State College is known for its charming downtown, packed full of local businesses and historical buildings. However, the landscape of State College is rapidly changing as we see one high-rise after another go up in the heart of downtown.
Since 2016, when the Fraser Centre was built at 217 W. Beaver Ave., it seems that there has been constant construction on one luxury apartment building or another. According to upcoming plans for new construction in the area, it appears that this trend is not going to change any time soon.
On Aug. 20, 2021, the State College Planning Department received a proposal from the developer Core Spaces to demolish the Days Inn by Wyndham Penn State in order to build an apartment building. Located at 240 S. Pugh St., this demolition would displace local two local businesses, Brewsky’s Bottle Shop and the State College staple, Mad Mex. The proposed apartment building would be six stories and house 172 units as well as 200 below-ground parking spaces. No ground-level retail space is included in the building plan.
Core Spaces has had a presence in State College since Oct. 2019, when they purchased four buildings on the 400 block of E. College Ave. The developer plans to demolish these buildings — which house George’s Floral Boutique, Eddie’s Bicycles and Hockey Equipment and Pizza Mia’s State College location, in order to erect a 12-story luxury apartment building. With construction to be started this upcoming December, State College will soon be home to another student-housing high-rise. Building plans include 135 units and 172 below-ground parking spaces.
Aesthetically, high-rises have changed the look of town tremendously. Suddenly, views of campus and the mountains have been replaced by large, modern buildings, giving town a drastically different feel. The modern architectural style of State College’s high-rises is certainly popular at the moment, however, it undeniably makes them stand out from the buildings that State College is known for.
State College is a growing city. However, these luxury apartment buildings have exuberant rent rates that prohibit the majority of students from living in them. With new development plans in the works for two more 100 plus unit buildings, it is impossible not to wonder if these are a threat to the availability of affordable housing in State College.
Regardless of your feelings on the new high-rises to be built downtown, they will undoubtedly change the landscape of town once again.
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