State, city announce $3 million grant to revitalize south Allison Hill

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Millions of dollars in state grant money are headed for Harrisburg to spruce up a neglected piece of the city.

Neighbors in south Allison Hill say it’s a good start, but they hope there’s much more on the way.

The focal point of the funding — and of Tuesday news conference announcing it — was the intersection of Mulberry and Derry streets, the area that will become Mulder Square.

People who live nearby hope the money doesn’t stop here.

“They should have done it a long time ago, not just now,” Tiffany Hull said. She and her neighbors know the problems — the crime, the empty houses.

“Having squatters, you never know,” she said. “Somebody could set a fire.”

The city and state are offering solutions for an area that often feels neglected.

“Look at Midtown,” Hull said. “They did good down there, so hopefully they’re going to go elsewhere, because Allison Hill really needs a big touch up.”

State and local leaders on Tuesday announced $3 million in grant money to start the process.

“And this is just part of a larger push to invest in, preserve, maintain and revitalize a historic community,” Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin/Perry) said.

Sixteen properties in the area will be redeveloped, with blight torn down and turned into 50 low-cost apartments.

“This is an investment to make the capital city of Pennsylvania better not just for its businesses, not just for those of us who happen to be here for our government jobs,” Gov. Tom Wolf said, “but for people who live here.”

The city will install new sidewalks, repave roads, plant trees, and redesign the plaza, turning it into Mulder Square.

Project leaders say it’ll create 100 jobs.

“Infrastructure sometimes doesn’t sound exciting but it’s really the foundation for all economic development,” Mayor Eric Papenfuse said, adding he knows more needs to be done.

“We have a lot of years of neglect that we have to address,” he said, “but you got to start somewhere.”

Hull said the $3 million is a drop in the bucket; she’s just happy work can start.

“The three is a good start,” she said. “We’ll see where it leads us to.”

Papenfuse said the area should start to see work on this project next year, but it’ll take several years to complete.

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