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Discount Department Store Gabe’s Coming to Former Bon-Ton Location at Nittany Mall

The site of the former Bon-Ton store at the Nittany Mall will soon have a new tenant as Gabe’s department store plan to open up shop in the location.

Mason Asset Management Team, which oversees leasing efforts for the Nittany Mall, confirmed that Gabe’s will soon be moving to the space, but said it was too early to say when they will open at this point.

“Gabe’s will be renovating the former Bon-Ton location to better suit their needs, so the timeline will be heavily dependent on that process,” a Mason Asset Management Team spokesperson said in an email.

Gabe’s was founded in 1961 in Morgantown, W.V. Today, the company has more than 110 stores across Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The closest Gabe’s to Centre County is currently in Altoona.

“Gabe’s is an economically priced department store that will provide the community with clothing for men, women and kids, in addition to home goods and essentials,” the spokesperson said. It added, ”We are always looking for new and different tenants to add value to our community. Gabe’s will give shoppers another alternative while they navigate through the Nittany Mall and we are excited about the value Gabe’s will bring to its neighboring tenants.”

Bon-Ton closed in April 2018 and the site has sat vacant since, although the space was recently used as a free county-wide COVID-19 testing location.

Gabe’s arrival means all four of the Nittany Mall anchor store sites are expected to be filled.

Farm and home department store chain Rural King plans to open this month in the former Sears location.

Bally’s and investor Ira Lubert plan to open their proposed category 4 casino at the former Macy’s location, according to documents submitted this week to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and College Township. The casino is expected to have to have 750 slot machines, 30 table games, sports betting, a restaurant and entertainment facilities. Pending regulatory approvals, construction will begin in the second half of 2021 and take about a year to complete.

Dunham’s Sports, which opened in March 2016, has been the mall’s only anchor store after Macy’s closed in early 2020. Recently, the mall seen several small stores announce closure, such as Christopher & Banks, Hot Topic and Kozee’s Sports Emporium. Despite the difficult economic time brought on by the pandemic, Mason Asset Management says it is committed to the mall future.

“We are committed to the future of Nittany Mall and its use as a retail and lifestyle destination. The events of 2020 brought a lot of changes to the retail industry, as well as to the Nittany Mall, but our goal is to provide State College and the surrounding community with a plethora of retail shopping experiences,” the email said.