Developer Mark Nicoletti of Philadelphia Suburban Development Corp. has recently announced plans for a new office complex in Malvern, Chester County, called “The Aire.” However, this particular office complex will be slightly different than any other office complex that has come before it. Nicoletti aims to design the complex with health in mind in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, the buildings’ design will include no communal spaces—this means no conference or board rooms, no cafeterias or lunchrooms, or any other areas where employees could collaborate or cluster.
What Are the Details of the Project?
The Aire will be a three-building complex that will total 750,000 square feet of space overall. It is a rebuild of the property that Philadelphia Suburban Development Corp. purchased from Liberty Property in 2020 for $10.2 million.
In addition to having no conference or lunch spaces, there will also be no amenity spaces or lobbies in any buildings. Instead, there will be private balconies, high-end airflow, and air filtration systems, and additional entrances and exits provided so that employees do not have to wait at elevators or halls. The buildings will be located at 3 Atwater Dr., 15 Atwater Dr., and 6 Great Valley Parkway.
How Is This Project Useful?
Nicoletti hopes that it will give employers the confidence to let their employees return to the workplace. As construction completes, businesses will have the option to renew leases or move; however, this office building will likely be smaller and cost more than the previous lease. Because many businesses learned that many employees can efficiently work from home, it is expected that not everyone will return to the office full-time. However, office vacancy rates in Philadelphia are high, so this could be a risky venture. Philadelphia does have a large life science sector, which requires employees to be onsite. As more employees return to the office, developers are hopeful this will help fill offices, and a safe office is more attractive than a “non-safe” one.
Construction has not yet begun on the project, and developers have declined to reveal its cost; however, an estimated completion for the project is the end of 2022.
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