Thursday, July 20, 2017

U.S. real estate purchased by foreign buyers at record pace (Video)

Equinix CEO: Data Center REIT Domination (Video)

Target Leases 48,000 SF at Westmont Plaza

Target has signed a lease for 48,142 square feet in the Westmont Plaza shopping center at 630 - 662 W. Cuthbert Blvd. in Westmont, NJ.

The retail center totals 134,069 square feet in the North Camden County submarket of Philadelphia. Other tenants include Tuesday Morning and Super Fitness.

Concordia Properties Acquires Spring Crossings Apts

Concordia Properties purchased the 358-unit Spring Crossings apartments at 41 Winterhaven Dr. in Newark, DE this summer for $35.5 million, or about $99,000 per unit, from Metropolitan Management Group.

Formerly the Autumn Park Apartments, the 370,620-square-foot multifamily community is comprised of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units across 27 buildings on a 16.9-acre site in New Castle County. At the time of sale the asset was 93 percent occupied and offers a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool and walking/biking trails.

The buyer financed the acquisition with a new $26.6 million, Fannie Mae loan.

Gladstone Commercial Buys Philadelphia Industrial Site

Gladstone Commercial Corporation purchased 14700 Townsend Rd. in Philadelphia, PA for $26.4 million from AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust.

The 300,000-square-foot property was built in 2001 and is currently fully leased to tenants.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Endeavor Equities Buys Midway Shopping Center

Endeavor Equities has acquired the Midway Shopping Center at 1000-1096 Wyoming Ave. in Wyoming, PA for $17.56 million, or about $80 per square foot, from Kennedy-Wilson Properties Ltd.

The shopping center was built in 1975 and renovated in 1999 and totals 220,787 square feet. Bon Ton, Dollar Tree and Price Chopper are some of the tenants in the center.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Endurance acquires 456,000 SF in Shiremanstown, PA

n affiliate of Endurance Real Estate Group, LLC (“Endurance”) is pleased to announce its recent off-market acquisition of 485 St. Johns Church Rd. in Shiremanstown, PA. The 712,000 SF former manufacturing/distribution/office facility is being redeveloped into over 456,000 SF of Class A bulk warehouse/distribution space. The property was owned and occupied by the Quaker Oats Company through the early 2000’s. Endurance has partnered with CenterSquare Investment Management in a joint venture to acquire and redevelop the property.

After closing, Endurance commenced demolition of approximately 500,000 SF of manufacturing, office and low-bay warehouse sections of the property.  Subsequent phases will include the renovation and expansion of the existing 28’ clear East Warehouse section, and a slab-up re-construction of the West Warehouse with a new 32’ clear, Class A facility.  Upon completion, the property will offer 456,810 SF of strategically located bulk warehouse/distribution space in an infill section of Harrisburg’s densely populated West Shore area.

The entire facility will be equipped with an ESFR sprinkler system, high efficiency T-5 lighting, a 190’ truck court, 60’ truck dock apron, significant parking for cars and trailers, and an approximately 1 per 6,000 SF loading dock ratio. The property will efficiently demise, with an existing demising wall and multiple gas and electrical service points facilitating division of the building down to 100,000 SF or smaller suites.

The West Warehouse section (210,675 SF) will feature precast wall construction @ 32’ clear, 54’ wide x 48’ deep column spacing, a 60’ deep speed bay, a 2,000 amp electrical service, an ESFR sprinkler system, and 38 loading docks fitted with 9’ x 10’ doors, 45,000 lb. levelers, bumpers, seals, lights and fans.

The East Warehouse (246,135 SF) will consist of an expanded and fully refurbished 28’ clear space improved with a new 2,000 amp electrical service, an ESFR sprinkler system, renovated office space, and supplemental loading dock positions including 9’ x 10’ doors, 45,000 lb. levelers, bumpers, seals, lights and fans.

Demolition is actively underway at the property, with a targeted delivery of July 2018 for the new 210,675 SF West Warehouse and an April 2018 delivery for the renovated and expanded 246,135 SF East Warehouse.

The site benefits from two means of ingress/egress, with frontage on both Railroad Avenue and St. Johns Church Road.  It is located less than a mile from Rt. 581 (Capital Beltway) and one mile from Rt. 15, providing immediate access to Interstates 76, 81 and 83, and enabling shipments to over 40% of the US population in one day. The property is also situated in close proximity to multiple FedEx, UPS hubs, Norfolk Southern and common carrier (OTR) hub facilities.

“We are very excited to be undertaking this unique redevelopment opportunity to deliver Class A warehouse/distribution space in such a densely populated area with terrific labor characteristics,” said David Erlbaum, Vice President of Acquisitions and Development at Endurance. “Opportunities like this are few and far between given the tremendous desirability of the Eastern PA industrial market to investors, and opportunities to acquire a site of this size in such a dense, infill location are extremely rare. We jumped all over this opportunity when it was presented to us.”

Founded in 2002, Endurance is a Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based real estate owner/developer focused on income and value creation opportunities in the Mid- Atlantic region with a concentration in office and regional and bulk warehouse/distribution assets. Endurance’s current portfolio consists of close to four million square feet of warehouse/distribution, flex, and office assets. Affiliates of Endurance have closed on nine separate transactions over the last 3 years, totaling over 2.5 million square feet of warehouse, distribution, office, and flex space. For additional information on Endurance, please visit

CenterSquare is a global investment manager focused on actively managed real estate and infrastructure strategies. Founded in 1987, it operates as one of the investment boutiques of BNY Mellon Investment Management. CenterSquare manages approximately $8.0 billion of real estate and infrastructure securities through CenterSquare Investment Management, Inc. and approximately $1.2 billion (gross) of debt and private equity real estate investments through CenterSquare Investment Management Holdings, Inc. (together referred to as “CenterSquare”).

Land acquisition in Royersford’s former industrial district first step in revitalization project

By Michael Sneff, The Mercury
The Riverfront at Royersford LLC recently acquired a six-acre section of land in the former industrial district of Royersford, intersecting 1st Avenue and Main Street, on the Schuylkill River. The acquisition is the latest step in ongoing efforts to revitalize the former industrial district along the borough’s waterfront.

“Royersford already has so much to offer and it is our intent to expand business and recreation along the riverfront,” said Richard Lewis, president of The Lewis Group, in a press release. The Lewis Group owns Riverfront at Royersford.

During a recent walkthrough of the property, Lewis stated that the Riverfront at Royersford is a “legacy project,” one that has the future of the borough in mind above all else.

“This end of town historically has been commercial,” Lewis said. “We really think that this can be a game changer in terms of bringing some new businesses and new life to this end of the borough.”

The land formerly belonged to Buckwalter Stove and was the site of factories and other industrial operations, including Continental Stove Works, which at one time, was one of the biggest stove factories in the United States.

There are currently several businesses operating along the waterfront, according to Lewis, ranging from an aerospace engineering company, a foundry and a bowling supply company.

The deal, according to Lewis, took nearly seven years to lock down, as plans have changed and been adjusted. Under a previous contractor, plans called for the development of new apartment complexes on the site.

“For us, residential was really not the most ideal of situations, considering the railroad and crossings,” Lewis said. “A motivating factor in acquiring the site was actually to keep a residential property from being developed.”

Lewis said the property would be much more beneficial as a commercial setting. With a residential complex already being established across Main Street, Lewis said having a place for those people to shop and recreate would be more of a draw.

Anil Dham, president of the Royersford borough council, has been working closely with The Lewis Group as well as other local business owners and citizens to revitalize the borough.

“Only a few years ago on Main Street, there were 13 or so empty store fronts. Now, there’s only one. That says something about this town,” Dham said. “With this, the development will bring in more tax money, as well as create additional recreational opportunities.”

Prominent locations on Main Street include multiple caf├ęs and restaurants, as well as businesses and offices. The plan, according to Dham, is to add on to the precedent they have there now.

