Friday, February 5, 2016

Do You Recommend Crowdfunding to Invest in Commercial Real Estate? (Video)

Live-Work-Play Opportunities Keep Graduates In Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin,
Developers are seeing live-work-play opportunities that can keep recent university graduates interested in remaining in the cities where they completed their educations, according to Dustin Downey, senior vice president of multifamily development, Southern Land Company, one of the panelists featured at ALM’s RealShare Philadelphia Conference February 9 at the historic Union League Club.
Downey’s firm, Southern Land Company, has recently developed 3601 Market, a 28 story mixed-use apartment complex in Philadelphia’s University City submarket. Downey will participate in the “Live Work Play” panel at RealShare Philadelphia.

“Traditionally, the areas surrounding colleges and universities were ideal targets for developers looking to take advantage of the booming undergraduate student market,” Downey tells exclusively. “As more and more cities push to create 24/7 hubs where students can live, work and play, however, some developers are seeing new opportunities to cater to the young professional set. 3601 Market is doing just that. Rather than cater to the approximately 27,000 Drexel undergrad and UPenn undergraduates, the project is attracting young professionals — junior faculty, office workers and young doctors — to live in University City.”

Cities like Philadelphia are also benefiting from increasing interest from empty-nesters, Downey says.

“Cities are seeing a Baby Boom as the boomer generation gravitates towards cities like Philadelphia with a preference for areas that will put them in closer contact with millennials,” he says. “Today’s boomers are seeking more active lifestyles in retirement than ever before.”

The “Live, Work, Play: The Areas Teeming with Activity” panel, also will include panelists José Cruz, senior managing director at HFF; Paul Garvey, senior director, Cushman & Wakefield; and Bradley J. Korman, co-chief executive officer, Korman Communities. Moderating the panel is Timothy J. Touhey, senior vice president, Investors Bank.

With rents on the rise in trophy-class and class-A properties along with dropping vacancies, Philadelphia seems to be a landlord’s market. In addition to out-of-town investors making their mark in the city, panelists will discuss factors that continue to drive the mixed use sectors and what particular areas are teeming with activity. Among the trends expected to be discussed are coworking, incubator spaces, and crowd-funding—and how they play into the most bustling areas.

The panel is scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m. The conference kicks off Tuesday, February 9 at 7:30 am at the Union League Club, 140 South Broad Street, Philadelphia.

Keystone seeks to buy Two Liberty Place

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal
Keystone Property Group is making a run at acquiring the office portion of Two Liberty Place.

The Conshohocken, Pa., real estate company has reportedly made an offer on the tower’s 940,000 square feet of office space that could trade for as much as $250 million, according to several sources in the real estate community. There is speculation among these sources that Keystone is teaming up with an off-shore capital source to fund the acquisition.

Keystone, through Rich Gottlieb, a senior vice president at the company, declined to comment.

Up to this point, Keystone’s Center City acquisitions have focused on the historic part of town where it owns the Curtis and the Dow building.

A Two Liberty buy would be a new neighborhood for the real estate company. The property at 50 S. 16th St. is a signature skyscraper in the Central Business District and a prominent tower in the Philadelphia skyline.

The building’s office space is 89 percent leased to multiple tenants on a long-term basis including Cigna Corp., Buchanan Ingersoll, Republic Bank, and Eckert Seamans. Two Liberty’s owner, Parkway Properties Inc. (NYSE:PKY), put it up for sale in November not long after it secured a new lease with Cigna.
Full story:

Brandywine completes $400M sale for over 1M SQFT

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff Writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal
Brandywine Realty Trust has completed a nearly $400 million sale of 58 office properties that essentially finishes a multi-year effort to exit certain markets that don’t fit into its overall strategy to focus on urban areas and town centers.

In a complicated transaction that one analyst called “byzantine,” Brandywine (NYSE:BDN) said that yesterday it wrapped up a series of related transactions with affiliates of Och Ziff Capital Management Group involving the $398.1 million sale of those properties. The portfolio totaled 3.9 million square feet and it was 91.4 percent occupied at the time of the transaction.

The sale involved 10 buildings totaling 557,144 square feet in New Jersey, 11 buildings totaling 612,738 square feet in Pennsylvania as well as properties in Northern Virginia and Richmond, Va. A list of buildings involved in the Och-Ziff sale was not available.

