Suburbs Now Have More Vacant CRE Space — Including a Harleysville Site — than the Comcast Tower × Two

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brick building with pointed roofline
Image via Google Maps.

The former headquarters of Nationwide Mutual Insurance in Harleysville has sold to a pair of real estate investors. The vacated site is one parcel in a glut of current suburban commercial real estate (CRE) inventory. Bob Fernandez did a walk-through of the transaction’s greater implications for the market in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Nationwide, which was leasing the building, sent its 1,000 employees home during the pandemic. With no plans to reunite them onsite, company leaders are now divesting themselves of the property.

Its new owners — real estate investors Zach Moore and Tony Grelli — plan to revitalize the space as a leased location for light-manufacturing, distribution, research, and product development.

The Harleysville plot is part of an abundance of locally available commercial space.

CBRE Group Inc., a Dallas CRE investment and services firm, estimates that one-fourth of all Phila. collar county office space is currently vacant. That’s three million square feet: the equivalent of two empty Comcast Center towers.

CBRE reports that Montgomery County has been particularly hard hit.

It cites CRE vacancy spikes in King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, North Penn, and Willow Grove/Horsham.

More on the suburban CRE market and this new inventory from the decision of Nationwide is at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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