225. A Surprising Real Estate Story
Transformation of a fading industrial site in Fairless Hills
began in 1998. Factory & office space totaling approximately 320,000 s.f. on over 100 acres languished, waiting for a developer with vision to see the value in this unique property.
Obvious benefits to the site are access to major highways, proximity to the Norfolk Southern Railroad Intermodal Yard. 225 is encircled by the commercial and population centers of Yardley, Newtown, Middletown, Langhorne, Bristol and Morrisville.
Interest in an outright purchase of the property was sketchy at best, so a decision was made to gradually attract tenants to the existing buildings and yard spaces.
A ‘Space Available’ sign on Business Route-1, outreach to commercial realtors and active, person-to-person networking resulted in a steady, growing occupancy of the buildings.
Today, almost 70 small businesses operate from 225 Lincoln Highway. Many are start-up companies. As this Business Park took form, it became apparent that 225 is in fact, a ‘Small Business Incubator’ and a ‘Business Accelerator’. This realization came about with the ‘Lucky Office’ Suite 149! Over time, five businesses got their start in this same 120 square foot office. From there, those companies grew into larger areas within the property.
Approximately three years ago, one of the larger tenants relocated from 225 to be more central to their customer base which left a 2,000 square foot office area vacant. It had eight individual offices with a common area, conference room and lunch room. That became the ‘Small Business Incubator at 225’ and quickly, those individual offices filled with a mixture of start-up companies and businesses attracted to Lower Bucks County.
The Board and Staff of BCEDC would like to thank Bill and his team for hosting the BCEDC General Board Meeting on February 25. Bill and his team were very generous with their hospitality and refreshments. The Board and Staff were thrilled with the accommodations that Bill and his team provided.
Business owners started seeking each other out for advice and collaboration. Pretty soon, the business community known as 225 became a phenomenon. The philosophy behind this business park is to provide an environment where a business owner can focus on their business. The office or warehouse areas are taken care of by 225’s on-site staff. No need for the business owner to change a light bulb!
Monthly networking breakfasts are hosted at 225 every first Thursday of each month at 7.30 am. The networking breakfast is open to all area businesses, not just members of the 225 community! Business Expos are held once or twice per year attracting over 200 businesses at a time.
A stable, high occupancy begs the question, ‘what might a compatible, value adding development be for 225?’ With several hundred people on site at any given time, a diverse mix of industries & services, what types of development would be attracted to 225? That is the question being grappled with now. Several attractive tracts are available for building, from 2 acres up to 10 acres. Existing business categories range from hi-tech computer designers and manufacturers, on-line distribution businesses, to a variety of contractors & service businesses.
It’s a good challenge and several real estate experts from different fields are providing advice.
So looking back, the surprise of 225 is how it grew, organically into a cohesive, active and productive business community. Here’s looking forward to taking 225 to the next level.
For more information, www.225lp.com or contact: Bill Koelewyn, 215-380-3757, email.