A block down from the under-construction Metropolitan, a new high-rise complex has been proposed for downtown State College.
According to land development plans, the 447,000-square-foot complex is a 12-story, mixed-use building set between South Burrowes Street and South Atherton Street. The first two floors have been proposed as about 46,000 square feet of retail, office and amenity space, while the remaining 10 floors are market-rate housing.
Called The Residences at College and Atherton, the 155-foot building features 236 units and 725 bedrooms total. The project from St. Louis developer Collegiate Development Group, which has mixed-use complexes planned for or under construction in other college towns, is still in the early stages, said Ed LeClear, the State College Borough’s planning and zoning director.
“Sometimes the unit mix moves around a bit as they get into engineering the building, but that’s what they’re proposing right now,” he said. “We’re all in preliminary plans, so they have a long way to go.”
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No construction timeline has been established. CDG needs to go through the review process and submit a final plan before ground is broken.
But should it go forward, construction would involve demolition of the existing properties on the five parcels, including the West College Realty office, California Tortilla, Zola’s Kitchen and Wine Bar, Golden Wok and two red-brick houses.
LeClear said the proposed building invokes the borough’s inclusionary housing ordinance, and would feature about 31 inclusionary units.
The Residences at College and Atherton adds to a developing metro area. High-rises creep upward at both ends of downtown State College on College Avenue, while another is planned for East Beaver Avenue. The Fraser Centre’s anchor, Hyatt Place, meanwhile, is set to open in March.
State College is not alone. College towns, with their concentration of wealth and cultural experiences besides a steady stream of new consumers, are attractive for developers and young and old alike. As universities continue to add students, more housing is needed. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, fall enrollment increased 17 percent from 2004 to 2014. While enrollment has tailed off in recent years, NCES projects undergraduate enrollment to increase 14 percent between 2014 and 2025.
Penn State, meanwhile, saw record numbers of applicants and acceptances in the fall.