The transaction was structured so that it involved: the sale of Brandywine's fee interests in a portfolio of land to an affiliate of Och-Ziff totaling $188.1 million; and the sale of leasehold interests in the portfolio to a newly formed Och-Ziff joint venture in which an affiliate of Brandywine kept a 50 percent stake.
Full story:

Greene Turtle Bringing Adding Six Sites to Central Pennsylvania

by Steve Lubetkin,
Six new The Greene Turtle sports bar and grille locations are coming to Central Pennsylvania, as the Maryland-based restaurant chain continues an aggressive expansion drive throughout the Northeast.

As previously reported by, Greene Turtle last year named franchisees to develop sites in Eastern PA and New Jersey.

Typhoon Central PA, a new franchise group consisting of partners Leho Poldmae and Dave Trimbur, will develop the restaurants in State College, PA, home to Penn State University’s ain campus, and throughout Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York Counties.

Poldmae and Trimbur have extensive experience with The Greene Turtle and the casual dining segment. Poldmae already operates three Greene Turtle locations in Maryland and Delaware.

Trimbur is managing partner of Typhoon Management, a company that owns and manages restaurants and other organizations, and has served as director of operations for Poldmae’s locations for the past several years. He is also executive director of the Big 33 Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for academic scholarships and other charitable programs to develop and showcase excellence in students and communities. Previously, he was an area director for The Rose Group, one of the country’s largest franchisee companies, whose holdings include Applebee’s and Corner Bakery. Trimbur also was a regional manager for the Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurant chain.

“I’m thrilled to be partnering with Dave to introduce The Greene Turtle to Central Pennsylvania,” says Poldmae. “He is an operational expert with great depth of knowledge both in the restaurant business and in the markets where we plan to open. With his experience, my history with the company and The Greene Turtle’s strong family appeal, I’m confident we will do well.”

“There is a great growth opportunity with The Greene Turtle here,” Trimbur says. “The map is wide open for us to create many new, loyal customers while bringing The Greene Turtle closer to many who work or attend college here and already know The Greene Turtle from back home or from their travels along the central East Coast. We look forward to opening our first site as soon as possible.“

In mid-2015, The Greene Turtle announced a development agreement with another franchisee group that will yield 10 restaurants in markets surrounding Philadelphia. The first of those locations has now been secured and will open later this year in North Wales, PA. Combined with this new deal, The Greene Turtle now has about two-thirds of Pennsylvania covered with planned development.

“We’re very excited about this deal,” says Tom Finn, vice president of franchise development for The Greene Turtle. “The area it covers adjoins our core market and will benefit from our brand awareness. It also continues our penetration into Pennsylvania and expansion west of the coastline, and will let us tap into strong markets like State College, Hershey, Harrisburg, Lancaster and York. With this agreement in place, we are now actively seeking one more strategic franchise partner to develop Pittsburgh and the rest of western Pennsylvania.”

The Greene Turtle opened seven new restaurants in 2015, bringing the total to 44 locations stretching from southern Virginia north to New York’s Long Island and west to Morgantown, WV. As many as 10 sites will open in 2016, including the chain’s first locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Franchisees have committed to develop more than 40 additional locations in Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and The Greene Turtle is now seeking strategic franchise partners to develop western Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and New York City, and markets in New England, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Smart Warehousing Leases Warehouse Space

Smart Warehousing, a Kansas-based supply chain services company, leased 101,601 square feet at the Lehigh Valley Trade Port Bldg 2 located at 4270 Fritch Dr. in Bethlehem, PA.

The tenant's lease commences in April 2016, and runs through June 2021. The building is currently occupied by NFI. The landlord is Griffin Industrial Realty.

The single-story, 302,800-square-foot distribution building was constructed in 2014 on 50.9 acres in the Lehigh Valley Industrial submarket of Northampton County.

AMES Cos Renews 114,000-SF Lease in Shiremanstown

AMES Companies, a hardware manufacturer, renewed its lease for 113,583 square feet at 485 St. Johns Church Rd. in Shiremanstown, PA.

The property totals 712,500 square feet was renovated in 1995. It houses Allen Distribution and other tenants.