Youth-focused nonprofit buys Front Street office

The Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association has been at 3899 N. Front St. in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, since 1998. (photo/submitted)

A Harrisburg-based, youth-focused nonprofit has purchased the longtime home of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association at 3899 N. Front St.

  • Youth Advocate Programs Inc. paid $2.235 million for the 18,000 square-foot building in Susquehanna Township, according to Dauphin County deed records.
  • The nonprofit — which provides community-based services to at-risk youth — plans to move around 80 staff members there in October, according to its president, Gary Ivory. 

From where: Youth Advocate Programs, or YAP, has a main office at 2007 N. 3rd St in Harrisburg, as well as in some surrounding Midtown properties, Ivory said.

  • To help pay for the new space, the nonprofit plans to sell its main office and a neighboring property at 2028 N. 3rd St., according to Ivory

Why is this happening: The new building offers better facilities for the nonprofit’s staff and for its visitors from around the world, Ivory said.

  • “It’s really about the mission,” he said.
  • YAP was founded in 1975 initially to help 400 juveniles released from state prison in Camp Hill reintegrate into communities of Central Pennsylvania.
  • The nonprofit now is active in more than 30 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Africa, Australia, Europe and Central America.
  • YAP’s programs focus on delivering services in homes and communities as an alternative to incarceration and institutionalization. It contracts, for example, with youth justice and child welfare agencies to help young people with behavioral health issues and intellectual disabilities.
  • About two-thirds of YAP’s program participants are people of color, according to its annual report.
  • The nonprofit has an annual budget north of $80 million and a staff of more than 2,100, Ivory added. 

What about the media association: It is planning to move by the end of September to a smaller, 7,400 square-foot space at 4000 Crums Mill Road in Lower Paxton Township, said association president Brad Simpson.

  • The building sale closed at the end of August but the association is leasing back the space in the meantime, Simpson said.
  • The organization’s staff of 34 is working under a hybrid model, though some are fully remote, including one staff member whose spouse took a job in Washington, D.C., Simpson said. 
  • Its training programs, meanwhile, are mostly offered through virtual channels, allowing them to have a wider reach, Simpson said.
  • “We weren’t utilizing the full space before Covid,” he said.
  • Simpson described the move from the trade group’s home since 1998 as “bittersweet.” But he said he is looking forward to having a more functional space and funneling the sale proceeds into projects that help the industry.
  • Chuck Heller, a broker with Landmark Commercial Realty in Camp Hill, represented the association in the transaction.
  • “I think it’s a very good price,” Heller said. “It represents that the office market is not dead from Covid. It’s a gorgeous building.”

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