Harrisburg Apartments: Crunch Time

Just over five years ago I did The Adult Thing ™ and moved from downtown Harrisburg into a house in semi-rural suburbia.  This place was never a particularly nice home, nor was it really my style.  But it was cheap, had decent square footage, and endless potential for upgrades.  I paid down the house on an extremely accelerated schedule and made my final payment this past summer.  And just when I finally got around to re-doing the landscaping and making those renovations, when I was beginning to consider living with the shortcomings of my home (location and style being the two biggest) in exchange for cheap living, I had the sudden revelation that I didn’t have to live here if I didn’t want to.

So I sold it.

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Harrisburg Apartments, Day Two: Pennsylvania Place

I just recently sold my home (without a realtor; did I mention that?) and have been searching downtown / midtown Harrisburg for a new place to live.  Since nothing for sale in the sub-$125k range appeals to me right now, I’ve decided to rent.  Yesterday I visited The Grayco and was majorly impressed at its transformation into a well-preserved vintage building.  Today I want to share what happened over at Pennsylvania Place.

According to their entry on SkyscraperPage, Pennsylvania Place was built in 1973.  At 25 stories, it is Harrisburg’s second-tallest skyscraper (333 Market is higher) and tallest residential hi-rise.  Formerly known as “City Towers”, the building suffered a major blow in 1994 when a water main burst and forced 600 residents out.  Oft-repeated local lore — whose accuracy I can not verify — adds that the building’s heat and power had failed, causing one or more stairwell(s) to ice over, trapping residents inside a freezing building.  In 1995 the building was sold to new owners, who dumped $10 million into renovations in time for its 1999 opening as Pennsylvania Place.  The building received more bad press in 2004 (explosion and electrical fire) and 2006 (drunken tenant dropped his girlfriend out the window).

Unfortunately, I have very little additional information on Pennsylvania Place.  They would not discuss rent or even show an apartment.  The leasing agent made it perfectly clear by way of body language and tone that she felt I was wasting her time.

Continue reading Harrisburg Apartments, Day Two: Pennsylvania Place