with the Pennsylvania General Assembly to move the DGS Annex property as expeditiously as possible.