Vartan Group, Inc. is a commercial property firm headquartered in Harrisburg, PA. We build, maintain and manage real estate in the Capital region.

Mission & Vision

The mission of the Vartan Group is socially, environmentally, and economically responsible real estate investment in the Capital area.

Our mission and our values espouse the “triple-bottom line.” This approach is founded on the notion that, in a world of scarcity and limited resources, investment of these limited resources must be sustainable.

Socially-responsible real estate investment accrues to the benefit of the community that it impacts—providing jobs, ensuring a high standard of health and safety, and promoting a comity befitting of neighbors. We commit to a style of investment that advances Harrisburg’s betterment and, to the best of our ability, the lives of the people here.

Environmentally-responsible real estate investment is judicious in its accommodation of mankind’s impact upon the earth—alleviating stress on public infrastructure like roads and sewer lines, fighting suburban sprawl by directing investment closer to urban cores, and finding efficient solutions for energy consumption demand. We commit to conscientious stewardship of our earth’s natural resources.

Economically-responsible real estate investment is commercially profitable—from the investors who earn a return on capital, to the households or businesspeople who endeavor to live and work within their means, to the employees of the contractors and sub-contractors who earn wages. We commit to creating opportunities for profitable participation for all our stakeholders.


In 2016 the Vartan Group commemorates 41 years of service in Harrisburg.

Founded in 1975 as an engineering services firm, the Vartan Group blossomed into one of the Capital area’s premier real estate outfits.

With a suite of services from architectural to construction, from development to financing, our company helped drive the revitalization of a Capital city whose fortunes had ebbed in the wake of a generation of urban decline and the devastation of 1972’s Hurricane Agnes.

With projects like the PSECU and PSERS headquarters buildings and the multi-tenanted 30 North Third Street, we directed investment into the city of Harrisburg. Other significant urban projects in this period included the PA Chamber of Business & Industry; Penn State’s Eastgate building; and the 1-million square foot Forum Place.

We also participated in the establishment of the Harrisburg campus for the Widener University School of Law. The late Mr. Vartan donated land and buildings, as well as construction services and other assistance, to help launch the law program that continues to operate there to this day.

In 2004 we mourned the passing of our founder, John O. Vartan. Today this company, bearing his name, upholds its tradition of commitment to the future of the Capital area, with meaningful and impactful real estate investments that promote the social, environmental, and economic well-being of our community.

John O. Vartan

The late founder of the Vartan Group, John O. Vartan, led the company from its founding until his untimely death in 2004. Born in 1945 in an Armenian refugee village, he emigrated to the United States and earned degrees from Michigan Technological University and Penn State University.

He was a polymath par excellence. In his boyhood he taught himself English with a Winston Churchill biography and a dictionary. He also acquired fluency in Arabic, Armenian, French, and Turkish, and read poetry in all those languages. He liked to recount the story of meeting the great artist William Saroyan, who discouraged him from pursuing the life of a professional poet, though some of the writings he left behind, such as these poems or this essay, belie Saroyan’s advice.

He had traveled to, vacationed at, or lived in some 50 different countries, and fancied himself a connoisseur of cultures and cuisines. Here is a recipe that came about from his tinkering in the kitchen.