A piece of State College property that has been at the center of heated debate within the borough council has been sold.
Jeff Haas, the owner of 538 E. College Ave., where Kildare’s is located, confirmed that he sold the property to CA Student Living for $7.5 million.
The Chicago-based real estate investment, development, and managment firm has over 17,750 student housing beds in its portfolio.
The firm has residential buildings at Illinois, Florida State, Florida, Maryland, Purdue, Arizona, Oregon, BYU, and other major university towns.
Haas first approached borough council last summer with hopes to re-zone the 500-block of E. College Ave., allowing for additional floors in exchange for incentives to reach those heights. Council eventually passed their collegiate housing overlay text amendment in July, allowing for an 11-story building on that block, four stories higher than the previous maximum of seven.
In order to construct an 11-story high rise building, the developer would need to meet sustainability requirements, install commercial space on the ground floor, and provide at least two floors of professional and graduate housing. Haas is disappointed that he won’t be the one to develop the property under the new zoning law, but said that CA Student Living shares his vision for the location.
“It was always our intention to develop the property. After the collegiate housing overlay was approved, we were contacted by CA Student Living,” Haas said. “With the combination of the financial opportunity and that CA shared our vision for a high quality multi-use building for the property, we thought it was in our best interest and the best interest of the State College borough’s continued downtown development of high quality multi-use buildings to sell the property.”
Haas always stressed building something nice on that location, something that the borough could be proud of at one of the gateways to downtown State College. He believes that the Chicago firm will carry out that vision.
“I will be disappointed not being part of the building development,” Haas said. “We really wanted to build something special on the corner. With that said, I am confident CA shares our vision and will build a very special high quality building.”
Representatives from the Chicago firm weren’t immediately available for comment on their plans for the property.