STATE COLLEGE, PA – After five years of development, the Fraser Centre is expected to start construction in October, pending the approval of an additional 20,074 square feet.
At Monday night’s State College Borough Council meeting, Susquehanna Real Estate (SRE) President & CEO Jake Kay and Vice President Tim Fulton presented to a council the real estate development company’s next few steps, as well as updates on the $15-million project.
According to Kay, the project is still waiting on an additional 20,074 square feet of space to help fully finance the entire project before its October construction date.
In addition, he said, the project hopes to interest “potential buyers,” as two floors from the residential space will be converted to office space, leaving about 20 condominium units rather than the proposed 53.
Also, the project will produce more use of the Fraser Street Parking Deck as SRE hopes to create a bridge from the new development to the garage.
“There is a building confidence that this building will get built from a combination of the university and the borough and its staff and the opportunity to do something positive for this [community,]” Kay said.
Council members had mixed feelings about the new additions and updates, and a few were skeptical on the planned construction date.
“I hate the bridge,” said councilman Peter Morris. “It prohibits State College residents from stepping foot on the sidewalk. It is very urban and I don’t like it.”
Councilwoman Theresa Lafer said although she agrees with Morris on how residents will not use the sidewalks, she believes that is a personal choice. She is pleased with the change to office space and thinks this development will be a “seed for continued [future] developments, and [that] this is a far better use of the space than just condos.”
When councilwoman Silvi Lawrence asked Kay if his company had filed the correct plans to start construction in the fall, his response was “not yet.”
“I think this is overly ambitious of the bureau. I don’t think [SRE] have filed any plans. I don’t think this will happen by October. This is the end of July,” Lawrence said. “Prove me wrong. I wish you the best, but I think this was an ambitious move for the bureau.”
According to Kay, construction will begin in October, pending the needed addition, with a “delivery date in June 2012.”
The multi-use residential and commercial center will bring an IMAX theatre to the State College area, and is currently designed to house retail stores, offices, a hotel and condominiums.
Fraser Centre will be located in downtown State College on the corner of Beaver Avenue and Fraser Street. The property will hopefully be a new major destination in the area.
Aside from Kay’s presentation, council approved courtesy parking for expired meters during the holiday season and support for Webster’s Bookstore Café. They briefly discussed the West End Zoning ordinance, but have postponed further discussion to allow more time for consideration before holding a public hearing. There is currently no date set for this discussion.