Contact Us

Tishman Speyer Details Plans For 2.1M SF Mixed-Use Development In Bala Cynwyd

Bala Plaza, the 24-acre office plaza owned by Tishman Speyer, seen in 2017

A global developer is preparing to launch its first development in the Philadelphia market.

Tishman Speyer has submitted preliminary plans for the construction of 2.1M SF of new development at Bala Plaza, a four-building office campus in Bala Cynwyd it acquired in 2004, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. The four buildings, which were built from 1967 to 1982 and total 1.13M SF of leasable office, would remain in use as part of Tishman's plan, which would be carried out over a period of 25 to 30 years.

Tishman is seeking preliminary development approval for its plan with the Lower Merion Township, of which Bala Cynwyd is part, PBJ reports. As it stands now, the plan calls for a mixture of uses — 757 apartments, 720K SF of new office space, a 168-room hotel, an unspecified amount of retail, a 12-acre park and an amphitheater — across the 61-acre campus, which an attorney representing Tishman referred to as a "sea of asphalt" in a meeting with the township.

Bala Plaza is Tishman Speyer's only holding in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, having been acquired as part of a portfolio acquisition from GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, PBJ reported in 2004. With its position just off an exit of Interstate 76 and its shared border with Philadelphia proper, Bala Cynwyd has been considered prime real estate within the metro for years, with little new development to show for it.

Since Lower Merion issued a new zoning plan in 2012 to foster development across the multiple villages it encompasses, nearby suburbs Conshohocken and King of Prussia have surpassed Bala Cynwyd in their appeal to developers and the tenants they covet, PBJ reports. But Tishman isn't alone in its attempt to change that paradigm.

Federal Realty Investment Trust has already secured infrastructure and street grid approvals from Lower Merion to redevelop the Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center into more of a mixed-use development, PBJ reports. Keystone Property Group and Susquehanna International Group also have holdings in the same part of town and have explored preliminary redevelopment plans. But Tishman might be the biggest fish in Bala Cynwyd's pond.

Among the New York-based developer's projects under construction are a nearly 10M SF megaproject in Shanghai that inked a 2.5M SF deal with TikTok's parent company, as well as a trophy office building near Manhattan's Hudson Yards that will contain nearly 3M SF of leasable office upon completion.