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Commercial Development Near Bellefonte Expected to Create Hundreds of New Jobs

by on September 25, 2020 12:03 PM

A new commercial development along Benner Pike near Bellefonte is expected to spur economic activity and bring "hundreds of newly created jobs," the Centre County Industrial Development Corporation announced on Thursday.

Formerly untaxed, state-owned land that was part of SCI-Rockview's property, the 15-acre tract next to Bellefonte Lanes in Benner Township was recently acquired by Pennsylvania-based Land of Paradise LLC.

Vern Squier, president and CEO of CCIDC, a subsidiary of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, said the development will result in a "significant investment" in the county's economy. 

"This land transaction is the catalyst for years of economic activity, hundreds of jobs, and a positive impact in the lives of local Centre County residents," Squier said.

Tom Richey, a partner in Land of Paradise LLC, said an anchor tenant will be announced in 2021 and other outparcels will be filled as the project moves forward.

"We further believe that local residents will be excited to see the businesses which will be will be located on this property," Richey said.

The "fair-market value land transaction," from the state to Land of Paradise came as a result of collaboration among Land of Paradise, CCIDC, Gov. Tom Wolf's office, the Department of General Services, Centre County Commissioners and state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, along with the county's entire state delegation.

"This project illustrates how teamwork can lead to economic gain," Corman said. "The Benner Pike, fair-market value land transaction brought many parties to the table including DGS, local jurisdictions and organizations, and private enterprise. The result of this collaboration is prosperity for our area."

No tax breaks were involved in the transaction, according to CCIDC.

The development will provide a boost to local services and education, Squier said, as it "will represent an increase of funds over time into the COVID-19 impacted coffers of Benner Township, Bellefonte Area School District and Centre County Government."



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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