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STAMFORD, CT-The Ashforth Co., headquartered at 3003 Summer St. here, has entered the suburban Philadelphia marketplace with the purchase of the six-building, 480,000-sf Valley Forge Office Center property in King of Prussia, PA. Ashforth purchased the complex, which is 95% occupied, from the Valley Forge Executive Mall, Inc. for approximately $61 million. The complex’s largest tenants are: Cellular One, SEI Corp., Keystone Health Plans, Liberty Mutual Insurance, New York Life Insurance and Merant Inc.

“The Philadelphia metro area is a very strategic marketplace for us,” says Thomas Ashforth, vice president of acquisitions for firm. “It has a tremendously diverse business base, a great international airport, a good transportation system, good quality of life and a great education base with universities like University of Pennsylvania, Temple and Drexel.”

Last month, Ashforth announced plans to invest in cities such as: Boston, Seattle, San Diego, Cincinnati and Columbus, OH, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, NC, Tampa, FL., Sacramento, CA, Indianapolis, and northern New Jersey.

“We believe the purchase of the Valley Forge Office complex provides an excellent cornerstone for the expansion of our investment strategy,” says James Korinek, chief investment officer for Ashforth. He says that the company expects to make further investments in the area, adding that, “the Philadelphia region is under-valued relative to major markets in the United States.”

Ashforth’s management services division will provide the asset and property management services for the center. The company has an ownership interest in 4.6 million sf of space in Fairfield County, CT, Boston, Seattle and Portland, OR, and manages more than 11 million sf of space nationwide.

Company officials say that as part of its national investment campaign, it is considering opportunities in Westchester County, NY, Fairfield County, and Portland. The firm is looking to acquire, joint venture or develop office properties in fundamentally strong markets. The investments could be in stabilized properties or involve value creation opportunities such as re-developments or property conversions.

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