GLP Developers weren’t thinking big enough.
That’s why just weeks before they broke ground on a new building Tuesday at Innovation Park they scrapped their original plans and asked Pittsburgh architects Pfaffmann and Associates to design something larger.
Designs for a building with 60,000 square feet of leasable space were ditched, and the architects revamped their efforts to come up with a building that had greater economic potential — with 82,000 square feet of leasable space.
“We realized we might be selling this new building a little bit short, and we decided within the last two months we should do something bigger.” GLP founding partner Erwin Greenburg said Tuesday.
The $17.8 million project was launched from The Penn Stater.
The company has invested $56 million into the park in three years.
“I think it’s exciting to have these outside investors from Baltimore recognize the potential here and invest millions and millions of dollars into this area,” Dan Leri, the park’s director, said.
The new building will be next to 329 Innovation Blvd., and developers will extend the road 350 feet to access a 304-space parking lot for it, and a CATA bus shelter will be built on the sidewalk of the extended road.
Developers expect the building to be completed in August.
Innovation Park has been filled to capacity for about two years, so developers decided it was time to take the next step forward for the park’s master plan.
Developers said it is too early to tell how many tenants could occupy the new building.
“The building is set for single-floor tenants or multifloor tenants,” GLP CEO Bob Barron said.
The number of tenants that building could house could vary. A GLP building in Innovation Park that is about the same size as the new one and has three tenants, but a smaller GLP building next to it has 10 tenants.
Developers have had preliminary discussions about another new building.
The Innovation Park master plan includes about 1.4 million square feet of development, and about 500,000 square feet has yet to be developed.
“We have an agreement with the university to continue to expand incrementally as long as we continue to perform over time,” Barron said.
The new four-story building will provide companies access to resources such as the Ben Franklin Techcelerator and incubator program and Penn State research and technology transfer.