After a long and arduous process filled with seemingly never-ending complications, the Villanova Center has finally been completed, writes Natalie Kostelni for the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The $40 million, 173,000-square-foot center at Spring Mill Road in Villanova was envisioned a quarter of a century ago, and now represents the Provco Group’s biggest project. However, getting to this point was not an easy feat.
“It was a brutal process,” said Jerry Holtz, President of Provco. “It started in 1991 with the purchase of the Villanova Diner, and now we have a fully integrated center.”
The tumultuous road to complete the Villanova Center involved two multimillion-dollar lawsuits with Radnor Township and completing five separate deals to obtain the required 12 acres.
The original idea was a retail center based around the diner. What followed was a 36,000-square-foot structure followed by two more buildings, one for Wilmington Trust’s state headquarters and an 87,000-square-foot space anchored by a Staples and Fresh Grocer.
However, something was not working, as tenants struggled to attract and keep customers. With perseverance, the center started to attract a new type of tenant, mostly medical and offices, with just a few retailers.
Now with several thriving restaurants, a Starbucks, yoga studio, and numerous office tenants, the center is almost fully leased.
“I was trying to force it this way and it said: ‘No,’” Holtz said. “Now, it’s a little village.”
Read more about the center in the Philadelphia Business Journal by clicking here.