CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A real estate developer is proposing construction a new complex that would bring more affordable housing to State College, but also take away the neighborhood Nittany Village Park.

The process is in it’s early stages and a formal proposal has yet to be shared with the State College Borough staff, but neighborhood residents are getting a head start and speaking out for the preservation of their backyards.

The four-story development and parking lot would be constructed on commercial property off South Atherton Street; however, 40% of it would occupy the park.

The borough has been in communication with neighborhood residents.

“Borough staff, led by Tom Fountaine, talked to the neighbors whose property actually bordered the park, last year even,” said Jim Meyer, State College community member.

A meeting between the Borough, developers, and neighbors was planned for this afternoon. When a larger amount of people were notified about the meeting, it was canceled by the borough as it wasn’t advertised with enough notice to follow the Sunshine Act.

The neighbors, however, still encouraged the community gathering to discuss their concerns.

“And one of my concerns about this is certainly that it’s a green space that buffers the neighborhood from commercial development,” said Heather Ricker-Gilbert, State College community member. “We also have trees here, lovely trees, and they would all be taken down.” 

They say they recognize this development would fill a need in their community, but ask that it be considered for another location.

“This is an affordable housing complex and it’s something that the borough does need, but with that said, the developer also has other options,” said Meyer.

The State College Borough said, once the full proposal has been submitted to staff, the public will be invited to share their comments or concerns. The date and time of that meeting will be posted publicly.