Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Equity Commonwealth Sold Locust Street Office for $17.7M

Allan Domb Real Estate acquired the office building at 1525-1529 Locust St. in Philadelphia, PA from Equity Commonwealth for $17.7 million, or about $180 per square foot.

The 19-story, 98,083-square-foot office building was built in 1987 in the Market Street West submarket. At the time of purchase, this building was 97 percent occupied with the law firm Kline & Specter as the anchor tenant.

2.0 University Place Sold for $41.3M

University Place Associates sold the 2.0 University Place office building at 30 N. 41st St. in Philadelphia, PA to commercial insurance and risk management provider Zurich North America for $41.25 million, or about $426 per square foot.

The five-story, 96,916-square-foot office building delivered in 2013 on two-thirds of an acre in the Market Street Corridor, near three major highways. The multi-tenant property was 100 percent leased at the time of sale.

Ocean Desert Sales Signs 107,000-SF Lease

Ocean Desert Sales, an import and export wholesale distributor of general merchandise, signed a lease for 107,346 square feet of industrial space at 1771 Tomlinson Rd. in Philadelphia, PA.

Ocean Desert Sales will be relocating from its current 10,000-square-foot space at 5400 Tulip St. in Philadelphia in June 2016.

Built in 1965, the 207,500-square-foot industrial building is on two acres in the Greater Northeast Industrial submarket, and features over 190 parking spaces, 17 loading docks, 14 drive-ins, 19-foot clear heights and 32x40-foot column spacing.

Lehigh Valley owner inks deal to sell 234 more acres to FedEx developer

By Kurt Bresswein | For
Bigger things may be in store from the developer of a FedEx Ground distribution hub planned on land to be sold by the Lehigh Valley International Airport owner.

Northampton County acres planned for sale by airport authority
The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority on April 26, 2016, entered into a sale agreement for about 234 acres in Allen and East Allen Townships to Rock-Lehigh Valley LLC, a subsidiary of The Rockefeller Group. It's adjacent to 260 acres in Allen Township being purchased by the development company for construction of a FedEx Ground distribution hub.

The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Board of Governors on Tuesday unanimously approved an agreement to sell about 234 acres in Northampton County to Rock-Lehigh Valley LLC, a subsidiary of the FedEx developer, The Rockefeller Group.

That's on top of the authority's $9.8 million sale to Rock-Lehigh Valley of 260 acres for the FedEx project. The long-awaited closing on the FedEx land is expected in mid-May, with the sale of the 234 acres anticipated in 2017, airport authority Executive Director Charles Everett said Tuesday.

An appraisal of the 234 acres a few years back put the value of the land at $6.86 million, at a per acre price of $38,000 for 78.7 acres in Allen Township and $25,000 for 155 acres in East Allen Township, Everett said. A new appraisal is needed, Everett said, but he expects the land to be worth at least the prior estimate. The agreement requires Rock-Lehigh Valley to pay the fair market price for the land, or it can cancel the deal, according to Everett.

The land abuts the FedEx Ground site, which is off Willowbrook Road. It has been leased out by the authority for agricultural use.

Representatives of The Rockefeller Group did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment on potential plans for the 234 acres.
The Rockefeller Group subsidiary faced a deadline on Friday to buy the 234 acres, under a master agreement entered into by the authority in 2013, Everett said. Rather than extend the deadline, the two sides entered into the purchase/sale agreement approved Tuesday by the authority.

The authority now has 30 days to apply for a deed of release from the Federal Aviation Administration and Rock-Lehigh Valley has 12 months to obtain approvals needed to develop the land, Everett said.

The airport authority owns and operates three airports: Lehigh Valley International Airport in Hanover Township, Lehigh County; Queen City Airport in Allentown and Braden Airpark in Forks Township. Selling these 234 acres is projected to shore up authority finances in the long term, Everett said.

"We're very excited," he said about the sale. "That has been the long-term priority for the authority, to sell some of the surplus property so that we can satisfy our goal of being financially sustainable into the long-term future."

The authority in January, according to Everett, paid off the balance of a $26 million court judgment entered against it over the 1990s condemnation of property that was to be the Willow Brook Estates housing development.

On the FedEx land, Everett said all parties have signed a settlement agreement resolving claims by the Fuller Family Trust, owner of Willow Brook Farms, that a deed restriction barring industrial development survived the authority's condemnation of the property.

