Consulting firms’ presentations to council postponed

City Council won’t get to hear a presentation on two economic development projects targeted for the Central Business District at its March 20 meeting.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana Wednesday asked for the presentations to be made by officials with Penn Strategies, of Harrisburg, and Rettew Associates, 130 Court St., to be delayed for a few weeks because of the addition of another developer interested in a site in the downtown area.

“The project is continuing as planned, we just need additional time to iron out some details before a public announcement,” said Jason Fitzgerald, senior vice president of Penn Strategies.

“We’re holding off the presentation to give one that will be larger,” Campana said.

“I’m fine with that,” said Councilman Randall J. Allison, chairman of the city economic development committee upon learning the news. “I’d rather take the time to get everything right,” he said, adding the council has financial and planning questions regarding Destination 2014, the reuse of the Young Men’s Christian Association by a private developer, The Liberty Group, and the town square concept and parking options for the city at the site and at the former Mid-Town parking garage area on West Third Street.

The city is recipient of a $3 million state Redevelopment Capital Assistance grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development, if the application goes in by June.

The grant money can’t be used for any other expenses in the city other than the developments, said Laura Templeton, regional manager/principal of Rettew Associates.