The riverfront site is connected to an abandoned railroad trestle which Lewis is looking to bring back to life as a pedestrian walkway and bike path connecting Royersford to the Schuylkill River Trail system across the river in Chester County, according to a press release.

“We want people to see the Riverfront for the asset that it truly is, and get people back down into this end of town,” Lewis said. “We’ve met a lot of great people here; it’s a great place to live.”

Lewis said that a big inspiration on how to do a revitalization project right, is what he is seeing in Phoenixville and Pottstown, and that Royersford is in a good place to start something similar to what has been done in the other communities.

“We’re trying to temper some excitement from people living around here,” Dham said. “This project’s really got some legs, and we’re very excited to see where it goes.”

A surveying process of the property is currently underway, and the lot will be cleared of debris by Lewis Group crews. Further consideration of the potential development opportunities is ongoing.

Based in Royersford, The Lewis Group also operates Lewis Environmental Inc., Lewis Property Services and works in the remediation, revitalization and repurposing of former industrial sites.

Duck Donuts Expands into King of Prussia Town Center

Deciding to open a Duck Donuts in King of Prussia Town Center was an easy choice for the founder and owner Russ DiGilio, writes Kenneth Hilario for Philadelphia Business Journal.

“King of Prussia is known as the ultimate shopping and dining destination,” said DiGilio in an interview with Philadelphia Business Journal. “We felt the family-friendly, community atmosphere at the King of Prussia Town Center would make a great fit for our franchise brand.”

Another factor is that DiGilio grew up in Rosemont, making this a kind of homecoming.

Now, with the July 8 opening behind him, DiGilio plans to open shops in Chester County, increase the locations in Montgomery County and expand across Pennsylvania.

When it comes to his competitors, DiGilio said he believes that Duck Donuts warm, delicious, and made-to-order product set it apart from other doughnut shops in the area.

“Our famous doughnuts are made the way you like them every time,” he said. “Children can even stand on a step strategically placed in front of our doughnut machines and watch their doughnuts cook and then hand dipped to order.”

Mixed Use Development Planned For Former Nabisco Site In Northeast Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin,
The new mixed-use development planned for the site of a former Nabisco bakery on the Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia will start with construction of a new super Wawa convenience store, according to developers of the former manufacturing site.

The Provco Group began demolition of the former Nabisco facility last month, and hopes to bring a new development that will better serve the neighborhood around the iconic cookie factory.

“We are thrilled to own this iconic, landmark property”, says Michael Cooley, vice president of real estate for The Provco Group. “The goal and commitment to our neighbors of the Somerton Civic Association and district councilman Brian O’Neill, is to create a project not only unique to Roosevelt Boulevard, but to the region.”

For many decades, the Nabisco factory, a 600,000 square-foot facility originally built by the National Biscuit Company in the 1950s, was famous for the aroma of fresh baked cookies that billowed throughout the neighborhoods. The baking operation ceased production in 2015 and the 27-acre property sold a year later to a joint venture led by Provco, Goodman Properties and MCB Real Estate. Shortly thereafter, a portion of the facility was leased to Jako Enterprises, a company that owns and operates over 50 retail sneaker stores under the Kicks USA brand.

When the project went public, Cooley says former Nabisco employees contacted him to express their respect and appreciation for the building, which provided more than 800 jobs at its peak.

“It was great to hear from former Nabisco employees,” Cooley says. “They asked me if I could save some of the bricks and give them away for keepsakes. This is a special place to many people, so I plan to also use some of those old bricks for the new streetscape amenities we’re building, so that a piece of the factory stands forever.”

With demolition underway, the first phase of development will deliver a Wawa convenience store and gas station pad, expected to begin construction this fall for a Summer 2018 opening.

The developers are looking for other retail tenants for the property.

“I am in dialogue with several, unique, retail and family entertainment concepts that don’t currently exist in this region,” Cooley says. “These types of uses would not only generate net-new jobs but also create a destination that draws folks from a distance. Ultimately, we want to provide uses that will better serve the neighborhood and are excited to work towards delivering a quality project that residents of Northeast Philadelphia can be proud of.”

Monday, July 10, 2017

UCPA signed a long-term lease in Harrisburg

 Urology of Central Pennsylvania signed a long-term lease at 815 Sir Thomas Court in Harrisburg, PA, just west of PinnacleHealth Community General Osteopathic Hospital. The company will be relocating from its current location at 4310 Londonderry Road in Harrisburg, but its Camp Hill, PA, office will remain at 100 Corporate Center Drive. UCPA also has patient care locations in Newport and Millersburg, and at Fulton County Medical Center in McConnellsburg, and JC Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon, PA.

Spring Mill Corporate Center Conshohocken will Undergo Multi-Million-dollar Renovation

The Spring Mill Corporate Center, a 635,000 square-foot office park consisting of four major buildings at 1100 East Hector Street in the Philadelphia suburb of Conshohocken, will undergo a major, multi-million-dollar renovation and modernization that will include the creation of a new stand-alone 40,000 square-foot office building, expanded amenities and additional parking. Included in the new renovation and modernization plan designed by Miller Purdy Architects will be the demolition of 120,000 square feet of old warehouse space to create over 320 parking spots.  The remaining 42,000 square-foot single-story building will be refinished as a stand-alone office complex with adjacent parking, open picnic space and high-tech interconnectivity.

Friday, July 7, 2017

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Dermody Acquires Woodmont's Industrial In Middletown, PA For $76M

by Steve Lubetkin
After transforming Capital Logistics Center into one of the most modern logistic and industrial parks in Pennsylvania, Woodmont Industrial Partners and AEW Capital Management have sold the asset to Dermody Properties, which develops and operates industrial properties across the country. Citing Dauphin County, PA, property records, the central Pennsylvania news website reported the sale price was approximately $76.1 million.

Woodmont and AEW finalized the sale following an extensive capital improvement program of the six-building, 1.55-million-square-foot complex in Middletown, PA. The partnership constructed the new industrial facilities to replace the antiquated structures that previously occupied both 200 and 300 Capital Lane.

“Dermody Properties is very pleased to acquire this well-located five-building business park in Central Pennsylvania,” says Eugene Preston, Dermody’s partner for its Eastern Region.  ”The property fits well in our company’s portfolio from both a tenant roster and geographical diversification perspective. Dermody Properties is growing the portfolio with a mix of building acquisitions and development projects.”

“This transaction represents a multitude of asset classes including stabilized core product, vacant value-add product and additional land development. In addition to the highly desirable location, extensive renovations completed by Woodmont/AEW leave the assets well-positioned for the user community, as evidenced by a major food distributor’s recent decision to occupy 400,000 square feet of class A space.”

In 2016, Woodmont and AEW completed nearly 500,000 square feet of positive net absorption including a full-building lease with a multinational food manufacturing company at 200 Capital Lane. The 400,060-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility achieved LEED Silver certification shortly after being constructed in 2014. Additionally, WIP and AEW Capital signed a 77,987-square-foot lease with full-service freight transportation provider Estes Express Lines at 400 Capital Lane, bringing the building to full occupancy.

“Our decision to heavily invest in the renovation of Capital Logistics Center over the past several years was validated with this sale,” says Eric Witmondt, principal of Woodmont Industrial Partners. “We were able to position this property to coincide with a strong demand in the market and attract quality tenants, which ultimately led to the right timing for this sale. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with AEW and plan to remain active in the Harrisburg market.”

Situated on more than 100 acres in Central Pennsylvania, at the heart of the I-81 Distribution Corridor, Capital Logistics Center fronts the Pennsylvania Turnpike and is less than a mile away from Harrisburg International Airport. The property is also near local FedEx and UPS facilities, as well as routes I-283, I-83 and 322.

“As demand for class A industrial product in the Northeast continues to grow, so too does our portfolio,” Witmondt says. “In 2017, we will continue to capitalize on opportunities to acquire properties that are ripe for revitalization in key submarkets throughout the region.”

