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Opening Date Set for New Giant Grocery Store in Hills Plaza

by on May 14, 2019 11:47 AM

Giant Food Stores will open its new supermarket in Hills Plaza on June 7, replacing the East College Avenue location, which will close a day earlier.

Plans to convert the plaza's anchor store property at 2121 S. Atherton St. to a new Giant were first submitted in 2017 and substantial work on the 68,000 square foot location began in the fall of 2018.

The store at 2222 E. College Ave. will close at 6 p.m. on June 6. A ribbon-cutting for the new store will be held at 7:45 a.m. on June 7 and the first 200 customers will receive a reusable shopping bag, a six-pack of English muffins and other special savings.

Giant will be open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.

According to the company, the new store will add approximately 60 full- and part-time jobs, bringing its total number of staff members to 165. Wendy Evans has been named store manager and she said in a news release that the larger location will mean more offerings for customers.

“Offering our customers a larger store means we are adding plenty of fresh ideas and new convenient amenities to their GIANT shopping experience,” Evans said. “From an expanded offering of fresh, quality products to online shopping and in-store beer and wine, our newest store offers something for all of our State College customers.”

A 30-seat Beer & Wine Eatery within the store will be open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sundays. It will offer 300 varieties of local and national beer and wine and customers will be able to dine on salads, sushi and an Asian hot bar.

An in-store Starbucks also will be open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. The new store will have a full-service pharmacy as well.

Giant's new location in Hills Plaza has been vacant for 17 years, since its previous tenant, Ames department store, filed for bankruptcy in 2002. Ames had been in the space since 1999, when the company took over the former Hills Department Store. 

The total anchor property was 80,000 square feet and has been divided into two separate stores, according Hills Plaza owner Vita & Vita Realty. The remaining 12,000 square feet will be renovated, but a tenant for that space has not yet been announced.

The 47-year-old Hills Plaza already includes one grocery store. Weis Markets is located in the anchor spot of the South Hills portion of the plaza, south of Rolling Ridge Drive.

With the East College Avenue Giant closing, the Benner Pike Walmart will be the only grocery store on the eastern side of the Centre Region and the only supermarket between State College and Bellefonte.

Giant also operates a store at 255 Northland Center, which will remain open.

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