State College Borough Council Rescinds Eminent Domain Order For The Brewery, Canyon Pizza, & Others

In a notable reversal of a previous decision, the State College Borough Council voted unanimously to rescind an order to take over the building that houses the Brewery, Canyon Pizza, Canyon Wings, and Music Mart, as well as housing nearby. The borough had previously voted to claim the land through eminent domain to build a parking garage in the space.

The council’s newest decision comes after widespread discontent with the decision by supporters of the Brewery, Canyon Pizza, and the other businesses. Many of those supporters spoke at Monday’s Borough Council meeting to advocate for the guarantee of the land to the current tenants and owners.

“We didn’t know plenty of the people waiting behind us to speak,” part-owner of the Brewery and the additional properties Jay Horgas told Onward State Tuesday. “It’s pretty hard not to be humbled by that.”

Five council members of the seven who voted in the original decision to take over the property had voted yes, though all five, and one member whose vote was unclear, voted to preserve the buildings. Council members Jesse Barlow, Deanna Behring, Janet Engeman, Nalini Krishnankutty, Peter Marshall, Gopal Balachandran, and Divine Lipscomb all voted to rescind the initial decision, as reported by’s Geoff Rushton.

The days between the initial decision and the reversal were a whirlwind, Horgas said. He wasn’t told much about the process of the property acquisition and didn’t even know about the decision until he was contacted by reporters after the fact.

“It’s been an intense two weeks since the story dropped on us, and we were trying to navigate through that,” Horgas said. “There wasn’t any information provided. We were just blindsided.”

While the initial decision was “an out-of-body experience,” the turnaround was as special. For Horgas, his gratitude goes to those who helped stand up for the properties.

“This is all due to Ray Rockey and the bartenders,” Horgas said. “It’s a real tribute.”

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a senior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He writes about everything Penn State, especially its 10-2 football team. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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