State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

CVS/Pharmacy Moving From the Mall to South Atherton Street

by on July 16, 2013 7:43 AM

At the intersection of University Drive and South Atherton Street, the decades-old Ponderosa Steakhouse is gone. In its place is a brand-new CVS/Pharmacy, featuring a drive-thru pharmacy window and a familiar set of employees.

The new CVS Pharmacy opens July 28 and the long-standing CVS location in the Nittany Mall closes the same week. If you're thinking these events are related, you are right on the money. Employees at the Nittany Mall store are transferring to the new store in due time, all part of a greater plan.

"The mall store doesn't really allow us to adequately serve the community," says CVS spokesman Mike DiAngelis.

"By opening this store location at a more convenient and accessible site, we'll be able to improve and enhance the service we provide to the State College community."

Plans to open a new CVS store started in 2010 when J.C. Bar Properties helped the CVS Corporation handle strict permit requirements set by the State College borough to protect the Slab Cabin Run waterway that's right next to it.

In the end they succeeded. The standard 13,000-square-foot store spared a few feet to meet the ordinance and was granted permissions to start construction.

Inspections won't be complete until zoning officers look around one last time.

Borough zoning officer Anne Messner says she believes everything will go as planned.

"I'm anticipating that what we see actually installed is what we have on paper," she says.

J.C. Bar Properties has been developing the site for just six months and collaborated with PennDOT during that time.

"We did work with each other to get an improved traffic and pedestrian intersection for the public," says Dan Wallace, development consultant with J.C. Bar. Building in a key location was an important part of the process.

State College native, Nora Adams, works near the new CVS Pharmacy and remembers when the site was the family buffet-style restaurant, Ponderosa. It transformed into a convenient place for stop and shop toiletries and pharmacy items. Adams says it may have been time for that kind of change.

"It wasn't ever that crowded, so I guess they weren't that popular," Adams says of the former Ponderosa.

To look at previous coverage of the S. Atherton CVS construction process click here.

Cynthia Hill is a Penn State student who's working as an intern for
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