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Brandywine to develop new office building in King of Prussia

April 24, 2019

Source, Philadelphia Business Journal, Natalie Kostelni

Brandywine Realty Trust has plans to demolish an existing office building off First Avenue in King of Prussia to make way for a new 100,0000-square-foot office building.

A three-story, 54,338-square-foot office building at 650 Park Ave. now stands on the property. The existing structure, built in 1980, fronts First Avenue. Brandywine has received approval from Upper Merion to develop the four-story 100,000-square-foot building in its place. It was designed by Coscia Moos Architecture.

Through a spokeswoman, Brandywine declined to comment on the project. The timing of its development couldn’t be determined.

Brandywine has been active in redeveloping existing office buildings that are dated. One of its most recent projects along those lines was 500 N. Gulph Road in King of Prussia. It gutted the structure constructed in 1979 and spent $29.7 million redeveloping it. CSL Behring moved into the entire 100,820-square-foot building. The real estate investment trust has also recently undertaken build-to-suits in King of Prussia. For example, two years ago, Brandywine built a 110,500-square-foot office building at 955 First Ave. for Highway to Health.

Other developers have also embarked on redevelopment of older office buildings in the King of Prussia area as the submarket has continued to attract tenants who want to be in the area but in fresh, new space.

For example, Liberty Property Trust spent $12 million on extensive renovations to 650 E. Swedesford Road and uses the building as its headquarters. Equus Capital Partners spent $9.7 million on capital improvements to Bay Colony Executive Park that involved reconfiguring the main entrance, building a bridge over a small creek that separates the four-building complex, adding an outdoor plaza with seating and as well as indoor and outdoor dining. Roseview Group redeveloped 211 S. Gulph Road where Qlik moved its headquarters into 62,000 square feet.

While Swedesford Road has been a hotbed of activity, First Avenue and Moore Park — the area once known as King of Prussia Business Park — has started to see renewed interest. The area is home to the Valley Forge Casino Resort as well as five hotels and 20,000 employees work in those combined spaces. The office park continues to be a headquarters destination as well with multiple companies — GeoBlue, the American College of Financial Services, Trillion and Camber Spine Technologies — calling the park their corporate base.

The King of Prussia District has been spearheading an effort to develop a linear park along First Avenue in Moore Park. Plans for the First Avenue Linear Park involve creating a 2.6-mile path between North Gulph Road and Allendale Road. When completed, it will have rain gardens, planting beds, new solar bus shelters, lighting, seating areas and programmable space. Construction of the first phase of that park is scheduled to begin this fall.

Rents in the King of Prussia submarket have been on the rise with increased demand. Class A space is getting $32.14 a square foot while Class B space is getting $26.80 a square foot, according the Newmark Knight Frank’s first quarter report.