Business Columns & Blogs

Bits of Business | Expansion set for Innovation Park

Innovation Park has been filled to capacity for about two years, so developers decided it was time to take the next step forward for the park’s master plan.

GLP Developers, based in Baltimore, will break ground on a $17.8 million project at Innovation Park, which will result in a new four-story facility. Innovation Park provides companies access to resources, such as the Ben Franklin TechCelerator and incubator program, and Penn State research and technology transfer.

“We’ve had requests for space at Innovation Park, and we need that space to locate more people here,” Dan Leri, Innovation Park’s director, said. “In fact, we’ve had preliminary discussion about another building.”

The Baltimore developers, which have invested about $56 million in Innovation Park in thepast three years, expect to have completed construction of the building core and shell in August . The building will have about 82,000 square feet of leasable space.

“I think it’s a good for the community that we have outside investors putting in a substantial amount of money for this building and over the last three years,” Leri said. “I think that’s pretty exciting.”

A groundbreaking ceremony and lunch reception will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Penn Stater Conference Center.

This is our house

Nittany Gymnastics Academy was the first place Ally Hester visited when she came home from college.

It’s not hard to imagine why when you hear Michael Rizzuto, the academy’s owner, president and girls; coach, talk about its family atmosphere.

“It’s really exciting when they come back to see us, because so many of them stop in to say hi,” Rizzuto said. “It’s an extended family here. They spend so much time here over the years, about 20 hours a week, sometimes more.”

The academy recently celebrated its 25th anniversary of Rizzuto taking over.

He bought it in 1989 to move closer to his parents in upstate New York.

“I decided to try to move closer to move from North Carolina and closer to home, because my parents kind of needed me closer,” Rizzuto said. “This academy was already a very good school, and it seemed like the best opportunity at the time. It’s become a home.”

He said it wouldn’t be complete without gymnasts, such as Kyra Levi, Kira Hoy, Emma Karas and Jarit Beyer, who attended the academy for years and competed in the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics, or Amy Resil, the academy’s program director.

And visits from gymnasts are as good as their accomplishments.

“It’s the best feeling to see them come back,” Rizzuto said.