Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wiley Signs 386,000-SF Office Lease in New Jersey

In what will surely be the largest office lease this quarter in the Northern New Jersey market, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWA), a global digital and print publisher, has signed a 15-year lease renewal totaling 386,407 square feet of office space at 111 River St. in Hoboken, NJ.

Waterfront Corporate Center I is a 13-story, 550,000-square-foot, 4-Star office building constructed in 2002 on 2.5 acres in the Hudson Waterfront submarket. Located adjacent to the Hoboken Terminal, the office park is easily accessed by NJ Transit trains and busses, PATH service, Waterway ferries, and the new Bergen-Hudson Light Rapid Rail System.

The new lease, originally set to expire in 2017, now extends the tenant's commitment to the building through March 2033.

"111 River Street is one of New Jersey Waterfront’s most visible and accessible addresses with dramatic views of Lower Manhattan, the Hudson River and the New York Harbor," commented David J. Goldstein, executive vice president of Savills Studley. "This transaction reaffirms the strength of Hoboken’s office market, as well as Wiley’s commitment to the dynamic city of Hoboken and the state of New Jersey."

Founded in 1807, Wiley develops and markets products and solutions to a diverse customer base while publishing scholarly journals, higher education teaching materials and interactive learning tools, books including encyclopedias and the "For Dummies" series, and services and solutions in research, professional development, and education. It employs 5,500 people worldwide in 70 facilities across 28 countries. In 2002, the company relocated its corporate headquarters to the then-burgeoning Hoboken waterfront office market from 605 Third Ave. in New York City.

According to Barlow, Wiley decided to maintain its offices in Hoboken following an extensive search throughout New York and New Jersey, feeling that it would enable the firm to continue providing best-in-class services to its customers and partners.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Outlook for Commercial Real Estate Looks Strong

by FunnelCast
The latest CRE news reports show that the outlook for commercial real estate remains strong as we leave behind Q2 and move toward the conclusion of Q3. Both pricing and volume have shown signs of shifting upward, while risk premiums and cap rates decline.
One of the reasons that the future looks so bright for commercial real estate is the fact that an increasing number of investors are opting to take advantage of low interest rates. This is serving to drive up both pricing and transaction volume in all of the major sectors. Among the major sectors, the office sector is proving to be the leader, which should come as no surprise because it has proven to be historically dominant. Combined, the commercial volume within the five major sectors reached more than $81 billion during the second quarter of this year. This figure represents a 14 percent increase from one year ago. Approximately 55 percent of the total transaction volume was accounted for by the office and apartment sectors. This is a trend that is similar to the situation of one year ago. One element that does differ is that among those two sectors, the apartment sector's volume share has declined. On another note, retail transactions accounted for 16 percent of the total volume.
In terms of pricing, steady gains have also been achieved, with industrial pricing taking the lead in gains. In May, a 15 percent year-over-year gain helped the industrial sector to move into second place among the top five sectors, just behind the hotel sector. Since June of last year, the hotel sector has managed to maintain an average between 15 percent and 20 percent of year-over-year growth.
In the retail sector, significant price surges over last year were seen, not dissimilar to the growth currently being experienced by the industrial sector. That growth has begun to level off in recent months, however, largely due to an increase in online shopping. The shrinking amount of space needs required on a per-customer basis has also contributed to slower growth in the last few months within the retail sector.
As the economy continues to improve, the outlook for the commercial real estate industry will continue to brighten, as well. Nationally, office vacancy rates are expected to change little over the course of the coming year. This is primarily due to new inventory entering the market. Declining vacancy rates are expected in the industrial sector, primarily due to shrinking trade deficits and an increase in exports. Although online shopping is rising, increases in consumer spending and personal income are expected to drive a decline in retail space in the coming months. In recent months, new construction within the multifamily sector has continued to increase at a steady pace. Simultaneously, the demand for rental housing has continued to rise.  

Urban Outfitters Plans Upsized Stores

by Paul Bubny, Globest. com
As part of a drive to double its revenues by the year 2020, Urban Outfitters will introduce a super-sized version of its Anthropologie chain, the locally based retailer said during an investor presentation Thursday. The Philadelphia-based company plans to open 25 to 50 Anthropologie locations of about 20,000 square feet each, about three times the current stores’ average footprint, Bloomberg reported Friday.
The larger-scale Anthropologie stores will offer a broader selection of home goods as well as beauty products and intimate apparel. Urban Outfitters will also test the larger format for its namesake brand as well the Free People chain.
Currently apparel represents about 71% of the product mix, while home goods comprise 17%. The 2020 product mix calls for apparel’s share to be scaled back to 53% and home goods to increase to 22%. 
“They want to turn them more into destination stores than clothing stores,” Howard Tubin, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, told Bloomberg on Friday. “They truly understand their customers across all their brands. They believe if they offer the right product, the product will sell.”
In its most recently quarterly earnings report, issued last month, Urban Outfitters reported sales of $811.2 million, up from $774 million the year prior. The retailer has reported new sales records in each of the past 10 quarters.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bristol-Myers Squibb to Build New 650,000-SF Campus

by John Jordan, GlobeSt.com
Global pharmaceutical firm Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. reports it will be significantly expanding its presence here with the planned development of a new 650,000-square-foot campus on company-owned land at the intersection of Princeton Pike and Interstate 295.

