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Opening Date Set for Giant Supermarket in Benner Township

A new Bellefonte-area supermarket is almost ready to open its doors.

Giant Food Stores on Thursday announced it will open a new supermarket at 2699 Benner Pike at 8 a.m. on Friday Dec. 16.

The 50,000-square-foot store is slated to become the first establishment to open in the new Paradise Shopping Center planned for a 15-acre tract along Benner Pike and Paradise Road in Benner Township.

Once open, the Giant supermarket will operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. It’s expected to add more than 100 full- and part-time jobs to the Centre County workforce, the company said.

“At The Giant Company, we are a neighborhood grocery store, but we are also members of the communities we serve,” said John Ruane, the Giant Company’s interim president. “The opening of our Benner Township Giant builds on our legacy of serving the State College community for more than 30 years, offering families convenience, meal solutions, and savings to meet their lifestyles. Opening just in time for holiday celebrations, our new store reinforces our commitment to fulfilling our purpose of connecting families to a better future.”

Benner Township’s newest supermarket will offer a full slate of traditional grocery goods, including farm-fresh produce, meat and seafood, bakery treats, floral arrangements and a beer and wine eatery, the company said. The store will feature a hot foods bar that will offer smoked meats and sushi made in-store.

Additionally, an on-site gas station will allow visitors to fuel their cars. Both grocery and gas purchases will be eligible for savings under Giant’s rewards program.

The Benner Township Giant will also offer Giant Direct, the grocery chain’s online-ordering service that lets customers pick up items on the go.

As the store opens on Dec. 16, team members will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The supermarket’s first 200 customers will receive a reusable Giant shopping bag “filled with product samples and other grand-opening savings,” the company said.

“We are excited to open our doors to the greater Bellefonte community and, just in time for the holiday season,” said Thomas “Woody” Woodring, the Benner Pike store’s manager. “Our new store will feature the very best of GIANT’s For Today’s Table brand, but especially our customer promises – simplify shopping, inspire fresh ideas, and create healthier communities. Our team is here to help, and we will strive to create meaningful shopping experiences that help families gather around the table.”

Once open, the Benner Township supermarket will be the third Giant store in Centre County. The company’s location at 2121 S. Atherton St. in College Township opened in 2019 after relocating from the Nittany Commons Shopping Center. The Ferguson Township Giant along North Atherton Street opened back in 1989.

Plans for the new Giant store date back to 2020 when Pennsylvania-based Land of Paradise LLC completed a “fair-market value land transaction” to acquire the 15-acre tract of formerly untaxed, state-owned land along Benner Pike. The land, formerly part of SCI-Rockview’s property, is now expected to expand into a full-fledged shopping center with Giant as its cornerstone.

Final land development plans for the shopping center also include a 7,200-square-foot retail building and a 4,000-square-foot restaurant. Potential tenants for the center’s remaining properties remain unclear.

The Benner Pike shopping center is expected to result in a “significant investment” in Centre County’s economy, the Centre County Industrial Development Corporation said following the 15-acre tract’s purchase in 2020.

“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,” Vern Squier, former president and CEO of the CCIDC, said in 2020.