Southpointe software maker's lot purchase signals need for more space in parkPosted June 18, 2012
By Michael Bradwell
Longtime Southpointe tenant Ansys Inc. is looking to expand in the mixed-used Cecil Township business park, but a company officer said last week it is still determining how it will use recently acquired space near its Technology Drive headquarters.
Ansys Chief Financial Officer Maria Shields confirmed by email last week that the global provider of engineering simulation software purchased a 9.6-acre lot at 250 Technology Drive for $4.7 million from Pittsburgh-based Gustine HMD Associates Ltd.
The site, which is across the street from Ansys' current 275 Technology Drive address, contains a vacant 60,000-square-foot building that has 40,000 square feet of office space and another 20,000 square feet of warehouse space.
Shields said Ansys, which is publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange, and has more than 2,200 employees worldwide, currently has a total of 438 people working at its Southpointe headquarters and in space it rents in Station Square in Pittsburgh.
"We are currently in the process of examining all of our options relative to our HQ location," Shields wrote. "The current HQ and Station Square leases expire in 2014. This purchase provides us both flexibility and additional parking capacity as we consider all of our future options."
Shields said it was too early to comment on how Ansys will use the new property, but said the company is planning to add staff locally.
The company, which was founded in Washington County in 1970 by John Swanson as Swanson Analysis, moved to Southpointe about 15 years ago from a campus now known as Foxpointe in North Strabane Township.
Its software helps engineers and product designers in all types of industries to predict how their products will function in the real world. The company employs many experts in engineering fields such as finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, electronics, electromagnetics and design optimization, has more than 65 sales locations, and does business in more than 40 countries.
Over the years, under current Chief Executive Officer Jim Cashman, the company has had steady growth through its own products as well as with strategic acquisitions. In 2008, Ansys purchased Pittsburgh-based Ansoft, whose software is used by engineers to simulate electronics in cell phones, Internet devices, antenna and radar systems. A year ago, it purchased San Jose, Calif.-based Apache Design Solutions, a leading simulation software provider for advanced, low-power solutions in the electronics industry.
Two weeks ago, Ansys announced the acquisition of French-based Esterel Technologies, which makes embedded safety-critical software to control electronics in aircraft, rail transportation, energy systems and medical devices.
Ansys becomes the second publicly held company in Southpointe to purchase additional space in the park this year.
Earlier, global generic pharmaceutical maker Mylan Inc. announced plans to build a new corporate headquarters in Southpointe II, after outgrowing its current headquarters on Corporate Boulevard in the original Southpointe.
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