State College

This historic State College building will be sold to an out-of-town buyer

The Glennland Building, located at 205 E. Beaver Ave., was State College's first five-story building. It now houses a mix of apartments and commercial office space but could soon become a boutique hotel.
The Glennland Building, located at 205 E. Beaver Ave., was State College's first five-story building. It now houses a mix of apartments and commercial office space but could soon become a boutique hotel. psheehan@centredaily.com

The Glennland Building has been in Richard Campbell's family for eight decades. If all goes according to plan, it'll soon be owned by an out-of-towner for the first time in its history.

The building, constructed in 1933 by businessmen O. W. Houts and Dr. Grover Glenn, sits on the corner of Beaver Avenue and South Pugh Street in downtown State College. It has the distinction of being the first five-story building and was the tallest in town until the 1970s. Currently, it houses a mix of apartments and commercial office space.

There's a sales agreement with an undisclosed buyer who is well-known for refurbishing historic buildings and converting them into boutique hotels — and that's the intention for the Glennland Building, said Campbell, a State College attorney.

"We're optimistic that this is gonna close late this year," he said. (He said tenants were notified in March that they'll need to vacate by Dec. 31.)

The building was passed down in ownership from Campbell's father to him and his two siblings and now their children.

"My first answer was: 'No, we would never sell the building.' And then after we looked at it from a realistic, economic standpoint, it looked like we didn’t have much choice," Campbell said.

He said the building needs about $3 million in renovations that the family doesn't have — the elevator is on its last leg and would require a $1 million fix; the facade needs work; retaining walls need to be adjusted.

When they started looking at the cost of the renovations, Campbell said, they almost equal the value of the property.

He said with the building's designation as historic, not much can be done to its exterior.

"We're delighted that we can maintain the building in its current form — gives us a piece of legacy as well," Campbell said.

There's a lot still to do, and the buyer is doing its due diligence on the property, he added.

"I’m sure they'll have some great ideas; I mean they're very progressive. It should be quite an asset to downtown," Campbell said.

Douglas Shontz, communications specialist for State College, said in an email that the borough has heard from the buyer and has requested additional information from the company.

He said all the information will be presented at a July 2 open house, starting at 6 p.m. at the municipal building.

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