MRA Group Acquires 133 Acre Campus in Spring House, PA
MRA Group announced that it acquired the former Rohm & Haas Research & Development campus located at 727 Norristown Road, in Spring House, Lower Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County, PA. Rebranded as the Spring House Innovation Park, there currently exists 591,000 square feet in eleven buildings. The bucolic campus, which totals 133 acres situated at a full interchange with the Rt. 309 expressway, is less than three minutes north of the Ft. Washington exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Mike Wojewodka, Senior Vice President of MRA Group, states “we are transforming Spring House Innovation Park into the premier, multi-use technology enhanced campus in the region. Plans include, in addition to first class office and laboratory facilities, a campus environment with a university-affiliated regional center of excellence for innovation and advanced production, a laboratory incubation and commercialization center, a boutique hotel with full amenities, co-working space with on-demand offices and shared office/conference facilities, on-site child daycare, a health/fitness center, and a retail village containing approximately 40,000 square feet of restaurants and other amenities. Our focus is in attracting companies that can best utilize the robust existing laboratory infrastructure at one of the best locations in the Philadelphia region.”According to Hank Merrill, Vice President of Facility Engineering at MRA Group, “the in-place laboratory infrastructure is invaluable for laboratory users and technology companies. The cost to replicate what we already have in place would be immense, and certainly will be a significant benefit to any forward-thinking company that prefers to direct capital to other needs besides building improvements. Our utility infrastructure alone will translate to measurable operating savings over what space users will typically find available on the market today.”
Heather DeFreytas, MRA Group Vice President for Project Design and Management, plans to embrace and enhance unique architectural features of the campus, along with including an outdoor amphitheater and meeting spaces, nature trails for use by tenants and the community, and the conversion of an existing barn into a coffee shop and restaurant. Heather observed, “the opportunities presented on this campus are complex. Design and construction for each building will reflect a balance between technology, innovation, sustainability and the neighboring environment. Though some of the buildings appear tired now, they in fact possess features that are very much desired by space users today. It will not take much to bring them up to MRA standards.”
Larry Stuardi, CEO of MRA Group, states that “the development of Spring House Innovation Park is a collaborative endeavor with Lower Gwynedd Township. There is a shared vision for the redevelopment of the campus, and though there are details to be worked out, we generally are on the same page when it comes to the overall development of the site. We are all aware that we have the opportunity to do something special and unique, and we are collaborating so as to get it right.”
The property was acquired in 1962 by Rohm & Haas Company and developed into their Spring House Innovation Campus, an advanced research and development campus. The existing buildings were constructed between 1963 and 1995, with approximately 75% dedicated to laboratory use, with the remainder used primarily for corporate and administrative offices and related uses.
The Dow Company acquired Rohm & Haas in 2012, and by 2015 Dow relocated its employees to a new facility in Collegeville, PA. In 2015 MRA Group entered into discussions with Dow to acquire the property in its entirety, with closing occurring late March 2017.