Investor Plans New Life for Prime Downtown Property

by Noel Purdy, President, Downtown Chambersburg Inc.

Tito's TacosLast summer, the Community Development Corporation of Franklin County (CDC), an affiliate of Downtown Chambersburg Inc. (DCI) and the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, purchased 1 North Main Street at sheriff’s sale. The property is situated on the square in downtown Chambersburg. It is quite possibly the most prime location in the downtown.

The CDC has worked over the last year to find a developer that would invest in the property rather than let it deteriorate. Significant investment along N. Main Street and within the northwest quadrant over the past ten years has spurred more interest in the downtown by investors and businesses alike. The CDC wanted to make sure that 1 N. Main Street, a linchpin to the physical character of downtown, was not forsaken by an investor who would not breathe life into the building.

Drawbaugh Development, a real estate development company based in Greencastle, PA, has purchased the property and looks to start gutting the building as soon as possible. Chris Drawbaugh, president of the development group, plans a mixed-use commercial project. The first floor is 2,998 square feet and laid out as a restaurant (it was formerly Tito’s Tacos); Drawbaugh would like to keep this space a restaurant to complement the offerings downtown.

Titos before and rendering

For the second and third floors, Drawbaugh plans to convert them into commercial office space. He says the biggest challenges will be code compliance issues as the change in use from residential to commercial will require an elevator (removal of the existing staircase) and the addition of a sprinkler system. Should the code compliance issues provide unsurmountable, the back-up plan is to keep the residential use on the second and third floors. There is roughly 2,900 square feet on each of the upper floors.

Chris Drawbaugh already owns property in downtown Chambersburg. He says that when he came across the opportunity to purchase 1 N. Main Street he thought it was a good investment that had good potential. If you’re interested in leasing space, contact Chris at (301) 991-4393 or email