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Harrisburg building eyed for makeover fetches $14.5M

Adam Maust poured millions of dollars over the last four years into the Atlas Building, an edifice in Uptown Harrisburg that had fallen into disrepair by the time Maust bought it in 2020.

He is now passing the torch to a new owner, a Harrisburg-based nonprofit called the Pennsylvania Social Equity Land Trust, which paid $14.5 million in April for the building at 2101 N. 6th St., according to county deed records.

Maust, owner of Harrisburg marketing agency Might, paid $425,000 for the property, formerly known as the Hudson Building but renamed the Atlas Building.

Maust estimated that he spent more than $9 million renovating the property, which had been vacant for nearly 30 years.

Changes include a new roof, improved parking area and other site work, according to Bret Peters, chairman of the land trust. 

“The goal of the Atlas Building was to become a catalyst for the entire community,” Maust said in a statement. “I’m excited to see this vision become a reality with the significant resources that have already and will continue to be infused into this extremely important neighborhood in Harrisburg.”

The Atlas Building before and after exterior renovations. (photos/submitted)

What’s the vision: To convert the two-story, roughly 65,000 square-foot Atlas Building into a food and agricultural hub. 

The project’s estimated cost is $43 million, which includes the cost of the building, which is at the intersection of North Sixth and Maclay streets, according to an application for state funding obtained by biznewsPA.

Named the Camp Curtin Commissary after the neighborhood where it’s located, the building would feature a fresh food market and a commercial kitchen, offices for businesses specializing in nutrition and wellness, and meeting and event space for community use.

In an interview with biznewsPA, Peters outlined funding sources for the project.

They include a state loan of nearly $4.5 million, funding from a financing program for clean energy, and a $25 million loan from a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Some of the renovation costs may ultimately be reimbursed by grants totaling $4.5 million from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, Maust said. The trust is a subgrantee for the RACP funds, which were previously approved.

The buyer: The land trust was founded in 2021 with the goal of bringing affordable housing to the Camp Curtin neighborhood, which is north of Midtown Harrisburg.

The trust plans to lease the property to a related entity, the Pennsylvania Social Equity Investment Fund, which will oversee development and operation of the commissary project.

The fund is described as the brainchild of the late Reginald Guy, an activist and civic leader in Harrisburg.

The rental income will support the trust’s investments in affordable housing.

The focus on food and nutrition at the Atlas Building emerged during community engagement sessions hosted by Young Professionals of Color in 2020 as part of a broader planning effort for the Camp Curtin area, according to the trust. Maust had also solicited community feedback on the building’s future.

What’s next: Peters said the trust is in the midst of designing the project, a process he expected to last six months.

Interior renovations would follow, with construction to take 10 or 11 months, Peters said.

Thanks to Maust’s improvements, the building does not need exterior work for the initial phase of the project, said Peters, who also is principal of Office for Planning & Architecture Inc., a design and planning firm in Harrisburg. But there could be exterior changes in future phases.

Adam Maust stands inside the Atlas Building shortly after he bought it in 2020 (photo/submitted).

Adam Maust poured millions of dollars over the last four years into the Atlas Building, an edifice in Uptown Harrisburg that had fallen into disrepair by the time Maust bought it in 2020.

He is now passing the torch to a new owner, a Harrisburg-based nonprofit called the Pennsylvania Social Equity Land Trust, which paid $14.5 million in April for the building at 2101 N. 6th St., according to county deed records.

Maust, owner of Harrisburg marketing agency Might, paid $425,000 for the property, formerly known as the Hudson Building but renamed the Atlas Building.

Maust estimated that he spent more than $9 million renovating the property, which had been vacant for nearly 30 years.

Changes include a new roof, improved parking area and other site work, according to Bret Peters, chairman of the land trust. 

“The goal of the Atlas Building was to become a catalyst for the entire community,” Maust said in a statement. “I’m excited to see this vision become a reality with the significant resources that have already and will continue to be infused into this extremely important neighborhood in Harrisburg.”

The Atlas Building before and after exterior renovations. (photos/submitted)

What’s the vision: To convert the two-story, roughly 65,000 square-foot Atlas Building into a food and agricultural hub. 

The project’s estimated cost is $43 million, which includes the cost of the building, which is at the intersection of North Sixth and Maclay streets, according to an application for state funding obtained by biznewsPA.

Named the Camp Curtin Commissary after the neighborhood where it’s located, the building would feature a fresh food market and a commercial kitchen, offices for businesses specializing in nutrition and wellness, and meeting and event space for community use.

In an interview with biznewsPA, Peters outlined funding sources for the project.

They include a state loan of nearly $4.5 million, funding from a financing program for clean energy, and a $25 million loan from a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Some of the renovation costs may ultimately be reimbursed by grants totaling $4.5 million from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, Maust said. The trust is a subgrantee for the RACP funds, which were previously approved.

The buyer: The land trust was founded in 2021 with the goal of bringing affordable housing to the Camp Curtin neighborhood, which is north of Midtown Harrisburg.

The trust plans to lease the property to a related entity, the Pennsylvania Social Equity Investment Fund, which will oversee development and operation of the commissary project.

The fund is described as the brainchild of the late Reginald Guy, an activist and civic leader in Harrisburg.

The rental income will support the trust’s investments in affordable housing.

The focus on food and nutrition at the Atlas Building emerged during community engagement sessions hosted by Young Professionals of Color in 2020 as part of a broader planning effort for the Camp Curtin area, according to the trust. Maust had also solicited community feedback on the building’s future.

What’s next: Peters said the trust is in the midst of designing the project, a process he expected to last six months.

Interior renovations would follow, with construction to take 10 or 11 months, Peters said.

Thanks to Maust’s improvements, the building does not need exterior work for the initial phase of the project, said Peters, who also is principal of Office for Planning & Architecture Inc., a design and planning firm in Harrisburg. But there could be exterior changes in future phases.

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