Happy Days Farm, 200 bucolic acres in central Chester County, is home to spring-green grass, fields of flourishing crops, and a barn with historic charm.
It’s also boxed in by highways.
The farm’s proximity to major thoroughfares was the reason the global investment giant Vanguard Group bought the property on Pottstown Pike in Uwchlan Township in 2002, with ambitious plans to expand its campus beyond its Tredyffrin headquarters.
Years passed and nothing happened.
A reader wondering what had become of Happy Days asked Curious Philly, the forum where you can ask Inquirer journalists questions and get the answers.
Better opportunities arose, company officials said, and Vanguard recently put the farm up for sale.
“More favorable real estate purchases and leasing opportunities became available closer to Vanguard’s headquarters in Tredyffrin Township over the years,” said Alyssa Thornton, a spokesperson for Vanguard.
The farm is zoned for industrial and commercial use, which includes agriculture, said Tara Giordano, assistant zoning officer in Uwchlan. The property, she said, could accommodate anything from a warehouse to an office to a church. It was assessed at about $960,000 in 2018.
Vanguard’s Thornton said Happy Days is leased to a farmer. Efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.
Since the 2000s, Thornton said, Vanguard has added more than 1 million square feet to its real estate holdings. In 2011, the company purchased land in Malvern from pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer and created an additional campus. Vanguard now has three locations in the Philadelphia suburbs that total more than 300 acres.
Happy Days just didn’t factor into those expansion plans, so with the land on the market, other opportunities await.