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Penn State pays $21.9M for student housing in Middletown

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Middletown-based Lift Development LLC has sold its Nittany Village student housing complex near Penn State Harrisburg to the university for $21.9 million.

The deal for the three-building, 66-unit complex closed on Dec. 17. Nittany Village can house 264 students.

"We have always been good partners with Penn State and it was a property they were interested in," said Matt Tunnell, co-owner of Lift Development.

Tunnell and partner John Tierney helped develop Nittany Village when they were with Harrisburg-based GreenWorks Development LLC. Construction began in 2011 and buildings were completed in 2012 and 2013.

Lift Development, which was started in 201purchased Nittany Village from GreenWorks in 2014. Lift also owns the Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg.

Tunnell said Lift remains interested in new projects around Middletown because of the growth at Penn State. The company still owns Nittany Place, a student housing project it developed four years ago that can house 567 students.

Lift also owns a five-acre tract adjacent to Nittany Village, but Penn State is in the process of acquiring that land, he said. Penn State uses the land for soccer fields.

"We're very much engaged in that market, but we'd like to start diversifying our portfolio," Tunnell said. "We've also spent a lot of attention in Middletown over the last six years. We're also looking at opportunities outside of Middletown."

Lift is focused on multifamily housing projects, as well as other commercial office or retail projects in Central Pennsylvania, he added. He believes they could involve both new construction and redevelopment. 

"John is from Cumberland and I'm from Dauphin County, so we're comfortable in those two markets," he said. "But York, Lancaster and Lebanon are all areas we'll take a hard look at."

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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