Way Finders to Acquire Peter Pan Terminal; Move Headquarters to Main Street Site
Springfield, MA - December 4, 2017—Way Finders (formerly HAPHousing) and Peter Pan Bus Lines, joined by Mayor Domenic Sarno, and other officials today announced that Way Finders plans to acquire the Peter Pan Bus terminal building at 1776 Main Street, bringing its 160 Springfield-based employees to the North blocks as part of that area’s ongoing revitalization.
The announcement represents another major development in the area of the new Union Station and repurposes Peter Pan’s longstanding corporate headquarters and operations center. Way Finders will locate its Housing Center and corporate administrative offices at the 37,000 square foot site allowing for purpose-built client service areas, adequate parking for clients and staff, and increased access to public transportation. The former bus terminal will undergo an extensive $13 million renovation, which includes the purchase price of $2.75 million.
Way Finders currently is leasing space on Maple Street in Springfield and client services are being rendered out of its former administrative office building on Main Street in the South End. That building was acquired in January 2017 by Balise Motor Sales to accommodate anticipated future growth and expansion by the car dealer.
Construction will take a year and a half and will require Way Finders to finance a large portion of the cost. The organization will be seeking philanthropic support through grants and capital fundraising activities to be identified as planning progresses. Kuhn-Riddle Architects will design the building and Western Builders has been selected as the general contractor. Way Finders has a total staff of 230 people and also operates offices in Holyoke and Northampton.
Peter Pan has recently announced their plan to move into Union Station where the intercity bus company’s administration and operations center will be located. Peter Pan is also planning to eventually move its corporate offices into a renovated 31 Elm Street building.
According to Peter Gagliardi, President and CEO of Way Finders, “We are very pleased to make a significant investment in the continuing revitalization underway in Downtown Springfield. Our move into the former headquarters of Peter Pan Bus Lines represents a win-win for all involved. For Way Finders, we are able to take advantage of the close proximity to Union Station, allowing easier access to the individuals and families we serve, many of whom use public transportation to access our offices and services.
“Bringing our 160 Springfield-based employees into the North blocks will also have a significant impact on the Downtown economy and will bring many of our clients into the newly refurbished Union Station. The acquisition allows Peter Pan to move its operations into Union Station.
“We chose the Peter Pan location after launching a comprehensive RFP process after our old location in the South End was acquired by Balise Motors. At the conclusion of our process, we determined that the north Main Street location addressed the needs of our staff and those of our clientele. Playing a role in the redevelopment of Downtown was also an important factor in our decision,” Gagliardi said.
According to Peter A. Picknelly, Chairman of Peter Pan Bus Lines, “We are pleased that an organization with the track record of Way Finders will be re-purposing the building Peter Pan has called home for the past 50 years. Our building has been a vital part of the North blocks and a gateway into the city of Springfield. As the new home for Way Finders it will continue to be a vital address serving the people of the region. This agreement and redevelopment of 1776 Main Street also allows Peter Pan to prepare to move our administrative offices into Union Station.”