Source, Philadelphia Business Journal, Natalie Kostelni
Park Square, a 314-unit apartment complex, is nestled off Vandenburg Boulevard in King of Prussia, away from the hubbub of the King of Prussia Mall and Village at Valley Forge.
The closest restaurant or Starbucks isn’t within walking distance. A grocery store is even farther. You definitely need your car if you live at Park Square and the developers know that, hence the detached garages offered for a price to renters.
While the distance from certain conveniences may be a detraction for some potential renters, it’s being embraced by the renter who prefers to have what Park Square offers: large units, more open space and lots of amenities. Park Square has 10,000 square feet — the size of a small building — of indoor amenity space and an entire acre of outdoor amenities including a pool, grills, dining areas and fire pit. It’s reminiscent of a resort in some far off vacation spot, ways from King of Prussia. That’s the whole idea.
Park Square was built by a partnership involving CornerstoneTracy, a Villanova developer of apartments, and Bentley Homes, a West Chester-based home builder dipping more frequently into multifamily projects. The project opened six months ago and is 53 percent leased so far
“We thought we would have been a third leased by this point,” said David Della Porta of CornerstoneTracy. “We’re way ahead of pro forma.”
The idea of creating an environment in a multifamily development that is much like a hotel — from the lobby to the amenities — was deliberate. Larger units and more open space was a gamble the developers took knowing much of the competition sat in a more urban setting at the Village at Valley Forge. They figured there’s a segment of renter including empty-nesters, families and others who prefer this type of setting on 20 acres with walking trails and a dog spa. A three-bedroom unit is 1,500 square feet, a one-bedroom is 850 square feet and a studio at 600 square feet. Rents range between $1,400 and $3,000.
The spaciousness of Park Square doesn’t mean the developers don’t find the alternative also appealing. CornerstoneTracy is also involved with Korman Communities’ Ave development at the Village at Valley Forge, which caters to a different renter. Ave is an extended-stay multifamily community and within walking distance of the King of Prussia Town Center.
“Neither one is hurting us but rather it’s about providing different housing options,” Della Porta said. He also attributed the leasing pace to pent-up demand. “For years, there wasn’t this type of product that people wanted,” he said.