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3 years ago, Harrisburg’s main post office closed its doors. Now, a new owner is seeking clarity about what he can and can’t do there.


car office or workshops or a showroom. We’re standing at 815 Market St., a cavernous building that once was the Keystone branch, Harrisburg’s main postal facility. For decades, millions of letters and parcels passed through, heading into town and out to who-knows-where. It was a noisy place, with the buzz and hum of sorting machines, conveyors and hundreds of employees. Today, the building is mostly quiet, the silence


broken up by an occasional voice or some tools banging. But Meinstein says he’s working hard to fill the building once again with the sound of commerce—people working, people creating, customers being served. “Tis is an interesting property,” he said. “We’re sitting in the middle of an industrial zone, but we know there is long-term potential for many uses for the property.” Meinstein is president of Equilibrium Equities, a suburban Philadelphia investment and development company that bought the facility in 2011 for $600,000, after the U.S. Postal Service wound

24 | THE BURG | 08.14

dam Meinstein sweeps his arm forward as he speaks of his vision. A restaurant here.

down 50 years at the site. In addition to the 240,000-square-foot building, 700 parking

Small-scale manufacturing there. Maybe a rental

spaces sit amid an 11-acre property that’s the equivalent of eight city blocks. After the purchase, Meinstein invested about $1.5

million in improvements that included everything from paving, lights and security cameras outside to removing heavy postal equipment, sealing floors and knocking down walls inside. Te easiest sell was, as one might expect in Harrisburg, the parking. Under the name TransitPark, Meinstein’s company lets spaces on both a short-term and long-term basis at a deep discount to rates charged by Standard Parking, which took over city garages and street parking late last year as part of Harrisburg’s financial recovery plan. Meinstein now does a lot of business with state and

downtown workers who don’t mind walking a few extra blocks, including beneath the Market Street underpass, to save a fair chunk of change. Amtrak riders, downtown residents and short-term visitors represent other groups of customers. But it’s inside the building where both the opportunities and challenges lie. After the post office closed in 2011, the doors were locked, and the only indication of activity was some new landscaping and

a sign that said, “815 Market Street.” But, says Meinstein, that outward perception was deceptive. Following some improvements and marketing, the building began to find occupants.




Harrisburg-based Exhibit Studios had run out of space at its main facility on Cameron Street, so took some space—and then some more. Restaurant Auction Co. needed a place to stash some equipment, as did Appalachian Brewing Co. Meinstein donated room to store 80 murals that used to line the Mulberry Street Bridge, which is undergoing a complete rehabilitation. As of this writing, about 80,000 square feet of

space was leased, with another 40,000 or so under negotiation, Meinstein said. Who knew?

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