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Giant has announced a new supermarket is coming to Bellefonte

PHOTO PROVIDED

BELLEFONTE — It’s official.

On Tuesday, the Centre County commissioners heard plans for a new development, the Benner Pike Shopping Center. There was speculation that a Giant grocery store would be the anchor store in the shopping plaza. On Friday, Giant Food Stores did indeed confirm that that the company plans to build a new supermarket along the Benner Pike near Bellefonte.

The 50,000-square-foot store will be located in a new shopping center planned for a 15-acre plot of land along Benner Pike and Paradise Road in Benner Township. The land is located next to Bellefonte Lanes.

According to a news release, construction is scheduled to begin in 2022, pending township approvals. The store is expected to open its doors for customers in 2023.

The new store will fill a void in Bellefonte, where there is just one grocery store — Weis Markets on Buckaroo Lane just off the Interstate 99 interchange.

The Bellefonte Giant 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 news release. “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.”

Chair of the Centre County Board of Commissioners, Michael Pipe, reacted to the news of Giant making it official.

“(I’m) excited to see another grocery option coming to the Bellefonte area. The Centre County Planning and Community Development Office look forward to helping this project become a reality for our economy,” Pipe said.

The new Giant looks to be state of the art with many amenities. According to the release, the Benner Pike location will feature a Beer & Wine Eatery as well as Giant Direct grocery pick up.

The new location will create more than 100 jobs. The State College Giant stores currently employs nearly 400 people.

Although Giant is the anchor store, it is one of five buildings planned for the new center.

Preliminary land development plans also include a fuel area (associated with Giant), two fast food restaurants (4,300 and 3,600 square feet), a coffee/fast food restaurant (2,200 square feet) and a medical/office building (7,200 square feet).

The shopping center’s developers did not previously name what supermarket would be anchor the shopping center. However, 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.

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

Businesses along the Benner Pike have been popping up recently. In the past couple of years, Sheetz, Rutter’s and Dunkin’ Donuts have been built along the Benner Pike. The Giant grocery store will fill a large void for residents in Bellefonte Borough, Benner Township, Fisherman’s Paradise, Zion and Pleasant Gap.

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