“It feels like a slap in the face.” That’s what a long-time State College business owner is saying about the borough’s idea to use eminent domain to demolish the downtown building where his store is located.
Tom Gallagher has been a fixture for years on the regional music scene, both as a musician and as a business owner.
His store, the Music Mart, has a long history in downtown State College.
“Since 1989, so, you know, 35 years.”
The Music Mart is upstairs in the same building as the Brewery bar
State College Borough recently announced a plan to possibly use eminent domain to tear down the building for a parking lot.
Gallagher, like the building owners, and other tenants, received no advance word.
“Yeah, it’s pretty much like a smack in the face. It’s like ‘whoa, are you serious?’”
One idea proposed by a borough official is that the businesses would temporarily move elsewhere during construction and then could move back into the new parking garage complex.
“Well, it would be interesting, but how many years is that going to take? Then you have to temporarily relocate. It’s got to be someplace like right on College or Beaver where there’s a lot of walk-in traffic.”
Gallagher says he’s heard from many in recent days.
“Quite a bit of support, people coming in and saying, and buying stuff and saying, ‘I’m going to be back.’ That’s great to hear.”
He also says he’s looking forward to next Monday night’s State College Borough Council meeting.”
“We’ll see what happens on Monday night, I’m hoping we’ll get a lot of support.”