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Kairos buys Blue Bell office building

Natalie Kostelni
Philadelphia Business Journal
Kairos Real Estate Partners has picked up another office building in the Blue Bell, Pa., submarket and bought 980 Jolly Road, a 150,000-square-foot building Aetna Inc. had vacated years ago.

The King of Prussia real estate company bought the two-building complex with Artemis Real Estate Partners from Aetna for an undisclosed amount. Montgomery County property records indicate the property traded for $5.27 million.

This is the second office building Kairos has acquired in the Montgomery County community. Last August, the same partnership involving Kairos paid $3.3 million for 518 Township Line Road, a 124,000-square-foot office building.

“We’re doubling down on Blue Bell,” said Stephen J. Gleason, president of Kairos. “We think Blue Bell is a great alternative to the Main Line.”

In general, Philadelphia's suburban office market is doing fairly well as companies lease up space and expand. Markets such as Radnor, Conshohocken and King of Prussia have experienced robust activity, making large blocks scarce and pushed rents up. But for build-to-suits, there has been no new construction underway, giving tenants limited options when it comes to large blocks of existing space.

The increased tightness has pushed tenants looking for space and more affordable rents further out to areas such as Blue Bell, Fort Washington and Horsham. They are markets that are often the last to recover from economic downturn and 10 years ago, many of the same dynamics — a shortage of big blocks, rising rents in first-ring submarkets— were at also at work when there was renewed attention by investors and tenants to Blue Bell and those other markets.

For the overall suburbs, the total vacancy rate stood at 16.7 percent at the end of the first quarter and there was an absorption of 372,539 square feet, according to CBRE Inc. data. Blue Bell, which has nearly 4 million square feet of office space, has a total vacancy rate of 22.8 percent and average asking rents of $28.70.
Full story:

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Bluejay Mgmt Buys Town Square Plaza in Pottstown

Bluejay Management acquired the Town Square Plaza shopping center at 1100 Town Square Rd. in Pottstown, PA for $28.6 million, or about $133 per square foot, from Retail Properties of America.

The 215,600-square-foot power center was built in 2004 in the Exton / Whitelands submarket of Montgomery County. The center was 98 percent occupied at the time of the sale.

Orchard Hills Apts Sold for $18.3M

C.J. Lombardo Real Estate acquired the 264-unit Orchard Hills apartments at 1239 Washington St. in Whitehall, PA from Dutchess Consultants for $18.25 million, or about $69,000 per unit.

The 337,144-square-foot property was built in 1972.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lower Makefield Shopping Center Sells for $20M

Inland Institutional Capital Partners Corporation, a subsidiary of The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, acquired the Lower Makefield Shopping Center at 668 - 706 Stony Hill Rd. in Yardley, PA for $20.4 million, or about $272 per square foot, from TriGate Capital LLC.

Built in 1986, the 74,953-square-foot retail strip is 97 percent occupied by multiple tenants including Rite Aid, Giant Food and GNC.

Hyland Levin Renews Lease in Marlton

Hyland Levin LLP, a multi-practice law firm, has renewed its lease for 16,440 square feet in the Sagemore Professional Center office building at 6000 Sagemore Dr. in Marlton, NJ.

The three-story, 50,000-square-foot property was built in the South Burlington County submarket in 2000 by Davis Enterprises, which still owns the property. The law firm's lease is on the third floor of the building, which is also home to the Delaware Valley Institute of Fertility and Genetics and Janney Montgomery Scott LLC.

Gladstone Acquires Three Tower Bridge Office Bldg Conshohocken

Gladstone Commercial Corporation acquired Three Tower Bridge office building at 2 Ash St. in Conshohocken, PA for $15.45 million, or about $257 per square foot, from Oliver Tyrone Pulver.

The 60,000-square-foot property is currently leased for the next 8.5 years to Jacobs Engineering Group, a design and construction contractor that has occupied the building since it delivered in 1996.

UPS Purchases 595,000-SF Distribution Center in Carlisle

United Parcel Service (UPS) purchased its industrial building at 1 Ames Dr. in Carlisle, PA for $55 million, or about $92 per square foot, from Dermody Properties, Inc.

UPS had previously leased more than half of the building from Dermody.

The 595,000-square-foot facility was built in 2015 on 53.9 acres in the Harrisburg Area West Industrial submarket of Cumberland County, within the LogistiCenter at Carlisle business park. It features 59 loading docks and two drive-ins, 36-foot clear heights, a 135-foot truck court, industrial and surface parking, fluorescent lighting, 7-inch floors with a 4,000-lbs/sf load rating, 1,500-amp heavy power and 50x52-foot column spacing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CRE Middle Market Digest–The Northeast

by John Jordan,
PFM Asset Management has signed a 63,133-square-foot long-term lease at 213 Market St. in Harrisburg, PA. The company will be relocating from its current location at 100 Market St., where it has been operating for the past 20 years.

Built in 1989, the property is currently undergoing renovations and once completed, will be one of the most modern office spaces in the city of Harrisburg. PFM Asset Management’s more than 150 employees will occupy floors three through six and floor 14 in the new building. The company is expected to move into its new location by the end of this year.

The sale of three Pennsylvania shopping centers recently traded. The company reports that it successfully arranged for the sale of the Lower Makefield Shopping Center, a 74,953-square-foot property at 700 Stony Hill Road in Yardley, PA.

The seller, TriGate Capital, LLC was and the buyer was Inland Institutional during the transaction.

The sale comes roughly two and a half years after TriGate Capital purchased the Bucks County property from PDSI, an affiliate of Public Service Electric and Gas Co. of Newark, NJ, in a national portfolio of seven properties.

The sale of Town Square Plaza, a 215,610-square-foot power center located at 1100 Town Square Road in Pottstown, PA was also arranged.

The seller was Retail Properties of America. The buyer was Bluejay Management during the transaction. Town Square Plaza was 98% occupied during the time of sale.

Built in 2004, Town Square Plaza is anchored by a 134,574 square-foot Lowe’s Home Improvement warehouse, on a long-term ground lease. Additional national and credit retailers include: PetSmart, Michaels, Rite Aid, BB&T Bank, Mattress Firm, Hair Cuttery, LongHorn Steakhouse, AT&T and H&R Block.

The third shopping center deal was the sale of the 226,894-square-foot Midway Shopping Center at 1026 Wyoming Avenue in Wyoming, PA.

The seller was SIN Ventures, and the buyer was Endeavor Equities. The sale marks the fifth property  SIN Ventures has sold over the past two years to close out its retail fund.

Built in 1970 and renovated in 2000, the community retail center is currently 93% occupied and anchored by a 53,277-square-foot Price Chopper grocery store, a 64,000 square-foot Bon-Ton Department Store, Harbor Freight Tools, CVS Pharmacy and Dollar Tree.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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Lidl Grocery Leases Space in Proposed Turnersville Development

Lidl Grocery has leased 34,780 square feet in a proposed retail development at 3950 Black Horse Pike in Turnersville, NJ.

Ground breaking of this development is currently set for December 2017, with estimated completion in Summer 2018. There are still availabilities in the center for a second anchor, inline retail and pad sites.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Burlington Coat Factory Leases 43,091 SF in Red Rose Commons

Burlington Coat Factory signed a lease for 43,091 square feet in the office building at the Red Rose Commons Shopping Center at 1700 Fruitville Pike.

The shopping center in Lancaster, PA, totals 463,042 square feet. Goldenberg Development developed the property in 1998 and now provides leasing and property management for current owner Vereit, Inc. Other notable tenants include Barnes and Noble and Petsmart.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

5 Cap Realty Planning $1 Billion in Multifamily Acquisitions

A new national investment venture of 5 Cap Realty LLC has acquired two multifamily complexes for $60 million as part of its strategy to launch a multi-year national investment venture that could top $1 billion in assets under management.

