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KING OF PRUSSIA, PA-The Hartford Financial Services Group and a clinical research firm are the first office tenants at BPG Properties’ 200,000-sf 1000 Continental Dr. here. The leases revealed by Philadelphia-based BPG total approximately 47,000 sf, with the Hartford and a subsidiary taking the entire third floor of 36,057 sf. Terms of the leases were not disclosed; both companies are expected to move in by December.

For the Hartford and subsidiary Specialty Risk Services, taking the space at 1000 Continental represents a relocation from 150 S. Warner Rd., part of Thomas Properties’ four-building Walnut Hill Plaza also located in King of Prussia. According to published reports, the Hartford also operates a customer-support center at Liberty Property Trust’s 4 Walnut Grove Dr. in Horsham, PA. The financial services firm is that 110,000-sf property‘s sole tenant. The lease of a portion of 1000 Continental’s second floor is Beverly Hills, CA-based Worldwide Clinical’s first location in the Philadelphia market, Stephen M. Spaeder, SVP at BPG, tells GlobeSt.com.

Completed in Q3 2007, 1000 Continental is the only office property in its market that’s designed and constructed to meet LEED requirements, according to a release from BPG. “Both tenants were very enthusiastic about the property’s LEED qualifications,” Spaeder says. “As a major insurer, green was important to the Hartford and it ties in with some of the corporate culture they’re interested in promoting. Likewise, Worldwide Clinical also saw it as a big benefit, from an operational viewpoint and in terms of their ability to attract and keep employees.”

Rents at 1000 Continental are in the “low- to mid-$30s,” which Spaeder says represents a premium price compared to other properties in King of Prussia. Along with being a newly constructed green building, the property offers “landmark visibility and premier architectural characteristics,” he says. It’s also centrally located with access from Routes 202 and 422 and Interstate 76.

With its first two tenants scheduled to move in by year’s end, 1000 Continental is approximately 25% leased. Long-term, Spaeder says, “There are pending transactions right now that can’t be announced yet for about another 25%. We expect that before the year is over, we’ll be over the 50% mark and that we’ll achieve stabilized leasing in the first half of 2009. The market continues to tighten, despite the negative overtone in the economy, and rents continue to strengthen. There are limited blocks of large space for Fortune 500-type companies in the King of Prussia market and the broader market.”

A CRESAPartners team of Boston-based Bob Shulman and Maureen Young and Philadelphia-based Matt Feeney represented the Hartford, while Linda Schultz of GVA Smith Mack spoke for Worldwide Clinical. BPG was represented in both transactions by the project’s exclusive leasing agents: Jeffrey Mack, Douglas Newbert and John Susanin of GVA Smith Mack.

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