Construction is expected to begin this fall with occupancy projected at the end of 2016. The company’s worldwide headquarters, which opened in 1971, is located at U.S. Route 206 and Province Line Road. The new campus will allow the company to consolidate operations in leased office space at 777 Scudders Mill Road in Plainsboro Township and at Nassau Park Boulevard in West Windsor Township. The company currently employs more than 2,000 people at the Route 206 headquarters campus and more than 6,000 in central New Jersey. Once work is completed, as many as 2,500 people will work at the new Lawrenceville facility.

The Princeton Pike location was purchased by Bristol-Myers Squibb from RCN Corp. in 2001, company officials state.

“We are proud to expand our presence in Lawrenceville, a community that has been home to our company for more than 40 years,” says Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Lamberto Andreotti. “Our new campus will create a dynamic and modern workplace to advance the important work that our employees are doing to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines for patients with serious diseases.”

“I'm excited that Bristol-Myers Squibb has decided to increase their investment in Lawrence Township,” says Lawrence Township Mayor Cathleen Lewis. “The company has been a constant partner in making Lawrence Township a great community; this new project will continue that legacy. We appreciate the confidence Bristol-Myers Squibb has shown in our town and it is another sign that Lawrence is a great place for businesses to invest.” The Lawrence Township Planning Board unanimously approved final site plans for the new campus in June.

The company says the new facility represents “the company’s broader strategic initiative to "modernize its facilities through improved technology, more efficient design and workspace that enables collaboration, creativity and innovation.” The working environment will be both wired and wireless to enable employees to access the applications and information they need no matter where they are on the campus.

The new campus buildings are targeted to meet LEED certification standards for energy and environmental design. Most mechanical equipment will be located below ground to reduce noise. A segment of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail on the campus will link to a network of walking paths on the property, and nearly half of the 134-acre tract will remain working farmland. There will be preferred parking areas for hybrid vehicles and indoor bicycle racks. The parking areas will be paved with porous pavement to reduce runoff and promote recharging of groundwater aquifers.

Why the Industrial Market is Getting White Hot

by Jennifer LeClaire Globest.com
The industrial market is turning plenty of heads as the rebound continues and new spec development starts hitting key markets. But where are the true hot spots—and what makes them hot?

GlobeSt.com caught up with Bill Waxman, executive vice president of CBRE's Global Port Logistics Group, to get his thoughts on the state of the market, its evolution over the past year and the hotspots in part one of this three-part exclusive interview. Be sure to return to this afternoon's Miami edition for part two.

GlobeSt.com: What is the overall state of industrial, nationally, in terms of investment, development and leasing demand?

Waxman: The industrial capital markets continue to be on fire. Investors are no longer looking at industrial as a stepchild but, rather, as the white night.

Capitalization rates across the country are declining and, as a result, we’re seeing a huge amount of demand for a less-than-huge amount of supply. There’s great competition among global, national, and local investors for the same rare product.

At the same time, development demand is very healthy. In every major and secondary market, there continues to be new development—there’s currently more than 11 million square feet under development in New Jersey alone—and this is the right amount of development.

Markets won’t see an oversupply but will eventually reach equilibrium. This new development is directly in response to a healthy demand for leasing nationally and the continual activity on both fronts is bound to progress to productivity.

GlobeSt.com: How does that compare to a year ago?

Waxman: The overall state of the industrial market has continually improved since last year, though national asking rents are about the same. There hasn’t been a spike improvement but, rather, slow and steady improvement in leasing demand, development, and investment.

GlobeSt.com: What are the hot spots in industrial real estate—and why?

Waxman: There are a number of key hot spots in all regions across the country. Certainly, Los Angeles is a crucial market because of its ports, as well as the Inland Empire, which is cost competitive with Los Angeles and is ideal for transportation and distribution. As a result, the Inland Empire—along with Eastern Pennsylvania—remains the premier big-box industrial market in the US.

