Overcoming All Obstacles, Villanova Center Finally Reaches Finish Line

Photo of Jerry Holtz, President of the Provco Group, standing in the Villanova Center courtesy of Natalie Kostelni, Philadelphia Business Journal.

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.

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