Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cabot Properties Pulls in $150 Mil. for a New Industrial Real Estate Fund

The Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement Board has committed to invest up to $150 million into a new core industrial fund being put together by Boston-based Cabot Properties.

Cabot Industrial Core Fund will focus exclusively on the industrial sector, targeting a limited number of select markets with growing demand and asset scarcity. With the PSERS investment, it is expected a portion of the fund’s investment will be in that state.

Cabot will generally pursue transactions smaller than $50 million and will seek to assemble portfolios for future sales at premium prices. Cabot anticipates investing $750 million in equity and will endeavor to create a portfolio of industrial properties with a fully capitalized value of $1.1 billion (assuming 40% leverage).

The portfolio is generally expected to consist of 80 to 120 buildings totaling 17 million to 20 million square feet.

Cabot anticipates that single tenant buildings will be 30% to 50% of the portfolio. Cabot projects building sizes will typically be 100,000 square feet to 700,000 square feet and that the tenant size may average 200,000 square feet.

Harrisburg Office Sold for $2.8M

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency acquired 1303 N. 7th St. in Harrisburg, PA for $2.75 million, or about $84 per square foot.

The 32,604-square-foot office building was constructed in 1960 on 2.2 acres in the Harrisburg Area East submarket of Dauphin County.

American Bible Society to Move From NYC to Philly

by Jon Jordan
The American Bible Society is relocating its corporate headquarters from 1865 Broadway in New York City to 401 Market St. here.

The society has maintained its headquarters in New York City for 199 years, the last 48 years at the 1865 Broadway property, which the society put on the market for sale earlier this year.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is expected to announce the relocation of the American Bible Society to the building near Independence Mall at a press conference today, according to The Inquirer.

American Bible Society CEO Roy Peterson says it was a "real heart-wrenching decision to leave New York," but that it was the right decision for the society’s staff.

"People can afford to live here (in Philadelphia), it's walkable, there's public transportation," Peterson said. "Our staff commutes an hour or two . . . from Long Island, the Bronx."

The ministry offices will lease almost 100,000 square feet on the eighth and ninth floors of the Market Street building, which is mostly occupied by Wells Fargo. The lease is for 25 years with a 25-year renewal option.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cheltenham Square Mall sells for $30M

by Natalie Kostelni Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Cheltenham Square Mall, once a go-to retail center in this Montgomery County community, has sold for around $30 million.

Sun Equity Partners, a New York firm that specialized on buying and redeveloping properties in metropolitan areas and urban markets, bought the property. The company, which owns more than 10 million square feet across the county, is still formulating its plans for Cheltenham Square Mall, according to Avy Azeroual, an executive at the firm.

"They are creative and good at what they do and our expectations are that they will will do a very good job with the property," said Peter Stevens, an investment broker with CBRE Inc. who arranged the transaction.

Cheltenham Square Mall has seen better days. It was foreclosed upon and put up for sale last summer.

The 639,000-square-foot retail property at 2385 Cheltenham Ave. in Cheltenham, Pa., last sold in 2005 for $71.5 million. At the time, New York-based Thor Equities bought the center from Simon Property Group with the assumption of a $54.9 million CMBS loan that was backed by a 423,000-square-foot portion of the property.

Full story:

Center City parking garage where Spruce Foods is located sells for $7.2M

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

An affiliate of Post Brothers Apartments has acquired a parking garage in Philadelphia where Spruce Food Market makes its home on the street-level retail space. It traded for roughly $7.2 million.

The 175-vehicle garage at 1524 Latimer St. was sold by CLL Towne Inc. Park America will continue to manage and operate the parking facility. Josh Nadel of MPN Realty arranged the transaction.

The structure runs from Latimer to Spruce streets and includes roughly 3,500 square feet of retail space at 1523-25 Spruce St. That space is leased to Spruce Food Market, which is a well-known institution in the neighborhood.

The store has been there for decades and it, along with its sign, is part of the urban landscape in that part of Center City, Nadel said in an email. Nadel likens the sign to the PSFS sign at what is now the Loews hotel and the Sophie Curson sign at 19th and Sansom streets, which have become permanent parts of the city's streetscape.

Full story:

Valley Forge National Historic​ Park preps for possible commercial renters

By Gary Puleo, The Times Herald

How would you feel about heading over to Valley Forge National Historical Park for a double shot cappuccino and a blueberry scone — in a quaint café setting where memories fairly resonate off the walls?

It could happen before too long.

The National Park Service has put a few historic buildings up for commercial use, including the venerable Maurice Stephens House, which one entrepreneur is eyeing to transform into a charming cafe.

“We’ve had a couple of groups through the building and one is interested in turning it into a café of sorts so that people at the park will have a place to go to get a cup of coffee and a bite to eat,” explained the park’s business manager Patrick Madden, standing outside the 1816 stone farmhouse nestled off of Route 23.
“Also, another group representing local art centers would like to turn this into an art center where people can come and take lessons and paint the landscape. It’s a great spot. The hustle and bustle of King of Prussia is less than five minutes away and here it’s practically silent. It’s a nice getaway for people.”
Whoever the beholder and future tenant turns out to be, they will be applauded for their desire to preserve an old building that is brimming with character, while giving it a whole new purpose.
The sturdy structure that perfectly mirrors the rural architecture of the period comes with built-in customer appeal and ready-made ambience, but no street address, Madden noted.
“We just describe it as being on Route 23 across from the Washington Memorial Chapel,” he said.
Although the interior of three first-floor rooms and four upstairs rooms will require a bit more than a splash of paint and some elbow grease, the exterior has been redone, with new windows, a cedar shingle roof and masonry repointing “in connection with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Madden pointed out, adding that the addition to the house, which was once used as an information center, was constructed in 1841.
Re-purposing historic buildings has met with great success at other sites, including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Madden noted.

Two New Medical Office Tenants Sign Leases at Springfield Plaza

by Steve Lubetkin

Willner Properties recently finalized two new leases at Springfield Plaza located at 130 South State Road in Springfield, PA. Moore Eye Institute and the Institute of Spine and Pelvic Pain Interventions & Rehabilitation leased a total of more than 3,600 square feet. Springfield Plaza recently completed a capital improvement project that features refreshed common areas, signage upgrades and a new roof.

The two new leases bring this mixed-use building to over 90% occupancy. Moore Eye Institute at Springfield Plaza will be the practice’s fifth location in Philadelphia area suburbs and will serve as their main corporate office location. The eye surgery and vision center chose to open their office in a Willner Properties’ owned locale due to the convenient location, their reputation for high quality management and overall value and quality of the space.

The Institute of Spine and Pelvic Interventions & Rehabilitation is the medical offices of Dr. Malathy Appasamy, a physiatrist specializing in physical rehabilitation services. This is the second office for Dr. Appasamy. Her original office is located in Center City Philadelphia.

Springfield Plaza offers convenient access to Delaware County’s skilled workforce with public transportation at the front door as well as numerous local restaurants and retail opportunities. The property sits at the prime crossroads of Route 1 and Route 320 just minutes off Exit 3 of the Blue Route.

“We are very excited to welcome these well-respected medical practices to our property to join the ranks of high profile tenants like Verizon Wireless, Santander Bank and Edward Jones,” says Craig R. Bradley, vice president of Willner Properties.