Plymouth Meeting, PA-based 5 Cap Realty LLC and its affiliate RREIC Advisors has teamed with a private equity fund vehicle managed by JMP Asset Management LLC, an affiliate of publicly traded JMP Group LLC (NYSE:JMP), to focus on acquiring and operating value-add multifamily assets.

This new partnership has closed on its first two acquisitions: an apartment community in the Philadelphia metro area and another in greater Atlanta, with a total of 446 units, for a total cost of just under $60 million.

“This is a great opportunity at a pivotal time,” said David Reiner, RREIC Advisors’ managing director. “There are a lot of undermanaged assets in the marketplace. Our team has demonstrated throughout its history that we can identify these assets and reposition them with better management, marketing, and capital improvements.”

“Our plan is to build a billion-dollar multifamily investment platform. Over the next five years, we are targeting the acquisition of 10 properties per year, each with 200-300 units, focusing on the nation’s top 50-60 markets,” Reiner said.

The Philadelphia area acquisition, Summer Chase, is about 28 miles from Center City in Limerick, PA. The property has 198 units. The property was acquired for $36.3 million ($183,333 per unit) from Capri Capital Partners, an institutional seller. The new ownership plans to invest $2.5 million in renovations including kitchens, bathroom fixtures, and HVAC systems. Freddie Mac provided the debt financing.

The Georgia acquisition, Grove Mountain Park, is about 18 miles from downtown Atlanta, and was acquired for $21.6 million ($81,000 per unit). The venture plans to invest $3.15 million in renovations to common areas and individual residences. Debt financing was provided by Fannie Mae.

5 Cap affiliate Forty Two LLC (Forty2), a multifamily property management, development, and consulting firm, will manage all of the JV’s acquisitions. Forty2 managed Grove Mountain Park prior to the acquisition and is taking over management of Summer Chase.

RREIC is the founder and sponsor of the Delaware Valley Real Estate Investment Fund and co-sponsor of Develop-DC LP. DVREIF is an open-end commingled fund whose investors include eight of the largest Philadelphia building trades union pension funds. Through DVREIF, RREIC targets major value-added, development and redevelopment and projects with top-tier sponsors located throughout the Philadelphia area.

Develop-DC is a closed-end fund that is jointly sponsored by RREIC and Real Estate Capital Partners of New York City. Develop-DC is focused on new development projects in the greater Washington, DC area.

Capri Capital Partners Sells Summer Chase Apts for $36.3 Million

A partnership between a Pennsylvania-based real estate investment firm and a private-equity fund managed by JMP Group, Inc. announced the purchase of the Summer Chase Apartments in Limerick, PA, for $36.3 million, or about $183,333 per unit.

The partnership of Plymouth Meeting, PA-based RREIC Advisors, LLC and JMP acquired the 198-unit property at 100 Hunsberger Dr. from Capri Capital Partners, LLC.

The community was built in 1999 on about 15 acres and includes 26 buildings totaling 216,254 square feet. The new owners plan to spend $2.5 million on renovations of the kitchens, bathroom fixtures and HVAC systems. Occupancy was 95% at the time of sale.

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Lehigh Valley Capitalizes On Drive Time Between Eastern Population Centers

by Steve Lubetkin,
The Lehigh Valley market wasn’t always a big focus for industrial developers. In the 1970s and 1980s, when target sizes of warehouse projects were 100-200,000 square-foot properties, developers and logistics companies focused mainly on northern and central New Jersey.

“The metrics have changed with e-commerce. It really is about the eight hour drive time, getting to Boston, getting down to Richmond. When you draw the big circle with the current freight driver rules, the big circle gets you to roughly one third of the US population in a one-day drive.  Now logistics companies are really putting circles on the map as to where they can hit the population within that drive time.”

The logistics companies that began selecting Pennsylvania sites in the late 1990s are finding a better tax and employment environment. “They’re getting a better-priced, better quality employee on the Pennsylvania side of the market."

One advantage the Lehigh Valley maintains over northern New Jersey is a mix of both greenfield and brownfield sites, where most of the development in submarkets like the Meadowlands is being done on brownfield properties that may need expensive environmental remediation before redevelopment.

However, the intense interest in Lehigh Valley locations is driving up costs and making land more difficult to find, he says.

“There was an abundance of land 20 years ago, that is becoming more pinched, so people are coming up with pieces of ground that are a little further afield, and the price of the land has definitely escalated significantly,” he says. “In 1988 we were doing land deals around $35,000 an acre for improved ground, and today we’re between $175,000 and $255,000 an acre. But we are still below the per-acre costs of New Jersey.”

Although much of the development activity in the Valley is focused on industrial “big box” warehouses because of proximity to highways like I-78 (serving North Jersey and New York), Route 33 (running north from the Lehigh Valley to the Poconos region) and Route 100, which provides access to I-78. Class A retail development is also faring well in the region.

“Well-located retail sites are still doing well,” he says, although large retailers are also going through some dislocation and retrenchment as in the rest of the country.  Class A retail sites are running at 95 percent occupancy, while class B assets “have had a little more challenge,” and are being converted to different uses like medical office product.

The office market has had a slight uptick in downtown Allentown, mainly because of some tax incentives encouraging office relocation there.

“We’re not seeing employers laying off people, but we’re not seeing them take a lot of office space, especially in the suburban office market. Our net absorption is flat for office.”

Lehigh Valley investors need to plan for the eventual slowing of the big-box industrial market, which has been robust for more than a decade in the region.

“The number of square feet being absorbed are going to slow precipitously, because you can only fit so much product with so much consumerism in the whole country,” he says. “The Valley had historically absorbed a million and a half square feet of warehouse, but the last five to seven years, we’ve been absorbing four to eight million feet a year. That growth is unprecedented, and you have to be a little cautious and realistic that that growth is going to slow.”

One sector that hasn’t grown for some time in the Lehigh Valley is flex. This is mainly because rental rates are not high enough to justify construction costs,  but that seems to be changing.

“We’re slowly beginning to see the rental rates escalate enough that it will become more cost-effective to go back to building some of the flex buildings,” he says. “Now we’re seeing the rental rates for flex space exceed $6, up to even $7 and $8 triple-net, for warehouse flex space, that will allow the developers to go back to putting up 50,000 or 100,000 foot flex buildings.”

Thursday, June 15, 2017

PetSmart Leases 18,000 SF at Plaza 352 Mall Shopping Center

PetSmart has signed a lease for 18,000 square feet in the Plaza 352 Mall Shopping Center at 5005 Edgmont Ave. in Brookhaven, PA.

The shopping center totals 207,212 square feet and was built in 1956. Other tenants include Lowe’s and ShopRite.

Plymouth Packaging Leases 133,000 SF in Mechanicsburg

Plymouth Packaging signed a lease for 133,371 square feet of warehouse space at 53 Commerce Dr. in Mechanicsburg, PA.

Building Two was recently completed during the second quarter of 2017 and sits on 40 acres. The tenant is expected to take occupancy during the fourth quarter of this year.

Rubenstein, CS Capital Sell 263,000-SF Valley Creek Corp Ctr in Exton

Pembroke Hobson LLC and Ten Capital Management have acquired the three-building Valley Creek Corporate Center - Phase I office park at 220 - 224 Valley Creek Blvd. in Exton, PA for $45.3 million, or about $172 per square foot, from Rubenstein Partners LP and equity partner CS Capital Management, Inc.

Rubenstein developed the properties in 2002 with Philadelphia-based Wallace Roberts & Todd, architects.

Totaling 263,037 square feet, the buildings sits on 18.4 acres in the Exton / Whiteland submarket of Chester County, near the confluence of Routes 202 and 30 and the PA Turnpike, an hour northwest of downtown Philadelphia, and amid numerous hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, banks, daycares, health clubs and Exton Park, an adjacent 725-acre park with walking and biking trails, recreational fields, fishing ponds and plans for future equestrian space, golf and sports fields.

