Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 16823
The Garman Opera House had been a staple of the downtown Bellefonte cityscape for around 130 years. After a fire damaged the property in 2012, the building sat vacant and in 2014, building developer Ara Kervandjian and his team began the redevelopment process by demolishing what was left of the theatre. In its spot now sits a brand new apartment facility designed to fit within Bellefonte’s historic district. After our tour of the Cadillac House, we knew we needed to explore the Garman House as well.
From the outside, the Garman House has a similar feel to its past life, keeping the same color characteristics and similar architectural features. A noticeable difference is the above ground retail spaces. One side is the home of Domino’s Pizza, which is set to open mid November. The other space is rumored to be the beginnings of a sub shop. After being invited in to check out Domino’s space by it’s owner, Sheldon Port, we knew his restaurant would be a huge perk for the tenants along with the community. After talking to Sheldon, we walked around to the back of the building and checked out the well-lit parking lot for tenants; one parking space is included with most leases.
The look and feel of the lobby is beautifully done and sets the overall tone for the building’s interior using calming color combinations of greens and blues. After checking out lobby's intercom and security system, we meet up with Troy Knecht, Project Manager of HFL, parent company of PDG and our tour guide for the afternoon. Troy takes us in the elevator down to the building’s basement. This may seem like a weird place to start our tour but soon after stepping off of the elevator, we understood why this was our first stop. There are some nice amenities like a large on-site laundry room that includes a good handful of industrial washers and driers. There is also a tenant storage area with individual and gated stalls for all 21 apartments and little things like a public restroom for the tenant’s convenience. Troy mentioned that free WiFi is available throughout the basement incase tenants want to check email or go online.
The building consists of a mix of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and we take the elevator to the second floor to check out one of the two-bedrooms. We were amazed at first site. An open concept living and kitchen space created a trendy and spacious feel. The kitchen has ton's of storage and countertop space along with nice appliances. The large bedrooms have huge closets and the bathroom is immaculate right down to it's bamboo flooring.
Troy explained to us that the rent parameters for the Garman House are the same as the Cadillac House and tenants must meet certain requirements. Troy feels strongly about the mission of the Bellefonte Mews and while clearly speaking with his heart, he said that “everyone deserves a comfortable and safe place to live. They should feel excited and proud to show off their apartment to friends and family.”. Half of the apartments are already occupied by a wide range of people, from retirees to grad students, making it a wonderful community to be a part of.
We then head up to the third floor and check out one of the 1 bedrooms. As you walk in, you’re again greeted by an open floor plan along with an amazing view of the Bellefonte historical district and the rolling hills surrounding it - absolutely breathtaking. As we discussed the uniqueness of the place, Troy said the goal is to create a living experience where anyone could envision themselves settling into. Troy’s profession has given him the opportunity to live in many places throughout the US and in some major cities. He’s honest when he says, “these are the types of loft-style apartments you see in larger cities and the fact that these are in downtown Bellefonte proves that you can have high-end amenities in a small town. Especially a town that is transforming itself for the future.”
Troy is absolutely right. These are one of a kind apartments and certainly unexpected for a tiny town like Bellefonte. The Garman House, along with the Cadillac House, are part of the Bellefonte transformation and a much needed addition for people who want to live in town, have unbelievable views with amenities and be within walking distance to the growing number of restaurants, services and retail businesses in downtown Bellefonte.
As a whole, the Bellefonte Mews has so much to offer its residents along with the greater Bellefonte community. If you have any questions, would like to schedule a tour or wish to apply for a lease, please visit http://bellefontemews.rentpmi.com/.
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The long-awaited Centre County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame will inaugurate 13 athletes with ties to the county at a ceremony on Sunday October 15th.
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