It occurs to me on occasion as I drive around State College on my way to an empty arena to watch fan-free sports, that most of you haven’t been to town in a hot minute now.
Which is unfortunate, for a lot of reasons. On the one hand, not having to deal with traffic is fantastic. I very much enjoy just getting in the car and driving to Beaver Stadium, Pegula or the BJC and then just driving right home. I highly recommend that we continue this tradition of letting me get to work without traffic.
On the other hand sports aren’t the same without fans. It really isn’t. We all sit at home and watch games and I get very mad at the Eagles for being just a terrible football team or you might get mad at the Steelers for the wide range of things Steelers’ fans seem to get mad for – but neither of us are doing it in person. Nobody is cheering and nobody is booing. Nobody is paying $19 for a beer and then throwing it in the air.
So hopefully things will be normal again soon. Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay at home. Because as much as I enjoy the lack of traffic, I also miss it.
In the the meanwhile, here’s some of what you’ve missed around State College. There have been some changes. Most of these buildings are under a year to 2 years old.
Also this isn’t an advertisement.
Penn State is constructing a new six-story building at 121-23 S. Burrowes St. The site is the former location of the James Building, which stood for 99 years and was home to the Daily Collegian for 40 but had undergone significant deterioration. The new building will be a hub for the Invent Penn State entrepreneurial and innovation initiative and will house deans’ suites for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and College of Information Sciences and Technology.
The first in the spate of new downtown high-rises, the long-planned Fraser Centre opened at the corner of West Beaver Avenue and South Fraser Street in the fall of 2016. It is home to Hyatt Place Hotel, Federal Taphouse, Target, H&M and condominiums.
The 12-story mixed-use high-rise Here State College, viewed here from the corner of East Beaver Avenue and Hiester Street, opened on the site of the former Garner Street parking lot in August 2020.
Here State College, left, is viewed here from the corner of East Beaver Avenue. The two-story frontage on Beaver Avenue, is integrated but separate from the rest of the building, is the new Nancy and Bernard Gutterman Center for Jewish Life, the new home for Penn State Hillel.
Here State College on the former Garner Street Lot is viewed here from the east corner of South Garner Street and Calder Way. Lion’s Den is on the right. Here State College’s first two levels are designated for 30,000 square feet of commercial space, though none has been filled yet. The remaining floors have 230 apartments.
A public courtyard that opens up in the middle of the building is the centerpoint of the planned retail and restaurant space in the mixed-use Here State College, which opened in August 2020 at the site of the former Garner Street parking lot.
Here State College viewed from the corner of East Beaver Avenue and South Garner Street
Rise, a 12-story commercial and student apartment building, opened at the corner of East College Avenue and High Street in the fall of 2018. It’s visible when getting off the Mount Nittany Expressway and is the first high-rise visible when entering downtown from the east.
Rise, at the corner of East College Avenue and High Street, has 10 floors of mostly student apartments. It’s first two floors are designated for retail and commercial but have not been occupied to date.
The Legacy, on the block of East Beaver Avenue, South Garner Street and Calder Way, has gotten a new look in the past year. Georgia-baseed Landmark Properties, which owns three other State College student housing complexes and has another under construction, purchased The Legacy in 2018. Playa Bowls moved into the ground floor on Calder in 2019
The seven-story Pugh Centre opened at the corner of East Beaver Avenue and South Pugh Street in August 2020. It’s located on the site of the former CVS building. Pugh Centre has 6,000-square feet of yet-to-be-filled commercial space on the first two floors and apartments on the remaining five floors.
The Edge, a seven-story mixed use building, opened in the fall of 2018 at the corner of East Beaver Avenue and Locust Lane (where Canyon Pizza was previously located). It has five floors of apartments, with office space on the top floor and retail space on the ground floor. Roots Natural Kitchen, which opened in 2019, is in one of the retail spaces. Frutta Bowls opened in another retail space but has since closed.
The Standard, a sprawling 12 story mixed-use building, is currently under construction by Landmark Properties at the corner of West College Avenue and Atherton Street, occupying almost the entire block.
The Standard (left), a 12-story building at the corner of West College Avenue and South Atherton Street, is under construction across the street from another 12-story mixed-use high-rise, The Metropolitan. The Standard is scheduled to open this fall. The Metropolitan opened in August 2017. In addition to 10 floors of apartments, The Metropolitan houses an Orangetheory Fitness, Tadashi Japanese Restaurant and offices for KCF Technologies on its first two floors.
Snap Custom Pizza, 132 W. College Ave., opened in the former location of Herwig’s Austrian Bistro in the fall of 2018.
Hello Bistro, an Eat’n Park property, opened in the fall of 2019 at 126 W. College Ave., where The Diner once was located before it went out of business in 2018.
Central Reservation, which specializes in seafood and fine cocktails, opened in August 2020 at 101 E. Beaver Ave., where Old State Clothing had been located before it moved out in 2018.
Scholar Hotel State College opened in the Glennland Bulding, 205 E. Beaver Ave. on Friday. While the exterior of the historic building has been preserved, the interior has been completely renovated over the past 16 months, with a 72-room hotel that pays tribute to the history of the building, Penn State and State College throughout. Social Food + Drink, a bistro and full-service bar, is expected to open in the hotel in April.
BRGR, specializing in gourmet burgers and handmade shakes, opened in September 2019 at 122 W. College Ave., a historic 110-year-old bank building that was last occupied by Citizens Bank before it closed the branch in 2016. Elements of the bank, like the vault, are incorporated into the restaurant’s design.