Vartan Group plans 58-acre community in Susquehanna Township

Where a grand old farmhouse once stood, and where stacks of hay now do, a bold vision is brewing.

Currently, the 58 acres near the corner of Linglestown Road and Progress Avenue in Susquehanna Township are zoned for business, office and residential building. A zoning modification that the Vartan Group has applied for is basically an intensified version of just that.

“We are looking to having about 20 acres of the 58-acre site dedicated to commercial,” Nicole Borda Conway, executive vice president of Vartan Group said. “We already have commitments from Sheetz and a hotel developer who will build a 100-unit hotel on this site.”

Commercial and residential space will be formed into one urban’esque campus.

‘We want a place where people will come with their families,” she said. “They will come enjoy the central green. They will enjoy some ice cream and sit out.”

Two decades ago, before his passing, company founder John Vartan, a Lebanese refugee-turned-Harrisburg development icon, had a similar vision for a plot in Harrisburg.

“While it’s within the same idea of what he had planned, we are really taking a fresher spin on it, making it a little more for the modern 2014,” Conway said.

Think a modern pop-up town square with space for festivals and shopping; all things, according to Vartan, that Susquehanna Township could use.

“We’ve had a great partnership with the township. They’ve really helped us a lot in putting together this vision. We want to work with them and they want to work with us, so that it’s something we are all proud of 50 years from now,” Conway added.

Before the township’s board of commissioners can make a decision on the zoning change, a series of public meetings will be held.

According to the township, that could take several months.

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