By Natalie Kostelni, Philadelphia Business Journal
One Montgomery Plaza, a 10-story office building in the heart of Norristown, is undergoing a $2.5 million interior renovation that is expected to give the tired building a lift.
The 227,000-square-foot structure sits across from the Montgomery County Courthouse and is the town's first and only high-rise, albeit a modest one. The building has a captured audience with its location across from the courthouse and, as such, manages to always remain nearly fully occupied. County offices fill about 55 percent of the building, while 35 percent of it is occupied by lawyers who want a presence in the county and easy access to the courthouse.
One Montgomery was constructed in 1974 by Anthony DiLucia, a local developer, who spent $8 million on the project. At the time, rents stood at $7.50 a square foot. Now the building commands $17.50 a square foot, said Kevin Flynn Jr. of the Flynn Co., which is handling the building's leasing.
One Montgomery's architect was Louis D'Innocenzio, whose design "made the building pretty contemporary for that period of time," said Fred Pioggia, One Montgomery's on-site architects. Pioggia had worked with D'Innocenzio at the time of the building's inception. "A two-week job turned out to be a 28-year job," Pioggia joked.
The structure was the first "steel girder" building on the East Coast, which used stub girders in the design. This made the floors stronger without using a lot of steel, Pioggia said. Also of note is that the building has a heliport on its roof, which no one uses, he said.
Philadelphia-based AMC-Delancey bought the property about four years ago and launched the renovations to perk it up. The hallways have so far been redone and the HVAC system replaced. The lobby will soon get a face-lift and the elevator systems will also be updated.