Private sector helps Harrisburg fight blight

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Shabby buildings at North Sixth Street and Harris streets are coming down.

The Vartan Group bought the properties to eradicate blight in the Midtown neighborhood. While Vartan owns several properties, including a massive condominium at the corner of North Sixth and Reily, other business owners appreciate the help.

Dean Carter owns B-Large Sound Effect and is sandwiched by blighted properties. He knows the writing may be on the wall for his business, but he believes removing blight in the short term could benefit his neighborhood.

“Hey, this is it,” he said. “This is the new generation. This is what’s coming and I’m ready for it.”

Alleged illegal dumping at a demolition site near North Sixth and Harris streets.
Alleged illegal dumping at a demolition site near North Sixth and Harris streets.

Demolition crews working on the site Monday were bummed that someone apparently dumped a large pile of junk over the weekend. One worker said it appeared that someone ran over a fence and even tore down a sign that reads “no illegal dumping.”

ABC27 made calls to police. We were told an officer would investigate.

Despite the morale setback, Carter said he is also seeing a vast improvement.

“I’m seeing more people getting involved and even buying properties,” he said.

Carter said the city needs to cooperate with the private sector and vice-versa to improve the quality of life for residents. Just driving around, he believes there is a sense of optimism.

“It’s getting better,” he said. “The city is definitely growing.”

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