New beginnings at Summerdale Plaza

Local shopping center welcomes some stores

Alexa Shughart

By Alexa Shughart

Knightly News Reporter

The Summerdale Plaza, on U.S. Route 11/15, between Shady Lane and College Hill Road, has some new stores.

The plaza lost tenants in recent years, but new stores have moved into the shopping center.

Willner Realty & Development Co., owner of the plaza, confirmed in early summer that an AutoZone and Tractor Supply Co. store were coming to what used to be a Kmart, and development has been swift.

The AutoZone opened in September, and the Tractor Supply boasted the store’s name and appears ready to open. A hand-scrawled white sandwich-board sign outside the store early this week said it would open soon.

Central Penn students, faculty and staff, and other residents of East Pennsboro Township, in addition to travelers who exit Interstate 81 for trip breaks, use the plaza.

The strip-mall portion of the plaza has nearly 20 stores. A McDonald’s and a Dunkin’ Donuts also are on the grounds.

A PennDOT Driver’s License Center moved into a former supermarket last year. Long-time operations include a Subway and the well-known Al’s Pizza. A Rite Aid and Family Dollar are other anchor stores in the plaza.

Over the last year, COVID-19’s effects have pinched local businesses, creating a decline in sales and employment in East Pennsboro Township, and beyond. Loss of jobs, stay-at-home orders and social-distancing rules took a toll on the Enola area, though business activity picked up considerably as the weather warmed this year.

Tractor Supply headquarters did not respond to inquiries about how many employees typically work in a Tractor Supply store, but workers at two stores in central Pennsylvania said each had 15 – 20 employees. The new stores likely would bring at least 25 jobs to the plaza.

Keep up with store openings and hours here.

Shughart is The Knightly News’ photographer and club secretary.

Have a comment or a story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

Edited by media-club co-adviser and blog editor Michael Lear-Olimpi.