The Atlanta market has completely turned around and is doing very well, providing the southeast region with a key industrial asset. Louisville is also doing well, with help from the UPS hub Eastern Pennsylvania is on fire and can be considered the east coast equivalent to the Inlet Empire on the west coast.

Eastern Pennsylvania is cost competitive with New Jersey and still services the number one consumer zone in the nation. Additional hot regions include Miami—which can attribute its increasing activity to the rapid growth in Latin America—as well as Dallas and Chicago, both of which are major distribution hubs.

PPG Opens Regional Headquarters Building in Cranberry

by John Jordan GlobeSt.com
PPG Industries opened its regional headquarters for its architectural coatings business in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico here on Thursday.

The 118,000-square-foot building will accommodate approximately 550 employees in various management, marketing, information technology, customer support and related service and administration positions, the company states. Nearly 400 employees currently work at the site and PPG anticipates the facility will be close to full capacity by the end of 2015 as it continues to consolidate operations from multiple sites.

The grand opening event was attended by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, PPG leadership, along with more than 200 PPG employees.

“As PPG continues to expand its architectural coatings business, establishing a regional headquarters is an important step in aligning our business to meet our customers’ growing needs,” says Charles E. Bunch, PPG chairman and CEO. “The official opening of this facility further strengthens our presence in the state and in the Pittsburgh area, which has been home to our global headquarters for more than 130 years.”

The facility features an open floor plan with collaborative workspaces, an amphitheater for large-scale employee meetings and presentations, a product showcase store, training facilities and areas to pilot retail displays.

Gebroe-Hammer Sells Four PA MF Transactions Worth $23.8M

by Steve Lubetkin, GlobeSt.com
Gebroe-Hammer Associates has completed four separate multi-family property sales in Philadelphia, Chester, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, totaling 486 units that sold for nearly $23.8 million.

The latest transactions cap off Gebroe-Hammer’s active investment brokerage activities throughout the Philadelphia/South Jersey multi-family market during the past 18 months. The firm’s market specialists have completed more than 22 sales with an aggregate value of almost $91 million involving more than 1,829 units throughout the Delaware Valley region.

In the largest of the recent sales, Gebroe-Hammer’s managing directors Joseph Brecher and David Oropeza exclusively represented the seller and identified the buyer of Sherman Hills, a garden-apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre. The 344 units were sold for $15.7 million as part of a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)/Housing Urban Development (HUD) contract.

Constructed on 22.6 acres in 1979, Sherman Hills consists of eight two-story garden-style buildings and an eight-story high-rise building. There also is a three-unit, fully occupied commercial building anchored by Dollar Store on site.

“Sherman Hills is located near employment centers, the First Union Arena, I-81 and Route 309,” says Brecher. “Grocery stores, banks and elementary schools are all within a convenient walking distance, and Kings College and Wilkes University are within a three-mile radius. The location, along with the complex’s amenities, rendered this investment opportunity quite unique.”

Additional transactions included:

Fairfield Apartments, located at 7900-7922 Fairfield St. in Philadelphia, sold for $3.525 million in a transaction arranged by Brecher and Eli Rosen, senior vice president. The 64-unit, six-building low-rise complex is located in the northeastern part of the city, just off of Route 1 (East Roosevelt Boulevard) and Rhawn Street. In addition to on-site parking, there are laundry facilities on the premises.

Arborwood Duplexes in the Germantown/Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia sold for $2.375 million. Rosen represented the seller and identified the buyer of the 21-duplex community featuring 42 one-bedroom units, which include a garage and storage area. The Northwest Philadelphia property is off of Washington Lane, a major north/south artery in this area of the city.

Liberty Walk Apartments, a 36-unit property, sold for $2.175 million. Located at 500 E. 24th Street in Chester’s Sunnyside section, Liberty Walk is within minutes of Widener University and Swarthmore College, with access to both public transportation and greater Philadelphia’s main arterial highways. The four detached two-story buildings, consisting of eight one-bedroom and 28 two-bedroom units with semi-private entrances, recently underwent extensive interior and exterior renovations.

Other transactions include arranging the trades of Victoria Gardens, a 92-unit complex in Bristol Township for $4.45 million; the 36-unit Rose Court in Northwest Philadelphia’s West Mt. Airy section; 104 units sold for $4.3 million at Lindley Towers, in the Logan section of North Philadelphia; and Edgely Estates, a $10.35 million acquisition located in Levittown, Bucks County, PA.

"In addition to a historically strong renter pool, particularly in greater Philadelphia, eastern Pennsylvania continues to see an influx of recent college graduates from area universities who have decided to set down roots and become part of the workforce," says Brecher. "This trend, along with attractive pricing for multi-family product, has contributed toward the market’s growth, which is now reaching pre-recession levels."