The new owner of Cassford Corporate Center in Berwyn is investing $4.5 million to upgrade the tired, nearly vacant office park and reposition it to attract tenants.
Part of the plan also involves renaming the property Cassatt Square to give it a new identity. So far, two new tenants have signed on:
Simkiss & Block, a property casualty company, leased 25,000 square feet and moved from 25 Industrial Blvd. in Paoli;
A-G Administrators Inc., a sports insurance company, took about 15,000 square feet and relocated from Metropolitan Business Center, in King of Prussia.
“We’re slowly but surely pushing along here,” said Taylor Young, of Maguire Hayden Real Estate Co., which last year bought the five-building office complex, located off Old Cassatt Road in Berwyn, for $9.25 million. “We feel like we are well-positioned to take advantage of some of the market conditions. We love the submarket, the area and feel like it has a lot of potential.”
Tenants have been gravitating in recent years to Swedesford Road, on both sides of Valley Forge Road, because of its highway access and proximity to the King of Prussia Town Center. A predecessor firm to Maguire Hayden was involved in two other redevelopments in that submarket — CrossPoint at Valley Forge at 530 and 580 E. Swedesford Rd. and 150 S. Warner Rd.
The newly named Cassatt Square includes 1001, 1031, 1041, 1051 and 1061 Old Cassatt Rd. It was vacant when the real estate company bought it at an auction last August. After spending decades fully occupied, the complex suffered when Vertex Inc. decided in 2016 to move its headquarters to 2301 Renaissance Blvd. in King of Prussia. Vertex had occupied the Cassatt Road campus since 1987 and sold the property in 2007 for $26 million in a sale-lease back transaction. Once the company vacated the property, no tenants backfilled the space and the property sat empty.
Developers and real estate investors in the suburbs and city have been spending tens of millions of dollars in recent years to renovate office properties that were otherwise obsolete and didn’t have the amenities, contemporary design or layout to appeal to today’s companies and employees. Rather than construct a new building, it has been more cost-effective to update those buildings.
The renovations at Cassatt Square involve new facades, signage, the creation of a 10,000-square-foot amenity center at 1001 Old Cassatt that includes a café and gym, as well as public collaboration areas. The renovations are scheduled to be completed over the next two months.