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Plans Submitted For New High Rise In Downtown State College

The same company that recently purchased five apartment buildings in the Beaver Canyon area of downtown State College is also looking to construct a new commercial and residential high rise along East College Avenue.

Chicago-based developer Core Spaces submitted a preliminary land development plan to the borough in early November for a 12-story, mixed-use building on the 400 block of East College Avenue and 100 block of Hetzel Street.

If approved, the project would involve the demolition of four buildings that house apartments and three businesses.

The largest of those is Garden House apartments at 472 E. College Ave. Next door, at the corner of College and Hetzel, the building containing 480 and 482 E. College Ave. and 108 Hetzel Street also would be demolished. It is currently home to Eddie’s Bicycles and Hockey Equipment, George’s Floral Boutique and apartments.

Pizza Mia’s location at 114 Hetzel Street and a one-story house at 471 E. Calder Way also would be torn down.

Mark Goehausen, senior development manager for Core Spaces, said the businesses have been informed of the potential demolition.

The first two floors of the new building would have “a combination of retail, offices and other commercial uses,” Goehausen said. The upper levels would have 135 residential units — a mix of one-, two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom apartments accommodating a total of 535 beds. A pool and terrace are planned for the roof.

Three levels of underground parking would have 172 spaces. The planned building is 330,000 gross square feet, including 80,000 gross square feet for the parking levels.

Plans are expected to be presented to the borough’s design review board on Dec. 3 and planning commission the following day. The site is located in the Signature Development Area of the Commercial Incentive District and will require a conditional use permit.

With it still in the preliminary stages and needing to go through land development and permitting process, it would be at least the middle of 2020, if not longer, before any work on the new building would begin.

“It’s relatively up in the air because of the uncertainties with getting everything approved and permitted through the borough, but we’re anticipating the actual construction duration will be two years,” Goehausen said. “So the soonest it would deliver would be mid-2022.”

In October, Core Spaces — which focuses on acquiring, developing and managing properties in university markets — also separately purchased four apartment buildings on East Beaver Avenue and one on South Garner Street for $102 million. A spokesman said those complexes were well-maintained and the company “will be refreshing many aspects of the buildings and modernizing the apartments.”

Goehausen said Core Spaces is “super-excited about the market based on not only the existing assets there like the portfolio that we bought but also the potential to bring some new assets to town.”

If approved, the new College Avenue building would join a rapidly changing downtown landscape. The long-planned, 12-story Fraser Centre opened in 2016 and was joined by the 12-story Metropolitan, 412 W. College Ave., a year later. Another 12-story mixed-use building, The Rise, 532 E. College Ave., opened in 2018.

Two more are currently under construction. Here State College, on the site of the former Garner Street parking lot, is expected to open next fall and The Standard (formerly known as The Residences) is on track to open in the fall of 2021 on the 300 block of West College Avenue, across Atherton Street from The Metropolitan.

The seven-story mixed-use building The Edge, 254 E. Beaver Ave., opened last fall. Down the street, the seven-story Pugh Centre is under construction at the corner of East Beaver Avenue and South Pugh Street, with completion expected in August 2020.

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About the Author

Geoff Rushton (StateCollege.com)

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.

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