PA: MRA Group Sells Lehigh Valley's TEK Park for Over $50,000,000
12 Apr, 2012
Hamilton TEK Partners, LP, an MRA Group affiliated entity announced the sale of TEK Park located in Breinigsville, PA. The 800,000 SF multi-tenant, advanced technology campus, was purchased by a NY-based investment group for more than $50,000,000.
"Our vision of TEK Park as the premier technology center in the Mid-Atlantic region has been realized," said Lawrence J. Stuardi, MRA Group CEO. "I am confident that it will stand as a model of entrepreneurial spirit, foresight and collaboration throughout the region for many years to come."
MRA Group purchased the property, which was the former world headquarters for AT&T Optoelectronics, in July, 2005, from TriQuint Semiconductor of Hillsboro, Oregon for $9.3 million and rebranded it TEK Park. The 137-acre property, which had been rumored to have cost upwards of $300 million to construct, was passed over by leading technology firms that were scaling back after the Internet boom subsided.
The nine building campus, which was primarily vacant, was on the market for two years and it stood as a "white elephant" of sorts until Stuardi and his partners purchased it. Upon initial inspection Stuardi saw the significant potential associated with conversion from a single to a multi-tenant site, and knew it was an incredible deal despite the obvious risks.
"We saw something there that others didn't," reflects Stuardi. "We approached the project with a sense of frontier spirit and knew we could make it work." Until TEK Park, MRA Group, who has built its reputation primarily as a healthcare real estate firm, had largely developed single tenant sites with 100,000 square feet or less.
Almost immediately, tech firms like CyOptics, Buckeye Pipeline and Aesculup bought into Stuardi's concept. Establishing operations in the technically superior facilities without responsibility for the significant costs associated with maintaining the buildings made the campus an attractive option for many of the region's leading companies.
Kutztown University, who had contemplated purchasing the site prior to Stuardi, signed up as a tenant early on and established the Kutztown University Innovation Center there. The campus style environment, which featured an abundance of common space, was a perfect setting for encouraging collaboration between leading technology companies and the university.
The campus now maintains a near 90% occupancy rate and more the 600 area residents are employed onsite which is all but unheard of in this climate of economic uncertainty. It houses a diverse population of tenants in a wide variety of industries including opto-electronics, bio technology, and the region's largest data center. It has also been designated a Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) offering tax incentives and other economic incentives to tenants.
About MRA Group:
MRA Group is a multi-disciplined firm that specializes in providing real estate centric solutions for health care and institutional clients. Founded in 1991 by President and CEO Lawrence J. Stuardi, MRA continues to maintain the high level of integrity and excellence that has led to its recognition as one of the most knowledgeable and comprehensive privately held providers of real estate services in the mid-Atlantic region.