State College

State College area to get sixth Sheetz store

adrey@centredaily.com

Sheetz continues to expand its reach in State College.

A store is slated for the Patton Town Center, located at 215 Colonnade Blvd. No official construction timetable has been set, though Keystone Commercial Real Estate, the group that owns the land, reported a target completion date of late 2017.

Sheetz signed a lease with Keystone in June. Negotiations have been ongoing, according to representatives from both organizations. Brian Dinges, the real estate site selector for Sheetz, said the company expressed interest early this year, though a concept may have been drawn for the site about two years ago. Typically, he said, going from the first phone call to a store’s completion takes about two to four years.

Besides five gas pumps, the new location will offer the other usual amenities — touch-screen ordering systems for food, restaurant seating, an ATM — but will not feature a drive-thru or car wash. The estimated 6,000-square-foot store will share parking with the center’s other tenants, though the initial conceptual plan included about 45 designated spaces, Dinges said.

“It will be pretty similar to what would be on (North Atherton Street) near the Wal-Mart,” he said. “A little bit bigger than that, but from the fit-and-finish standpoint, pretty similar.”

The store will be located between a Cracker Barrel restaurant and a 0.79-acre restaurant or retail pad that Keystone is looking to fill. Kandy Weader, a consultant with Keystone, said the group has had interest in the space. The Patton Town Center also includes an 2.53-acre hotel or retail pad, which is currently under negotiation, and an available 0.42-acre restaurant or retail pad.

“I expect that we’ll see some movement here, now with Sheetz and this other potential tenant, that we’ll be filling them soon,” she said. “... It will be nice to have the PennDOT work done and have the opportunity to have a Sheetz easily accessible there at that part of town close to I-99.”

Sheetz representatives met with the municipality earlier in July to discuss initial phases of the project. Dinges said the plan is still in its “due diligence” phase, a nascent stage in which reviewing and acquiring the proper permits takes precedence. But once ground is broken, he said, it typically takes five months until the store opens.

“We’re so early on in the process that we don’t have an actual opening date even projected yet,” he said. “We typically don’t project out a date until we get a better feel for how long the permitting and approval process is going to take.”

Headquartered in Altoona, the convenience store chain recently opened four stores across its six-state market base last month.

One of the largest privately owned companies in the country, Sheetz had sales totaling more than $6.28 billion in 2015, according to Forbes. The company operates more than 500 locations, including 38 new or rebuilt stores that opened last year.

More than 240 of Sheetz’s stores are based in Pennsylvania.

The company last opened a store in State College in September at 129 S. Pugh St. — the only store in the municipality without the traditional gas pumps. The opening came a month after the closing of a store at 2000 E. College Ave.

“State College is a very good market for us,” Dinges said. “Through some of the analytics that we use, there’s an underserved population on the Toftrees side of I-99, as well as travelers on I-99, and this provides a more convenient way for those travelers coming through that part of Centre County and State College to get to one of our convenience restaurants.”

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy

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