"This ‘best-in-class’ asset boasts an impressive mix of global corporate headquarters and credit worthy tenants and is situated in the Route 202 corridor, one of suburban Philadelphia’s most desirable locations."

Today the property is 95 percent leased to multiple tenants, with an average weighted lease term of 5.5 years.

The buyer financed the acquisition in-part with a new $34 million mortgage. Debt placement arranged the 10-year, fixed-rate loan at 4.3 percent on behalf of the borrower, placing the loan package with Barclays Capital.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Select Top Philadelphia Office Leases Signed in Q1 2017

The select top office lease signed during the first quarter of 2017 in the Philadelphia market was at 785 Arbor Way in the Plymouth Meeting / Blue Bell submarket. Cotiviti leased 86,621 square feet there.

The landlord at 1100 Virginia Dr. in the Ft. Washington submarket signed 76,475-square-foot lease .

Centene leased 68,846 square feet at 300 Corporate Center Dr. in the Harrisburg Area West submarket.

The GSA signed a 38,644-square-foot lease at 1601 Market Street in the Market Street West submarket.

Phillips & Cohen Associates renewed its lease for 34,000 square feet at 1000 Justison St. in the South New Castle County submarket.

This trend is compared to the U.S. National Office select largest lease signings occurring in Q1 2017, which include the 550,750-square-foot lease signed by Oracle at 2300 Cloud Way in the Austin, TX market, the 473,000-square-foot deal signed by the Federal Communications Commission at Sentinel Square III in the Washington DC market and the 395,279-square-foot lease signed by RBC Capital Markets at 200 Vesey St in the New York City market.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Industrial Market Opportunities (Video)

Chief Economist's View on the Industrial CRE Market (Video)

Philadelphia Trophy Apts. are Up For Sale, but is Anyone Buying?

Within the last six months, two of Philadelphia’s latest-and-greatest multifamily assets have been put up for sale, with reported price tags that are noteworthy (and potentially record-setting in one case.) But with a clear slowdown in multifamily sales activity playing out over the last several quarters, it remains to be seen if these trophy assets will fetch the dollars-per-door their sellers are looking to secure.

Southern Land Co. listed its 3601 Market at the outset of the second quarter and broker HFF is hoping to draw as much as $450,000/unit for the 363-unit, 5 Star asset located in the University City submarket. Asking rents at the time the property was listed ranged between $1,800 and $4,700 per month for apartments averaging between 427 and 1,543 square feet each.

Meanwhile Dalian Development, a family investment and development company based in Washington, D.C., put the 5 Star, 293-unit Dalian on the Park up for sale just months after it delivered in 2016. Reported price estimates of $180 million to $190 million would net an unprecedented $650,000/unit. The Dalian, 35% occupied entering June 2017, has some of the highest rents in the metro. Studios start at about $1,900/month while two-bedroom units of nearly 2,000 square feet ask as much as $7,250/month, although the building is offering one rent-free month in addition to reduced amenity and parking charges.

The Dalian sits atop a 90,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market (one of only two in the city), but the retail portion is owned separately and is not for sale.

Through the first five months of 2017, multifamily sales volume across the Philadelphia metro area has gotten a slow jump out of the gate, particularly after three consecutive years with more than $1 billion in total apartment sales. In 2015, the region set a new record when apartment sales volume topped $2.8 billion, nearly double the previous record high for the Philadelphia market of $1.5 billion set in 2007. 

In a year that may see the peak for new supply in this cycle, apartment sales volume through May 2017 is just over $165 million. Pricing is at cyclical, and likely record, highs through first quarter 2017 with an average price per unit of more than $100,000, well above the high point set in the previous cycle at just above $70,000 per unit. 

Transfer Tax Avoidance Law Weighing on Sales?

Most of the multifamily sales activity in Philadelphia occurs within Philadelphia County, and it is possible that recently passed transfer tax avoidance legislation is weighing on sales. The City Council voted in December 2016 to close certain legal loopholes that, according to analysis and reporting by The Philadelphia Inquirer, have cost the city tens of millions of dollars during this boom cycle. 

According to the Inquirer, few big-ticket property sales have included the full transfer tax of 4%. This includes 1% going to the State of Pennsylvania, and payment is commonly split evenly between buyer and seller. 

Several investors instead paid a levy based on the assessed value (as opposed to the sales price), or no tax at all or by having sellers retain a small ownership slice in what amounts to an entity sale versus a real estate transaction. The so-called 89-11 transaction method does not mandate that a deed be recorded. 

The new legislation changes the mandatory retention for a seller from 11% to 26% and the hold period from three years to six. Potentially even more impactful is the change of tax basis from the computed value to the actual consideration paid for the transferred interest. Despite Philadelphia recently reassessing its commercial properties (and implementing annual reviews), many properties are still likely to trade for well over their assessed values due to intensifying investor interest in core and core-plus investments in the city. Cap rates for the most highly sought after apartment properties are below 5%. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Commonwealth Leases 18,000 SF in Harrisburg

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania leased 17,500 square feet at One Penn Center at 2601 N. 3rd St. in Harrisburg, PA. Occupancy is scheduled for November.

One Penn Center is a five-story, 300,316-square-foot office building was constructed in 1925 in the Harrisburg Area East submarket.

Metropolitan Properties of America Secures $91M Financing for 100 York Apts

Metropolitan Properties of America secured a $91 million loan for its 100 York apartment complex at 100 Old York Rd. in Jenkintown, PA.

Brad Johnson, senior vice president with CBRE's debt and structured finance department in Philadelphia, PA arranged the financing on behalf of the borrower.

The 12-story, 500,000-square-foot multifamily complex features 588 units and was built in 1955 with a recent renovation completed in 2016. The financing was established to reposition the property and upgrade it to a class A asset. Located within Abington Twp approximately 10 miles north of Center City, the asset features tennis courts, outdoor swimming pool, amenity center with fitness center and yoga studio, cardio room, billiards and game rooms, business center, theater and resident lounge.

"This transaction provides us with the opportunity to expand our lending portfolio in the Philadelphia area and establish a lending relationship with Metropolitan Properties of America, a sponsor with significant multifamily experience throughout the nation," said Michael Lavipour, principal with Square Mile. "After the recent renovations, 100 York is very well-positioned to take advantage of positive market fundamentals as the most newly-renovated and highly-amenitized product within the immediate area."

West Hills Business Center Bldg E Nears Completion

Hillwood Development Company will deliver this month on Building E in the West Hills Business Center located on West Hills Ct. in Fogelsville, PA.

Hillwood broke ground on the property in August of 2016. The building totals 413,750 square feet and comes equipped with 94 loading docks and two drive-in doors, 124 trailer parking spots and 211 additional surface parking spots. The West Hills Business Center is made up of five other industrial buildings with several available for lease, while Bldg E is fully leased.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Full Circle Training Leases Space at South Mall

Full Circle Training, a fitness center, has signed a lease for 20,000 square feet in the South Mall at 3300 Lehigh St. in Allentown, PA.

The single-story enclosed retail mall totals 405,205 square feet. It was built in 1975 and renovated again in 1992. Other notable tenants there include Bon-Ton, Staples, Petco and Ross.

The landlord is Nicholas Parks Mall LLC.

Ace Hardware Leasing A Million Square Feet In Fredericksburg, PA

by Steve Lubetkin,
Ace Hardware is leasing nearly 1.1 million square feet at the Lebanon Valley Distribution Center, 139 Fredericksburg Road, Fredericksburg, Lebanon County, PA.

This involves a new 1,080,421 square-foot cross-dock, 36’ clear distribution facility. The existing 874,126 square-foot facility is to be expanded by 225,875 square feet and delivered to Ace Hardware for occupancy by year end 2017.

The property is owned by USAA Real Estate Co. and is being developed by the Trammell Crow Company.

Ace Hardware executives were looking to locate a suitable class-A consolidation facility to serve Ace Hardware stores located throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic US. The Lebanon Valley Distribution Center property was chosen over several other options because of its site and building design, expansion capability, and access to I-78 and I-81.

