Harrisburg: Thinking Regionally

February 28, 2018

 The Greater Harrisburg area office submarkets are often simplified to East Shore, Downtown and West Shore. For decades, the Susquehanna River has served as a line of division, with local legend suggesting an East Shore business would never relocate to the West Shore. Most would also believe a suburban office user would never relocate to Downtown. The Region was considered fragmented and we, as real estate professionals, occasionally added to this fracture by focusing solely on searching inventory in a predefined submarket. With companies relocating between submarkets and larger users taking a regional approach to office planning, agents and clients have reshaped the typical Harrisburg office search.
Centric Bank, with an existing East Shore headquarters, recently secured a new, additional corporate and administrative location along I–81 on the West Shore in Hampden Township. Centric’s search parameters for a suitable location were not submarket specific, rather they were driven by visibility, access and overall regional convenience. The East and West Shores played on equal footing in the search.
The Hospital Association of Pennsylvania sold a signature suburban headquarters office building on the East Shore to relocate complete operations to Downtown Harrisburg. Immediate proximity to the State Government, associated services and an appropriate floorplate drove this relocation.
Pillar+Aught, a newly established law firm of well-regarded Downtown based local attorneys, chose to plant their new headquarters in the suburban East Shore. The firm was seeking convenience, access and visibility, which they found along the Union Deposit corridor.
Given the accelerating movement across, not just within, submarkets, where are the greatest opportunities for office users in the Greater Harrisburg area? Let’s take a look by submarket. 
The East Shore offers the smaller (less than 10,000 square feet) office user many opportunities, particularly in highly efficient and economical class B single story space. Many excellent opportunities exist in the Union Deposit and Paxtonia areas.
Downtown, while always offering many smaller Class B vacancies, currently has substantial inventory of larger blocks of class A space along Market Square and in Midtown. While parking is always part of the Downtown discussion, these larger availabilities offer alternatives to assist in mediating the parking cost impact.
The West Shore continues to provide larger floorplate opportunities, particularly in the Erford Road area. Aggressive pricing will continue to redeploy office assets that are targeted for redevelopment with potential new ownership.
Regional perspective seems to be coming of age in the Greater Harrisburg area office market discussions. The recent massive regional expansion of the UPMC Pinnacle footprint drives ongoing recognition of our regional identity. East Shore, Downtown and West Shore have specific advantages in current availabilities and office users are focusing more on product attributes within the region rather than predetermined submarket location considerations.
For more information on office properties in the Greater Harrisburg market, call us. We have a team of agents ready to help you navigate our shores.
About NAI CIR
NAI CIR, based in Lemoyne, is Central Pennsylvania’s oldest and largest exclusively commercial industrial real estate full service brokerage firm. Founded in 1970, the firm is consistently ranked as the top producing commercial industrial sales and leasing firm by the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal and by Real Capital Analytics. The firm has been honored as a Philadelphia Region CoStar Power Broker for 15 consecutive years.
NAI CIR is the Central Pennsylvania representative of NAI Global, an international organization of real estate professionals with connections literally all across the world. Our transaction and management professionals are among the most experienced and successful in the business, and our platform ensures that our expertise directly benefits our clients.
Casey Khuri is Vice President of NAI CIR. 

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