The Metropolitan announces move-in date for future tenants

Construction continues Tuesday at the Metropolitan on the corner of Atherton Street and College Avenue in State College. The mixed-use building is set to welcome its first tenants in August.
Construction continues Tuesday at the Metropolitan on the corner of Atherton Street and College Avenue in State College. The mixed-use building is set to welcome its first tenants in August.

The Metropolitan, one of five proposed or under-construction high-rises in downtown State College, is set to welcome about 500 students on Aug. 18.

Jose Garcia, the assistant sales and marketing manager, confirmed the move-in date, adding that almost all of its 136 apartments have been leased. About three are left in the 12-story, mixed-use building, he said on Monday.

“As of now we are on-time and on-schedule,” Garcia said.

Construction is ongoing. But, based on the given timeline, students will be able to move before Penn State’s fall semester begins on Aug. 21.

The Metropolitan boasts about 32,000 square feet of retail and commercial space on the first two floors, with apartments taking up the remaining levels.

Landmark Properties, based in Athens, Ga., and local company PennTrust Properties are the developers on the project.

Garcia said while there’s been interest in the retail and commercial space, nothing has been solidified contractually. For now, the focus has been on getting the interior ready for move-in day.

“Since the beginning, that’s been our move-in date and that has not changed at all,” he said.

Teams are moving in furniture during the next two weeks, Garcia said. On the exterior of the building, custom glass still needs to be implemented at the corner of West College Avenue and North Atherton Street. From street view, wood currently dominates that corner of the building.

Garcia added there are 151 underground parking spaces associated with the property.

“I think once we move everybody in, I think everyone is really going to enjoy the property,” he said.

M&T Bank branch in Pleasant Gap to close

Reflecting a national trend, the M&T Bank branch in Pleasant Gap, 161 W. College Ave., is scheduled to close at 2 p.m. on June 2.

Philip Hosmer, M&T Bank’s vice president for corporate communications, said the branch will be consolidated with the bank’s Bellefonte location at 915 E. Bishop St. All customer accounts, meanwhile, will be transferred to the Bellefonte branch.

The Pleasant Gap location’s employees will also transfer over and work at the Bellefonte branch.

“When we look at our branches, we evaluate locations where we may need to build a branch or where we may need to expand or renovate a branch, and also where a branch is no longer positioned to effectively serve our customers,” Hosmer said. “In those situations we look to consolidate offices as we’re doing here.”

The move follows a number of branch closings across the country. In January, Wells Fargo announced plans to close more than 400 branches by the end of 2018. Business Insider reported that Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan closed 389 branches from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016.

In 2015, more than 1,600 brick-and-mortar locations were shut down, according to analysis firm SNL Financial.

Banks view younger consumers as doing more of their banking online. Like with other banks, M&T customers can deposit or transfer funds electronically through the bank’s mobile apps or website, and can also manage accounts over the phone.

Hosmer added that customers at the Pleasant Gap branch can bank at any of M&T’s other locations, but their primary location will be the Bellefonte branch, which is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The Pleasant Gap branch is not open on Saturdays.

Hosmer said the bank has no plans at this time to expand or contract further in the county. The Pleasant Gap branch will be marketed for sale after it closes.

“As always, M&T remains committed to this community and will continue to serve our customers through all of our channels,” he said.

The move will leave M&T Bank with four Centre County locations. Besides the Bellefonte branch, the bank has a location in Philipsburg and two in State College.

Nittany Mall candy store closes

C&R Candies and More closed April 29 after a 13-month run in the Nittany Mall.

Owner Cathy Williamson said she may bring back the sweets shop for the holiday season, but has no plans to reopen at the moment. She said there wasn’t enough traffic to keep the store afloat.

“We’d like to thank everybody who did come in,” Williamson said. “We enjoyed meeting a lot of people.”

Williamson and her husband, Randy, also own Auntie Anne’s in the mall.

Tait Farm Foods to hold anniversary celebration

Tait Farm Foods is raising a glass to 30 years making its Original Fruit Shrub.

The farm’s 15 flavors of the beverage mixer, a concoction of fruit, sugar and vinegar, will be sampled from 2 to 4 p.m. on June 17 at Tait Farm, 179 Tait Road, Centre Hall.

Tait Farm Foods produces more than 60 products, according to a company release. But its shrub is one of its most famous. When mixed in everything from cocktails to dressings, it punches up the brew. Customers in major markets such as Philadelphia still use the farm’s original Raspberry Shrub in its cocktails.