Ace Hardware was given LERTA tax benefits.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Keystone Property Group Gets Approval For Massive Conshohocken Project

Matthew Rothstein, Bisnow

Keystone Property Group has received zoning approval for an ambitious project in Conshohocken.

Situated next to the Conshohocken SEPTA train station, SORA West would be a multifaceted development, including a 250K SF office building and a 171-room hotel surrounding a public plaza and gathering space. Both the office and hotel buildings have retail and dining components planned, and the historic Conshohocken Firehouse, which also would abut the plaza, would be renovated into a brewpub. Keystone also plans for a 950-space parking structure to support the hotel and office buildings, with an additional 150 free public spaces somewhere in the project to support the surrounding downtown and the plaza. Keystone Property Group, which is headquartered at SORA East across the street, is looking for an anchor tenant for the office component, as well as a partner in the hotel project. It also still requires additional development permits, and is mulling an additional residential component to the project.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Developer Stephen Ross on the Hudson Yards Project & Overall CRE (Video)

Conshohocken Brewing Company to Expand into Delaware and Chester Counties

The Havertown location will take over the space on the corner of Darby Road and Benedict Avenue which used to be home to Nais Cuisine. This will make it neighbors with the popular Brick & Brew Gastropub which is located just a block down the street.
The company will face similar competition at its planned location in Phoenixville. Here it will take over the space previously occupied by the Heidi Sue Variety store on the Bridge Street business corridor which is already home to the popular Crowded Castle Brewing Company.
No opening date for either new location has yet been set. However, the company stated on its Facebook page that the two new locations will open sometime later this year and that each will feature a unique concept.
“Pretty excited to confirm that we are opening two new spots later this year- in Havertown and Phoenixville. Each location will have a different concept and feel and we couldn’t be more excited to join both neighborhoods!“

Commercial Real Estate Lending Trends (Video) Part 2

Commercial Real Estate Lending Trends (Video) Part 1

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Developers seize on Philadelphia where inventory is tight

Natalie Kostelni Reporter Philadelphia Business Journal
While there’s an increasing weariness that the multifamily rental market in Philadelphia is becoming overbuilt, developers such as David Perlman are finding a lack of inventory has made their bets on new for-sale projects less of a risk.

Perlman is moving forward with a new 43-unit residential development at 600 N. 5th St. in Northern Liberties and he’s confident the townhouses will sell. “We just completed 25 units across the street,” he said. “That took us two years to sell and that’s about a fair pace.”

Real estate agents have been bemoaning about the lack of inventory throughout the city and suburbs. In Philadelphia, the first quarter proved to be unusually strong despite what is typically viewed as a slow time of year because of the weather.

“Home sales volume in the first quarter was also both exceptionally and unusually strong,” according to a report by Drexel Unviersity’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation. The report later said that the activity was “exceptional because it was the strongest first quarter since 2007 and unusual because home sales activity typically declines from the fourth to the first quarter, due to the holidays and winter weathe … A likely driver of this seasonally uncharacteristic price appreciation is the very low level of current inventories.” Nationally, inventory has become an issue as well. Single-family housing starts rose to 835,000 in April, which is half a previous peak of 1.72 million in 2005.

“We’ve hit a point where there is so little inventory real estate agents are throwing out ridiculous numbers and getting them,” said Ori Feibush of OCF Realty, which builds houses in several Philadelphia neighborhoods including Point Breeze, Graduate Hospital and Old City. “You have two-and-a-half months of inventory, which is an incredibly unhealthy supply. I foresee that will continue.”

There are several factors influencing the lack of supply. A nearly 10-year focus on the multifamily rental market, what can be a lengthy approval process and an increased desire to live in Philadelphia have contributed to limiting how much new housing has hit the market. There are also signs that millennials, who have all but shunned buying a house over renting, are starting to come into the market to buy.

Full story:

3601 Market Street Apts Hits the Market

Southern Land Company, a residential developer, has put to market for sale its 363-unit apartment building at 3601 Market St. in Philadelphia, PA to prospective buyers.

The property is being listed without an asking price.

The 28-story, 443,000-square-foot multifamily property was built in August 2015 on nine-tenths of an acre in the University City MF submarket of Philadelphia County.

The LEED Silver-certified tower features 26,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space home to Jimmy Johns and Dunking Donuts beneath a mix of studios, efficiencies, one- and two-bedroom apartments and penthouses, seven elevators, concierge, business center, game room, fitness center, swimming pool, 200-stall parking garage and on-site management. The asset was 32 percent vacant at the time of sale, and asking rents range between $1,800 and $4,700 per month for apartments averaging between 427 and 1,543 square feet each.

Frank Theatres Cinebowl & Grille Preleases 68,000-SF at Granite Run

Frank Theatres Cinebowl & Grille has signed a lease deal to anchor the in-development Promenade at Granite Run shopping center expansion at 1067 W. Baltimore Pike in Media, PA.

The theater experience will open a new 68,115-square-foot location, its fourth in the state. The retailer, with locations along the southeast, provides a host of attractions ranging from movies, bowling, arcade games, and a bar and grill.

The Promenade at Granite Run lifestyle center originally delivered on 56 acres in 1974 and is currently undergoing an expansion which broke ground earlier this year and will total 886,585 square feet when it delivers to the Delaware County submarket of Philadelphia in the first quarter of 2018.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

PREIT Puts Two More Malls Up for Sale

Philadelphia-based PREIT (NYSE: PEI) announced plans to sell two more of its regional malls after receiving unsolicited inquiries from potential buyers.

PREIT said it will pursue the sale of its 900,000-square-foot Logan Valley Mall in Altoona, PA, and the 600,000-square-foot Valley View Mall in LaCrosse, WI.

The REIT did not reveal the identities of the potential buyers or an expected sales timeline, but said any proceeds from the dispositions would be used to fund its redevelopment pipeline.

"PREIT has a demonstrated record of transforming and revitalizing the traditional mall model to capitalize on new opportunities and evolving trends in the market," said Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT. "To date, we have successfully sold 16 lower-productivity malls as part of our non-core property disposition program. With these additional dispositions, we are taking further action to strengthen our portfolio amid a challenging retail climate."

PREIT recently announced that midwest department store Herberger's would be relocating and expanding at Valley View Mall to fill Macy's former location. Owned by The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., Herberger's will move from its current 42,000-square-foot to the 100,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Macy's. The move is expected in October 2017.

However, Logan Valley is PREIT's worst-performing property and Valley View ranks as its eighth-worst among the REIT's 22 remaining malls on a sales-per-square-foot basis, according to PRET's most recent quarterly financial disclosure. PREIT said selling the malls is expected to boost its portfolio’s sales by $10 per square foot.

Since initiating a major disposition strategy to prune low-sales properties and focus on its best-performing centers beginning in 2013, PREIT has netted about $730 million from selling 16 of its properties.

PREIT has also focused on revamping its tenant mix, adding more dining, exercise and entertainment options to appeal to changing shopper patterns.

"The historic view of the mall, heavily reliant on apparel and traditional retail, has expired and a new model is rising," said CEO Coradino. "Dining, entertainment and experiential concepts represent the mall of the future."

In recent leasing activity, PREIT leased 28,000 square feet to Dave & Buster's in its Capital City Mall in Harrisburg, PA. At Plymouth Meeting Mall near Philadelphia, PREIT signed a new tenant called 5 Wits, which offers live-action entertainment experience that immerses guests in realistic situations that includes hands-on challenges and requires teamwork," according to a description. The 14,000-square-foot space will be across from the mall's Legoland Discovery Center. PREIT also recently signed indoor cycling firm Cyclebar at its Plymouth Meeting center, offering what it describes as "high-energy workouts in a concert-like atmosphere."

