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Mixed-Use Development in the Works for Westerly Parkway Plaza

by and on May 22, 2020 5:00 AM

Changes are coming to Westerly Parkway Plaza, but it is unclear how long it will take to come to fruition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the managing realtor of the plaza, the property owner plans to demolish two of the older structures in the plaza and construct a mixed-use building.

In the meantime, longtime tenant Goodwill Thrift Store will be moving to 387 Benner Pike, which was the home of Office Depot until it closed in early 2016. Goodwill plans to open at the new location by August.

Kandy Weader of Keystone Commercial Real Estate, manages the Westerly Parkway Plaza, and she said the property owners plan to demolish the two older buildings on the northeast side of the property that are in disrepair to make way for a development with student housing in its upper floors and commercial space below. The section of the plaza that includes Weis Market and Rite Aid is not part of the plan.

Weader said there is no timeline to share at present, and the current pandemic is holding things up. 

Bill Ebken has owned The Frame Factory and Gallery, located in the same building as Goodwill, since 1975. Ebken said he plans to move to the other end of the plaza between Rite Aid and Weis Market at some point before the demolition, but he said everything is still “up in the air” at this point. He said he had plans to meet with the property owners in March, but the meeting was canceled due to the pandemic.

Fuji & Jade Garden and My Thai moved together from the plaza to a new location in Northland Center in Ferguson Township in February. It is unclear what 100 Degree Hot Pot will be doing in the meantime.

Goodwill has been operating in State College since 1992. The move to a new location, a 35,700-square-foot building in College Township, will include a new service to the region with on-site mission services employment specialists. These specialists provide job training services to people facing barriers to employment and partner with local school districts to bring on-the-job training to students in the life skills classes.

“We are excited about the new facility and it will enable us to continue to serve the State College area with job training and development, as well as a new and improved retail establishment, providing reasonably priced items to the public,” said Ray Donati, Goodwill Industries of North Central Pennsylvania president and CEO.

Goodwill Industries of North Central Pennsylvania employs nearly 700 associates and provides job training to people throughout its 13-county area. Its mission statement is: “Meeting life challenges through opportunity, education, training and work.”

“We would like to thank the people of State College for their support and for helping us to make people self-sufficient. Your purchases and donations change lives every day,” Donati said.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

Vincent Corso is writer for Town&Gown and the Centre County Gazette.
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