STATE COLLEGE – The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County (CBICC) and a new partnership dedicated to seeing the vision of the Benner Business Park come to fruition have entered into a collaborative agreement incorporating the sale of properties owned by the CBICC in and around Benner Commerce Park in Benner Township. The Bellefonte State College I99 Partnership consists of Heidi Nicholas, Paul Silvis and Bob Poole.
The agreement will enable the CBICC to further execute its vision and ventures while allowing the Bellefonte State College I99 Partnership to focus on the role of providing shovel ready building sites to companies creating new family sustaining jobs.
This arrangement involving approximately 110 acres will enable the CBICC to further pursue a variety of economic development initiatives for Centre County, while the Bellefonte State College I99 Partnership will direct the real estate management and development of the respective properties.
“This partnership is truly a win-win-win for the community, the Bellefonte State College I99 Partnership and the CBICC,” said Vern Squier, president and chief executive officer of the CBICC.
“The CBICC and its subsidiary, the Centre County Industrial Development Corp., have worked very diligently over nearly 10 years to bring the Benner Commerce Park to fruition. The park is now a major asset in the community’s economic development program. The CBICC embraces Bob, Heidi and Paul as clearly proven experts in the final facet of the park’s build out. Their skills will be critical in maximizing the park’s ultimate value to the community.”
An important factor in this transaction is the CBICC’s financial condition. As a result of the recession and the changing real estate market, the economic impact of developing these properties became a larger burden on the CBICC’s day-to-day operations. “The CBICC/CCIDC director(s) realized the best course of action was to entertain a change in ownership,” said Ted McDowell, chairman of the CBICC.
“This sale will allow the CBICC to fulfill its obligation to the YMCA of Centre County and devote further focus on its broader mission, which is to assist in growth opportunities for new businesses, to retain and expand existing companies, and to attract new business entities from outside the region and state to Centre County and the central Pennsylvania area. The CBICC is poised to execute this spectrum of critical economic development activities,” said Squier.
According to Bob Poole, president and CEO of Poole Anderson Construction and S&A Homes, “Our partnership sees Benner Commerce Park as an opportunity to further the economic development mission started by the CBICC. We look forward to a close working relationship with the CBICC and the broad community to carry out the vision of the park. We think the build out of this property will result in economic benefits to Centre County, including but not limited to job growth and development.”
Benner Commerce Park, located at the interchange of I-99 and state Route 150, is a mixed-use business park developed by the Centre County Industrial Development Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CBICC.
The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County is a member and investor based organization devoted to improving the economic environment and quality of life in Centre County. For more information, visit www.cbicc.org.