Throughout Pennsylvania, developer O'Neill Properties of King of Prussia, Pa., is taking the old and making it older.

Case in point: Malvern, Pa., where an abandoned steel factory will become a 600-unit project called Worthington. It will include 500,000 square feet of retail and entertainment and 700,000 square feet of office space.

The $500 million project, which won plan approval in July, will have a turn-of-the-century look, including a tree-lined town center. "The main street gives you a sense of place and a community where people love to gather," says Michael Trio, O'Neill's senior vice president. "We wanted to bring back the small town look that you find in rural areas."

Courtesy O'Neill Properties

To capture that atmosphere, O'Neill hired Joseph Antunovich, president of Chicago-based Antunovich Associates, to design the 77-acre project. He says he employed earthy colors and textures to match the region. "We've integrated a lot of materials and stone that come from the Pennsylvania surroundings, using brick and wood artifacts to give it authenticity," Antunovich says.

But the project's look isn't the only return to the old. O'Neill Properties will bring back the area's wetlands by taking out two large pipes and reinstating a locally treasured waterway called Valley Creek. Along with water, the project will bring in a wave of work; 550 jobs during construction and 4,000 permanent positions in the new high-tech office buildings.

Courtesy O'Neill Properties

"People are sick of commuting, and this project will provide a great lifestyle where people can live where they work," Trio says, noting that the opening is set for 2006.

– Erin Massey