Board OKs purchase of Nittany Village apartment complex, additional land

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- To help address the needs of a growing residential student population at Penn State Harrisburg, the Penn State's Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning on Sept. 13 approved the purchase of the Nittany Village apartment complex situated next to campus, as well as a parcel of land adjacent to the campus that is currently being used by the college as athletic fields.

The proposal was approved by the full board today (Sept. 14).

Nittany Village is a 267-bed student housing complex comprising three separate buildings on 5.5 acres immediately adjacent to Penn State Harrisburg’s main entrance and across from the planned new Middletown Amtrak rail station.

Penn State Harrisburg has experienced steady growth for more than a decade and currently enrolls nearly 5,000 students. The profile of first-year students also has changed significantly, with out-of-state and international students now making up 50 percent of first-year enrollments. Of the remaining first-year students, approximately 28 percent are Pennsylvania residents from outside the primary market area of the campus. Current on-campus housing can accommodate 433 students. 

“While new, private off-campus developments have helped to meet the demand for student housing, the college’s long-range master plan recommends expanding on-campus, University-owned housing to provide high-quality residence life programs to the student body. These programs promote stronger student engagement, assist with first-year transition and enhance the overall student experience,” said Penn State Harrisburg Chancellor John. M. Mason Jr. “Acquisition of the Nittany Village complex allows us to begin that expansion now and to broaden the important impact of residence life programs for our students.” 

Nittany Village was built in 2012 to Penn State’s design and construction standards. The facilities also incorporate many “green technologies” to promote energy efficiency and sustainability. The project was recognized with the Associated Builders and Contractors Project of the Year and Sustainable Green awards. Penn State will purchase the property for $21.9 million from Lawrence Street Partners, L.P. 

In addition to the acquisition of Nittany Village, the Board also approved the purchase of approximately five acres of land immediately adjacent to the Penn State Harrisburg campus. The site is currently leased by the University and serves as the campus soccer field.