PA Mixed-Use Project Lands Another Tenant

O’Neill Properties Group is chalking up another large office tenant for Worthington Town Center, a $500 million master-planned project in Malvern, Pa. VWR International Inc., a global distributor of laboratory supply equipment, picked the project as the site for its new 150,000 square-foot headquarters. Next year VWR plans to move from its current location in West Chester to Malvern, an upscale community about 25 miles west of Philadelphia in Chester County, VWR’s offices will be located in a 240,000-square-foot building that will also include restaurants and a fitness center. Disclosed last week, VWR’s decision moves O’Neill Properties a giant step closer to leasing up 490,000 square feet of planned office space at Worthington Town Center (pictured), which is among the state’s largest current mixed-use projects. It is also the second major office lease O’Neill has landed for the center lately. Turner Investment Partners Inc., an investment management firm, agreed last fall to lease the 180,000-square-foot Worthington Financial Center in its entirety. VWR chose Worthington Town Center after a year-long search, according to Binswanger, which advised the firm on its move. In a statement, VWR chairman & CEO John Ballbach cited Worthington Town Center’s atmosphere as a major attraction. O’Neill Properties is touting the project as an upscale, destination-style development. In addition to its office space, Worthington Town Center will include 745,000 square feet of retail, 753 residences and a 240-key hotel at full buildout. Retail and entertainment tenants that have already signed on include L.L. Bean, Wegemans, and Muvico Theatres, which will operate a 92,000-square-foot multi-screen cinema. Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development sweetened the deal by offering VWR $600,000 in incentives. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, O’Neill Development has also secured several million dollars’ worth of state funding commitments to pay for infrastructure improvements. Worthington Town Center is rising on the 97-acre former site of a steel mill formerly operated by Worthington Industries.