Downtown East Redevelopment, State College

ced 409 individual independent project | 2020
Frans Padt, Senior Lecturer
created for use by the State College Borough

Currently, the highway-style interchange at University Drive and College Avenue marks an abrupt end to downtown State College. This plan would create a more walkable, mixed-use urban center east of downtown, extending to Porter Road. It would mix offices and apartments with academic and athletic buildings on Penn State’s campus, and provide a gateway to the parkland and open spaces near Slab Cabin Run.

The site would be transformed from its current state—parking lots and low-rise garages—to dense mixed-use buildings oriented toward a new grid of streets. The greenways of Penn State’s existing campus would extend into the site, connecting it with campus and opening public squares in the downtown.

Building uses would be clustered around district centers, each with a bus stop along a new transit spine. Uses at street level, like retail or classroom spaces, would correspond to important street corridors like the extension of College Avenue. Land currently taken by interchange ramps could be sold to pay for the rebuilding of the College Avenue and University Drive intersection. Land owned by Penn State could be sold or leased to developers where buildings would not host university functions.

Streets would change from their current highway-like widths to more walkable and eminently crossable two or three lanes; with parallel parking, bus stop curb extensions, and protected bike lanes. Sidewalks would be added and expanded on all streets within the project area.

Process drawings showing potential corridors, building uses, and building heights.