"We are waiting for a fully executed copy," he said Tuesday. "We are pushing for closing in the middle of May."

A representative of the Fuller Family Trust did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday afternoon.

FedEx had been wooed by Majestic Realty and Bethlehem officials to locate its ground hub in a 981,321-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility approved by city officials along Commerce Center Boulevard, off Route 412, in the city.

The Allen Township site remains the preferred location of FedEx Ground for the $335 million facility, spokesman David Westrick said Tuesday.

"We are continuing to work with everyone we need to," he said. "We want to expedite remaining approvals and hopefully begin breaking ground in the spring."

Workspace Property Trust, Horsham, Announces Strong First Quarter Leasing Activity

Workspace Property Trust ("WPT"), a leading real estate investment firm, today announced the completion of 13 lease transactions in the first quarter of 2016, comprising over 150,000 square feet of space.  These significant lease transactions are indicative of the strong demand for office/flex space in the vibrant Horsham submarket.

"Since acquiring this portfolio in early December, we have worked hard to introduce ourselves to the Horsham community, to engage and partner with the brokerage community and to show ourselves as the new faces and future of suburban office," said Roger Thomas, President and Chief Operating Officer of WPT.  "This portfolio has boasted strong, consistent occupancy over the last decade.  Our ability to continue to focus on driving absorption is proof positive of the resurgence of the suburbs."

Notable lease signings in the first quarter of 2016 for Workspace Property Trust included:

Tyco SimplexGrinnell (36,000 sf), at 261-283 Gibraltar Rd.
Finance of America Mortgage (33,205 sf) at 300 Welsh Rd.
New York Life Insurance Company (25,324 sf) at 100 Witmer Rd.

"WPT consistently provides first class landlord services to our tenants.  As a direct result, we have seen strong demand for companies looking to expand as well as take on a significant footprint in the local market," said Michael Gervasio, Senior Vice President of Workspace Property Trust.

Strategically located directly off the Pennsylvania Turnpike within the prestigious corporate community of Horsham, PA, this portfolio is comprised of 2,374,749 square-feet across 41 buildings.  While the portfolio is diverse across property type and tenant mix, the most heavily concentrated property type within the portfolio is 860,000-square-feet of Class A, multi-story office. Tenants are drawn by the area's proximity to major thoroughfares, which provide convenient access to Philadelphia and New York City.

Workspace Property Trust is a privately held, vertically integrated, full service commercial real estate company specializing in the development, management, and operation of office and flex space. Workspace Property Trust is a partnership between Rizk Ventures, Forum Partners, JMP Group and EverWatch Capital.

Hampshire/MCB Partnership Acquires 18.5-Acre Philadelphia-Area Mixed-Use Retail Center

by Steve Lubetkin
A partnership of The Hampshire Companies and MCB Real Estate has acquired the Drexeline Shopping Center, a 264,417-square-foot, grocery-anchored, mixed-use retail center with office space in the Philadelphia suburb of Drexel Hill, PA.

$21.7 million in acquisition financing was arranged for the partnership, working with the lender, Flushing Bank, to provide permanent financing. Loan proceeds will be used for the acquisition and a secure line of credit for redevelopment and repositioning of the shopping center.

Consisting of five buildings, Drexeline Shopping Center is home to more than 40 retail and office tenants, including grocery-anchor Shop Rite, Ace Hardware, Anthony’s Restaurant, PNC Bank, Drexel Hill Pediatrics Associates and Children’s Dental Health Associates. The mixed-use center is situated on 18.46 acres at 4990-5100 State Road at the signalized intersection of State Road and Route 1. Drexeline Shopping Center is located in Drexel Hill in the western part of Upper Darby Township nine miles west of Center City Philadelphia.

“Drexeline Shopping Center is situated in an infill location with great demographics. The partnership between MCB Real Estate and The Hampshire Companies has an excellent opportunity to refresh, stabilize and reposition the center for the long-term benefit of the local community.”

“Flushing Bank quickly understood the shopping center’s potential and was eager to work with both MCB and The Hampshire Companies to help fulfill their vision for the property."

“Flushing Bank has been a leader in commercial real estate and multi-family lending in the New York Metropolitan area for many years,” says Ron Hartmann, executive vice president for commercial real estate lending at Flushing Bank. “We are excited to expand our lending expertise in support of larger commercial real estate transactions in similar metropolitan markets. Our customers also have the benefit of a robust complement of online banking services, including operating accounts and cash management services.”