Friday, August 31, 2012

Vanguard buying 3 Malvern buildings adjacent to its headquarters cost $40 million

by Natalie Kostelni

Vanguard Group Inc. has solidified its presence in the Philadelphia suburbs and is paying an estimated $40 million to buy a three-building complex here adjacent to its current campus.
The buildings total 517,485 square feet and sit on 87 acres that would allow the mutual fund giant to expand by another 390,000 square feet in two additional office buildings.
The property is under agreement and is being sold by Pfizer Inc., a pharmaceutical company that inherited the buildings when it bought Wyeth Inc. Pfizer decided in 2009 it would no longer need the Malvern property and put it up for sale in 2010. 
While Vanguard was always a logical candidate to buy the site since it already maintains a large presence in that part of Chester County, a deal was long delayed after it took months to conduct environmental tests. Once those were finalized, Vanguard put the property under agreement. Vanguard continues to go through due diligence on the property and it should close later this year.
“It’s the old real estate adage,” said John Woerth, Vanguard spokesman. “Location, location, location. … It’s an opportunity to purchase an attractive property adjacent to our current headquarters at a favorable price.”
KlingStubbins designed the campus that Wyeth constructed between 2001 and 2003 as its “Information Services Center of Excellence.”
It includes a 312-seat full-service cafeteria, a 138-seat café, a state-of-the-art fitness center with showers and lockers and a 260-seat conference center. It has no plans to begin construction on any new buildings on the extra land it is buying.
Even though it is acquiring the campus, Vanguard is also seeking an additional 200,000 square feet of office space to lease, according to several real estate sources familiar with the situation. Some ideas that have been bandied about is having Vanguard potentially kick off another building at Liberty Property Trust’s Quarry Ridge development or have Liberty possibly razing some of its older flex buildings in its Great Valley Corporate Center and build anew to accommodate Vanguard’s needs.

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