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Development Plans Submitted for Former Hilltop Mobile Home Site

Plans have been submitted for a proposed two-building residential development on the site of the former Hilltop Mobile Home Park.

The Aspen Heights Squirrel Drive preliminary/final land development plan was submitted by developer Aspen Heights Partners to College Township on Nov. 9.

It proposes the construction of two, four-story residential buildings on the west side of Squirrel Drive. One of the buildings would also have 24,299 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

“One (building) will contain all purpose-built student housing and the other building will be a mix of purpose-built student housing, 28 workforce housing units and first-floor commercial space,” township Principal Planner Lindsay Schoch said.

The project is in the Gateway Commercial Zoning District in College Township, which requires 10 percent of units be set aside as workforce housing, Schoch said.

To meet this requirement, the township will work with the developer and the Centre County Housing and Land Trust Board on an agreement for the 28 units that will be reserved for this type of housing.

Combined, the two buildings would include a total of 263 residential units, ranging from one to five beds.

The land has been vacant since February 2013, when the Hilltop Mobile Home Park was sold to make way for a student housing development. Those plans fell through and the township faced some public backlash due to the loss of affordable workforce housing to make way for more student housing.

Recently, the location has seen a revived interest by developers.

In July 2019, the mobile home park land was consolidated with seven other lots, including the former Honda Track and Trail, Battery Outlet and Budget Truck Rental locations by 1275 East Pennsylvania Ave. I LP.

Earlier in 2019, College Township received plans for a bank building to be constructed where the former Honda Track and Trail, Battery Outlet and Budget Truck Rental buildings still stand, but Schoch said those plans have since been withdrawn.

The new plans show 1275 East Pennsylvania Ave. I LP as the site owner and Aspen Heights Partners as the developer and equitable owner. Aspen Heights Partners, a real estate and property management company from Charlotte, N.C., and is the developer of another proposed student housing project in Ferguson Township and State College.

The new development plan for the former Hilltop site shows the buildings sitting back, up on the hill behind the former business buildings on the southwest side of College Avenue and Squirrel Drive. Schoch said the township has not received any other plans for the property.

Schoch said the plan has been reviewed by township staff and others, such as traffic engineers, regional planners, CATA and the fire director.

Comments from these groups were submitted to the developers and township staff was set to review the comments with developers and the engineer on Dec. 8.