"As the retail format lines continue to blur, we are capitalizing on owning quality properties in the best locations in their markets, capturing a wide variety of tenant interest," Coradino added. "At the same time, we are systematically reducing exposure to select department stores, driving increased net operating income and enhancing the consumer experience, thereby creating long term shareholder value and driving NAV."

Coradino said the REIT will also continue to engage in discussions with third parties as its looks to optimize its mall portfolio and increase shareholder value.

Private Equity Firms Sell Fort Washington Hilton Garden Inn

by Steve Lubetkin,
Ethika Investments, a real estate private equity firm says one of its investment funds has sold its interest in the Hilton Garden Inn Philadelphia/Ft. Washington hotel for $22.5 million. The buyer was not disclosed.

Acquired by Ethika in 2013 with fund sponsor Laurus Corp., the investors say they spent $2.5 million targeted renovation to public spaces and guest rooms, selection of a new management company, focused efforts to raise RevPAR, and strategic marketing bringing up guest satisfaction – winning Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2013, 2014, 2015 and Aimbridge Hospitality’s Presidential Award for RevPAR Growth 2013, 2014, 2015. Laurus says the property achieved a 20.1 percent gross IRR and 1.9x gross equity multiple in under four years.

“This successful disposition underscores our strategy of investing in ideally located value-add assets in dynamic and flourishing markets around the US,” says Austin Khan, chief investment officer of Ethika Investments. “Through a diligent application of the value-add strategy by our affiliate, Laurus Corp., this hotel moved from an opportunistic investment to stabilization and sale to a core investor.”

Ethika and Laurus acquired the 146-key property in 2013 for a reported $16.4 million, according to Real Capital Analytics, a proprietary research database.

“The successful sale of this hotel, the second disposition for Laurus-sponsored assets within the past two weeks, continues to highlight our consistent ability to source, execute and monetize on opportunistic and value added real estate investments,” says Andres Szita, Laurus chairman.  “As always, we carefully evaluate each project and define a custom strategy for each property, aiming at delivering the best possible risk-adjusted outcomes.”

Weakening demand in commercial real estate? (Video)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Pharmaceutical Research Company Renews 28,000-SF Lease in DE

Incyte, a pharmaceutical research company, has renewed its lease for 28,460 square feet at the 2200 Concord Pike building at 2200 Concord Pike in Wilmington, DE.

Incyte occupies space on the ninth and 10th floors in the building it has called home since 2014. Founded in 2002, Incyte now employs more than 900 people across the U.S. and Europe.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Keystone, Argosy Sell Devon Square Offices

Westover Companies purchased the office buildings at 724 and 744 W. Lancaster Ave. in Wayne, PA from Keystone Property Group and Argosy Real Estate for $33.5 million, or about $245 per square foot.

The two buildings total 136,493 square feet on two floors and were built in 1984 and renovated in 2005. Devon Square was designed by Architectural Concepts PC and developed by Keystone Property Group.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

CBRE Global Investors Acquire King Of Prussia Town Center

JBG Rosenfeld Retail Properties sold the open-air shopping center at 131 Town Center Rd. in King of Prussia, PA to a fund led by CBRE Global Investors. 

The newly-constructed, 263,423-square-foot retail center was 87 percent leased at the time of sale and features a walkable urban design combining a mix of necessity and experiential retailers in a town-center setup. The property is shadow-anchored by a Wegmans grocery store and is located in the King of Prussia / Wayne submarket of Montgomery County. 

"King of Prussia Town Center is a one-stop shopping and dining destination located on the border of Pennsylvania’s wealthiest counties, serving some of the nation’s most affluent and well-educated populations," said Kim Hourihan, portfolio manager with CBRE Global Investors on the submarket's average household income of more than $130,000. "The combination of attractive demographics and exceptional accessibility makes the property the ideal location for retailers and restaurants alike. As e-commerce has disrupted traditional retailers, necessity retail and destination restaurants drive daily traffic, enhance the shopping experience and offer protection against e-commerce risks affecting other retailers." 

The property is part of a 122-acre, master-planned, mixed-use development. The center was JBG's only development in suburban Philadelphia, and its sale marks the firm's effective exit from the region.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tips for Commercial Property Owners - EY's Global Real Estate Market Outlook (Video)

Sam Zell: I wouldn't let those virtual office guys near my business (Video)

DaVita Signs 16,000-SF Lease in Malvern

Healthcare provider DaVita, Inc. has leased 15,991 square feet of office space at 2476 Swedesford Rd. in Malvern, PA.

The 276,736-square foot office building was constructed in 1968 within the Great Valley Commerce Center located in the Exton/Whitelands submarket of Chester County.

Ace Hardware Signs Two Bldg Industrial Lease Totaling 1.1M SF

Ace Hardware has signed a 1.1 million-square-foot industrial lease at 139 Fredericksburg Rd. in Fredericksburg, PA.

The lease deal encompasses a full-building deal at an existing distribution facility totaling 874,126 square feet and a 225,875-square-foot proposed expansion building that is expected to break ground this summer with an anticipated delivery date in early 2018.

USAA Real Estate Company owns the 90-acre lot, located near I-78 and I-81, within the Lebanon Valley Distribution Center. Reportedly, Ace Hardware will not take occupancy of the existing space until the expansion building is completed.

The existing building delivered in May 2016 in the Lebanon County Industrial submarket of Philadelphia and features abundant surface and trailer parking, ESFR sprinkler, 123 loading docks and two drive-ins in a cross-dock design, 36-foot clear heights and 48x56-foot column spacing.

Supply, Affordability Issues Pressuring Apt. Rent Growth in Downtown Philadelphia

The stark contrast in recent apartment rent growth between the city and suburbs is notable. A majority of the new supply has been built in and around Philly’s CBD, and rents have been flat or even retreating the last few quarters in the downtown Center City and Art Museum/Northern Liberties submarkets. Even buzzworthy apartment-renting hot spots such as University City have seen slow to no rent growth, and new units are still coming.

Meanwhile, the major suburban apartment submarkets such as Conshohocken, Cherry Hill/Haddonfield and Main Line have seen the party continue with rent gains averaging closer to 4% or 5% year over year.

A lot of this is attributable to new supply pressure, but affordability is also a factor. There are only so many renters who can or will pony up for a $2,000-per month, one-bedroom unit in Center City. Similar amenities in nearby buildings that have access to public transportation and a rent bill that’s several hundred dollars less per month can be pretty compelling.

Sky Isn’t Falling on Center City Apt. Leasing Managers Just Yet

While the slowdown in rent growth is obvious, apartment assets in downtown Philly still have a lot going for them-and the biggest selling point is the city itself. I can’t tell you if an infiniti pool in Newtown Square is better than an infiniti pool in Rittenhouse Square, but I know which one is a few steps away from premier shopping, restaurants and more nightlife than just about every suburb in Philadelphia combined can offer.

This isn’t a value judgement on one or the other, by the way. Just an observation that you can’t replicate the city as an amenity, even in the most walkable town-center environment. Oh, and having the Comcast Technology Center and it’s thousands of well-paid employees commuting to your neck of the wood in less than a year is also pretty good consolation.

Compelling Multifamily Stories Emerging Outside Pennsylvania Portion of This Metro

There are two fascinating reclamation projects happening within the boundaries of the Philadelphia metro area, both are in nearby Delaware.

The city of Camden’s revival has received national attention because of all the tax incentives the state has offered to corporations to locate there. But the city needs population growth and the reclamation of the Camden waterfront could go a long way in that pursuit. Crime is down, tech startups are seeing a potential home base for their businesses and employees, and Camden could benefit from the urban pioneering spirit that many younger Philadelphians have.

Further south, Wilmington is undergoing a similar rebirth. Crime destroyed the city’s reputation and still plagues parts of it. For the longest time, there were very few viable rental housing options for employees at JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, DowDuPont and others.

