Friday, March 27, 2015

Fort Washington Holiday Inn sold, will undergo $19M redevelopment

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

A venture consisting of Haverford Hotel Partners and Haverford Properties Inc. bought the Holiday Inn Fort Washington and has plans to invest an estimated $19 million redeveloping the property.
Bill McNamara, managing partner of Haverford Hotel Partners, and Charles Houder, principal of Haverford Properties, picked up the 230-room, full-service hotel on seven acres in Montgomery County from a Washington, D.C., investor who has owned the property since it was developed in 1975. Joe McCann, head of Optimum Hotel Brokerage, arranged the sale.
Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed though total investment in redeveloping the property, including acquisition costs, stands at about $19 million.
Though state-of-the-art when it was built, the property at 432 Pennsylvania Ave. had been on the decline and had a business that kept just about half of it occupied.
It wasn’t an easy sell, according to McCann.
“We had the property on the market for about a year and we had to go through a year of due diligence with zoning approvals being made,” he said. “The right buyer needed extensive due diligence because of all of the approvals that were needed for his project. It’s an expensive proposition, but it will be nice development.”
Aside from zoning, part of the process involved the seller shuttering the property and laying off its 61 employees. A redevelopment on this scale requires such a drastic measure.
Both McNamara and Houder were attracted to the hotel’s location near the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Route 309 as well as next to a regional rail stop. It’s also within the Fort Washington Business Park and in proximity to other markets such as Horsham, Willow Grove and Plymouth Meeting.
“The Pennsylvania Avenue corridor has been overlooked and neglected because of its historical issues,” Houder said.
The park was known to frequently flood whenever there was a downpour. That issue is being remedied.
The partnership looks for value-add opportunities such as this.
“We like to take something underutilized and reposition it to the product it wants to be,” said Houder, who, at one point, worked at Preferred Real Estate Investments.
Plans call for redeveloping the eight-story hotel inside and out. The façade will be redone as well as other exterior elements. It will no longer be a full-service property — having a restaurant within the hotel — and it will instead have 168 rooms and suites. It will be branded as a Holiday Inn Express.
Full story:

Mack-Cali Enters JV Agreement with Parkway to Develop Luxury Residential Community in Philadelphia

Fully-integrated real estate investment trust Mack-Cali and its full-service real estate development subsidiary Roseland have entered an agreement with Parkway Corporation to form a joint-venture partnership in the development of a luxury multifamily community at 709 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, PA.

Currently in planning and permitting stages, the proposed development is expected to break ground by the end of 2015. When it does, it will be the newest development on the east end of Chestnut Street, which has historically seen less development than the west end.

Preliminary plans call for a 32-story tower to include 300 luxury apartment homes and more than 11,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space. It will also include a 125-car, fully-automated parking garage, the third that Parkway has established in Philadelphia.

"As we continue to expand our footprint in the Philadelphia market, we're excited to have the opportunity to partner with Parkway -- a leader in parking management and real estate development -- for this exciting initiative at 709 Chestnut Street," said Mitchell E. Hersh, president and chief executive officer of Mack-Cali. "This community will serve as a cornerstone of the burgeoning Market Street East neighborhood, which is quickly emerging as a dynamic cultural destination in a previously underutilized corridor."

Mack-Cali and Roseland are pursuing ground-up and adaptive reuse opportunities in and around Philadelphia. Along with partner Keystone Property Group, Mack-Cali announced repositioning plans for The Curtis, just around the corner from 709 Chestnut, and Roseland will lead the residential redevelopment of the Center City building. Mack-Cali and Keystone also recently partnered on 100 Independence Mall West, reinvesting more than $20 million.

Ridgeline Developing Logistics Center in York, PA

by Steve Lubetkin,
Responding to the shortage of class A bulk warehouse space in the surging Central Pennsylvania industrial market, Ridgeline Property Group will develop a 423,300-square-foot industrial speculative building in York, PA.  Cabot Properties Inc. will be RPG’s capital partner for Susquehanna Logistics Center, which will be built on a 51-acre site providing immediate access to Interstate 83.

Construction will begin in late March and will be completed in December 2015.  The 423,300-square-foot distribution facility will feature 32-foot clear heights, 87 dock doors, 52-foot by 54-foot column spacing, early suppression fast response (ESFR) fire sprinklers and high-capacity parking, including 179 auto spaces and 146 trailer storage stalls.

“With strong absorption rates combined with the extremely limited supply currently available, this market is primed for the modern and efficient class A distribution space that Susquehanna Logistics Center will provide,” says Greg Thurman, CEO of Ridgeline Property Group. “There is virtually no class A space between 200,000 and 400,000 square feet available in Central Pennsylvania, and this is the only zoned and entitled industrial site between Harrisburg and Baltimore that can bring a class A project to market in the near term. The timing couldn’t be better for us to team with our long-term partner Cabot Properties on this distribution building.”

York County’s strategic location between Baltimore and Harrisburg, its healthy supply and demand fundamentals, and a strong labor pool combine to make the submarket a key logistics hub. The overall vacancy rate for class A product in York County has dipped below four percent, placing supply at shortage levels, and absorption has reached near record levels.

“We’re pleased to partner with a best-in-class developer, Ridgeline Property Group, on this class A industrial building to meet the growing demand for high-quality industrial space in this crucial distribution market. RPG has a successful track record developing bulk distribution space across the country, and we look forward to partnering with them on Susquehanna Logistics Center to provide the Central Pennsylvania market with much-needed class A distribution space,” says Patrick V. Ryan, executive vice president of investments at Cabot Properties.

Located on Second Amendment Drive in York, PA, the Susquehanna Logistics Center site is just over a half-mile from the Exit 8 interchange of I-83 and minutes from US Route 30, two major north-south and east-west routes, respectively, that connect the project to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and other important industrial markets. In addition, the York County submarket offers distributors and manufacturers convenient access to the Port of Baltimore, three major intermodal rail stations, and FedEx and UPS distribution hubs.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Floor & Décor Leases 52,000 SF

Floor & Décor, a specialty retailer of hard surface flooring, signed a lease for 52,000 square feet in the retail building at 1501 E. Lincoln Hwy in Levittown, PA.

The single-story building totals 104,000 square feet in Bucks County. The property was constructed in 1964. Floor & Décor’s lease includes half of the building, with Bob’s Discount Furniture occupying the other half.

David Barton Gym Leases 24,000 SF

DavidBartonGym Muscles has leased 24,032 square feet in The Drexel Building at 1435-1441 Walnut St. in Philadelphia, PA.

The store's opening is planned for July 2015

The 57,640-square-foot office building was constructed in 1928 and renovated in 1980. The historic building is located in the Market Street West submarket.