Vanguard to 'consolidate' at ex-Wyeth site

Vanguard Group has agreed to buy the 87-acre, half-million-square-foot former Wyeth office and maintenance complex in East Whiteland Township, just across a railroad spur from the mutual fund giant's Tredyffrin Township headquarters, confirms spokesman John Woerth. Pfizer Inc. shut the site after buying Wyeth.

The retail investment giant plans to use the old Wyeth office buildings "to consolidate crew" from other offices, Woerth told me. Vanguard employs around 10,000 in Chester County, where it is the largest private employer, at its headquarters complex and at sites in eastern Tredyffrin near King of Prussia. Woerth said the company owns 12 buildings and leases 13 others in the area.

The group won't comment on the price, which the Philadelphia Business Journal's Natalie Kostelni and Main Line Media News reported is around $40 million, citing unnamed sources 

What does the "consolidation" mean for Vanguard's current campus, or the former dairy farm in Uwchlan Township on PA 100 that the company bought for an earlier, abortive expansion? Vanguard will "continue to own (the) Uwchlan property with no plans to develop at this time," says Woerth.

Vanguard's headquarters and the 56-acre property at 100 Vanguard Drive, owned by Horatio Realty Trust (one of many Napoleonic War-era British ship names used to refer to Vanguard properties) is assessed at $47.15 million, down from $65.6 million in the late 1990s, according to Chester County's tax office. Horatio owns the original seven Vanguard buildings at the campus, where Vanguard mved in 1993, Woerth said. A second property at 600 Vanguard is assessed at $13.1 million.

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