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Conditional use permit approved for proposed Garner Street lot high-rise

by on February 08, 2018 9:45 AM

STATE COLLEGE — A proposed mixed-use high-rise development on the site of the Garner Street Parking Lot in downtown State College moved forward Feb. 5 as borough council approved a conditional-use permit for the project.

The 12-story, 145-foot-tall building would include residential and commercial space, as well as a Penn State Hillel community center. The first two floors are designated for more than 30,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. The remaining 10 floors would house 258,000 square feet of residential space, with 247 units and a total of 824 beds.

An underground parking garage for  280 vehicles would be accessible from Heister Street.

A public hearing was held Jan. 8 for the conditional-use permit.

"I think all the things this council was concerned about and the public talked about are in this decision by the solicitor," council president Evan Myers said before the approval vote.

Conditions included: a landscape plan to maximize sidewalk width; having a full-time resident manager; non-operable street-facing windows; amenities that would prevent the throwing of objects off the roof; no balconies; an increase in the number of bike racks; more identifiable delineation of space for delivery vehicles; and a traffic impact study that includes concerns about pedestrians crossing Garner Street and using the sidewalks.

Council members also asked for the addition of a green roof to be included for consideration and review by architectural staff, as well as specific placement of ADA accessibility near a grand staircase that will lead from Calder Way to an open central courtyard
The permit sets forth the conditions developers need to meet as they work toward final land development plans, which would ultimately require council's approval.

The project is being developed by CA Ventures, developers of The Rise, which is under construction at 532 E. College Ave., along with property owners the Friedman family and Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

Hillel had been planning a new community center for the portion of the property adjacent to Beaver Avenue. That would be incorporated into the new building. with 19,000 square feet on the first two floors of the Beaver Avenue side.

The Garner Street lot is the first phase of a potential two-phase project. The second phase would involve redeveloping the block of East College Avenue between Garner and Heister streets, with the staircase continuing down to College Avenue and adjoining the second-phase building to form a single campus.

The second phase is not part of the current application and Phase 1 can be built even if Phase 2 never is, developers have said.




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