State College

Metropolitan partners with national developer for 12-story building

A rendering of The Metropolitan, currently under construction in downtown State College.
A rendering of The Metropolitan, currently under construction in downtown State College. Photo provided

Developers of The Metropolitan have a new partner to help construct the 540-bed mixed-use building in downtown State College.

Landmark Properties, a national developer based out of Athens, Ga., announced Friday that it closed a joint venture with locally based PennTrust Properties to build The Metropolitan, located at the corner of South Atherton Street and West College Avenue in downtown State College. Landmark Properties previously developed The Retreat at State College, a 587-bedroom project completed in 2013.

“We are joining, and we successfully developed The Retreat (at State College), which has been a great venture for us,” Landmark President and CEO Wes Rogers said. “We like the State College market and have looked at other potential sites there for a while. We saw on a recent trip a few months ago construction going on for The Metropolitan, and we reached out to Ara (Kervandjian) and Heidi (Nicholas) to see what they were doing and to found out what we could do.”

Rogers said their timing worked, because the project’s timeline was pushed back a year, a result of a harsh winter, according to PennTrust.

The partnership, according to PennTrust managing director Ara Kervandjian, does not change the project’s revised timeline.

Landmark, in addition to serving as the property manager and general contractor on the project, also will invest in the project. Rogers declined to provide financial details.

“All of our financing is in place, and Landmark will be a significant financial partner in the project,” Kervandjian added.

There will be changes to the project’s design with Landmark on board.

Any changes to The Metropolitan’s design, Rogers said, will be “minor tweaks.” The building’s exterior design will be the same.

“We do not expect significant changes to the design of the building, but we are taking a look at some interior room designs, finishes and amenities that are within our right based on existing entitlements,” Kervandjian added.

The 12-story building will include about 32,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 164 underground parking spaces for both tenants and retail customers and on-site amenities such as a 9,000-square-foot clubhouse, a rooftop terrace, fitness center and a third-floor outdoor terrace.

Rogers said he feels there is a need for the housing The Metropolitan will provide.

“We feel there is an enormous need for student housing that is unmet,” he said. “We’ve built all across the country, and there’s a strong need for high quality housing. I think they do need more housing for students, and I do think the existing stock is somewhat older in terms of what is walking distance to the university.”

Pre-leasing for the 146-foot-tall building will begin in the second quarter of 2016, and residents are expected to move into the building in fall 2017.

Plans also include a four-story building at 1311 S. Atherton St. that will have a ground floor of commercial space beneath three stories of two-bedroom apartments. The proposal calls for 12 apartments.

The building was designed as part of a zoning ordinance requirement in which 10 percent of a housing project must be designated for affordable housing. Kervandjian had the option to create the housing off-site rather than as part of The Metropolitan.