Giant Confirms Plans to Build Store in New Benner Pike Shopping Center

Site plan for the proposed shopping center on Benner Pike and Paradise Road in Benner Township. Image by PennTerra Engineering via Centre County Planning and Community Development Office

Giant Food Stores on Friday confirmed the company plans to build a new supermarket on Benner Pike near Bellefonte.

The 50,000-square-foot store will be located in a new shopping center planned for a 15-acre tract along Benner Pike and Paradise Road in Benner Township.

According to a news release, construction is scheduled to begin in 2022, pending township approvals, with opening expected in 2023.

It will be the third Giant store in Centre County. The location at 2121 S. Atherton St. in College Township opened in June 2019 after relocating from the Nittany Commons Shopping Center. The Giant in Northland Center along North Atherton Street in Ferguson Township opened in 1989.

“The Giant Company has been a proud member of the State College community for more than 30 years and we are excited to now extend our offerings to Benner Township,” Giant Company President Nicholas Bertram said in a statement. “We remain committed to and investing in our stores, our people and our communities through both new and refreshed stores, meal solutions, enhanced online and delivery options and more for families to have the time to connect with one another. We look forward to serving the grocery needs of Benner Township and the greater Bellefonte community.”

The new store will include a Beer & Wine Eatery and Giant Direct grocery pick up.

It will create more than 100 jobs. Giant’s two State College area stores currently employ about 370 people.

The store is one of five buildings planned for the new center.

Preliminary land development plans also include a fuel area, two fast food restaurants of 4,300 and 3,600 square feet, a 2,200-square-foot coffee/fast food restaurant and a 7,200- square-foot medical/office building.

The shopping center’s developers did not previously name what supermarket would be opening in the shopping center, but during a review of preliminary land development plans at the Centre County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Christopher Schnure, county subdivision and land development planner, noted that the plans reference parking spaces for Giant Direct.

“I think… this is a recognition of the continued growth, the steady growth of the greater Bellefonte area that Bellefonte is now going to have two pretty good sized supermarkets…,” Commissioner Mark Higgins said.

Because of the number of buildings proposed, the developer must receive preliminary plan approval before submitting a final land development plan.

Last fall, Land of Paradise LLC completed a “fair-market value land transaction” with the commonwealth to acquire the 15-acre tract of formerly untaxed, state-owned land that was part of SCI-Rockview’s property.

Tom Richey, a partner in Land of Paradise LLC, said at the time that an anchor tenant will be announced in 2021 and other outparcels will be filled as the project moves forward.

“We further believe that local residents will be excited to see the businesses which will be will be located on this property,” Richey said.

Vern Squier, president and CEO of the Centre County Industrial Development Corporation and CBICC, said the development would be a “catalyst for years of economic activity [and] hundreds of jobs.”

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