Much of Wilmington’s comeback story is being written by the Buccini/Pollin Group, which has made a goal of facilitating the addition of 5,000 new residents to Wilmington by 2020, where the company is based. Their principals are from the city and they have a genuine desire to see not just their projects succeed but their city as well.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lehigh Valley Health Network Signs Leases at Three City Center

Lehigh Valley Health Network has signed leases totaling 82,000 square feet at the Three City Center building at 515 W. Hamilton St. in Allentown, PA.

The 210,000-square-foot office building is just two years young. The construction on the building was completed in May of 2015. Lehigh Valley Health Network will occupy space on the second, third and fourth floors of the building, taking 54,634 square feet in September 2017 and expanding into an additional 27,317 square feet in June 2018.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Kimco Realty CEO: Retail getting painted with broad brush (Video)

High Street Raises $350 Million for Core-Plus Industrial Fund

High Street Realty Co. held final close on its High Street Real Estate Fund V reaching total equity commitments of $353 million.

Utilizing leverage of 50%, Fund V will seek to acquire $700 million of assets in its target markets.

San Francisco-based High Street Realty formed the fund to continue acquiring smaller warehouse distribution assets in the eastern two-thirds of the US, with a specific focus on Class A and B infill properties fulfilling regional and “last mile” logistics requirements.

Fund V will target primary distribution markets, including Chicago, Northern New Jersey, Central Pennsylvania, Atlanta, Florida and Texas.

The fund attracted capital from existing investors and several new top-tier, institutional investor relationships. Investors include insurance companies, public and corporate pension funds, foundations and other institutional investors from Europe.

To date, Fund V has acquired 19 assets that, in aggregate, represent approximately 34% of its total commitments.

Its most recent purchase occurred in March when it acquired three industrial properties in Morrow, GA, as part of the Southlake Distribution Centers from UBS Realty Investors LLC for $31.45 million, approximately $39 per square foot. Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co. provided $16.25 million in purchase financing.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

DuPont Building Set for Major Overhual

The purchase of the DuPont Building and Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, DE has finalized, with the city’s most active developer - The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) - announcing its purchase from chemical company Chemours last week.

The DuPont spinoff has reportedly signed a 17-year leaseback of approximately 260,000 square feet at the property, which it acquired as part of its detachment from DuPont back in 2015.
While the price tag always matters, perhaps a more important number is $175 million - the projected price tag for BPG’s conversion of the outdated mixed-use asset into a defining centerpiece for the downtown’s ongoing transformation.

"The purchase of the DuPont Building and its assets couldn’t make any more sense to us right now," said Chris Buccini, co-president of The Buccini/Pollin Group. "There is no better way to coalesce our long-running vision for a vibrant downtown where people come together to live, work and play, than to take on the DuPont Building and re-envision it as a modern version of what it has always been, a lifestyle center for the City of Wilmington."

The Wilmington-based developer has been driving an effort there for the better part of two decades, and the DuPont Building deal aligns closely with the joint effort between BPG and the City of Wilmington to add 5,000 new residents to the area between 2015 and 2020. The renovation plans include gutting the existing office space and apportioning some of it for 180 apartment units. While the unit mix and asking rents haven’t been finalized, BPG has said that it expects rents to come in around $2/SF. This is in the range of the higher-end Residences brand that BPG has developed around the city.

The first phase of renovations is expected to take up to 18 months, and Chemours will reportedly take over temporary space in the Nemours Building next door until its open floor plan space located on floors four through 13 is available.

The remaining space, which could fit up to four tenants according to BPG, will be up for grabs in a submarket defined by elevated vacancy in that sector. According to recent data from CoStar Market Analytics, almost 15 percent of the 4 & 5-Star spaces in the Wilmington CBD submarket were unoccupied at the time of this trade. Less than 1 million square feet of office space has delivered here since 2000, and only one building over 100,000 square feet (the 160,000-square-foot AAA Building on River Place, fully leased) was over 90 percent occupied as of Q2-17.

In addition to the office component, the property will see overhauls of its hotel, retail and lobby spaces. Playing to the live-work-play concept dominating most major cities these days, the 40,000-square-foot retail plans involve 10,000 square feet dedicated to a planned food hall. The idea is to make both the office and apartments part of an 18-hour urban hot spot.

OMEGA CRE donates $5,100 o/b/o PennFleet to the B-Strong Foundation

Do Well by Doing Good  - OMEGA Commercial Real Estate, Inc.

The Story: 
 Joe O’Donnell of OMEGA Commercial Real Estate, Inc. and Jim Kolea of PennFleet began looking for a building for PennFleet many years ago. PennFleet had a unique requirement of certain size industrial building but with extra land for parking commercial vehicles. As Jim and Joe got to work together, Jim told Joe about a charity that was started by one of his employees and close to his heart as a cause.  That charity was the B-Strong Foundation. Joe agreed to donate a portion of his commission should Jim ever find a building to purchase. After many years of searching they finally located 591 Meetinghouse Road, Marcus Hook, PA. PennFleet settled on the property and recently relocated. Today PennFleet continues to thrive and hit new sales highs in their larger and more modern facility helps them to accomplish.

Jim Kolea, Tracy Ehleben & Joe O’Donnell

B-Strong Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, who provides meals, gifts and financial help to families whose children are diagnosed with cancer. Our families reside in the Delaware Valley area and we encourage them to Be Strong, Be Brave and BEAT cancer.

OMEGA Commercial Real Estate, Inc. is a full service real estate company specializing in corporate tenant/buyer representation, landlord/seller representation, project leasing and investment sales for Montgomery, Chester Counties and surrounding Philadelphia areas. @OmegaRE or

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How Trump's tax reform could save commercial real estate (Video)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Chester County’s commercial real estate sizzles

By Brian McCullough, Daily Local News
While the residential real estate market has rebounded from the last recession at a slow, uneven pace, Chester County’s commercial and industrial real estate markets have been going strong for a while, according to those in the business.

Leaders in the industry met at the Chester Valley Golf Club on Thursday to recognize those responsible for the top transactions of the last year and to hear from a Texas economist who gave an upbeat assessment of the national market.

“I would say it’s at least five years that we’ve been back from the recession,” said Adam Cathers, new president of the Chester County Commercial Industrial Investment Council, or CII Council, which put on Thursday’s event. “There’s a lot of both redevelopment within the boroughs and new corporate facilities. It’s been a nice mix of re-use and new.”

The CII Council was started as an informal networking group in the late 1980s and officially incorporated in 1994.

It now has 200 members – commercial and industrial developers, title companies, bankers, attorneys, real estate agents and others involved in commercial development.

“We do business everyday face to face,” said MaryFrances McGarrity of the CII Council. “We refer one another ... it’s a strong group that really enjoys doing business in Chester County.

The following recognitions were given by the group on Thursday:

• Best Collaboration of CII Members: Charlene Tucker of Interland Real Estate and Phil Earley and JoAnn West of Lieberman Earley & Co., and Bruce West of Manito Abstract Co., who worked together to bring about the sale of 782 Springdale Drive in Exton, a 42,000-square-foot Class A office building on 3.9 acres, for $3.5 million.

• Most Significant Land Sale - Adam Knox of Geis Realty Group for the sale of 1295 Ward Avenue in West Chester, an 8.3-acre parcel with a total value of $1.9 million.

• Most Significant Portfolio Sale - Jim Dugan of Neward Grubb Knight Frank for 412, 435, 436, 440 and 457 Creamery Way in Exton. The portfolio contained a total of 267,055 square feet of flex space and true office with a total value of $31.6 million. Taylor Young received special mention for representing the seller, Hayden Properties, on the transaction.

• Most Significant Flex Sale - Jim Lees of Swope Lees Commercial Real Estate for the sale of 901 S. Bolmar Street in West Chester, total of 89,920 square feet with a value of $8.7 million.

• Most Significant Flex Lease - Jack Purcell of the Hankin Group for leasing 260 Sierra Drive in Exton with a total of 41,557 square feet and a lease value of $14.1 million. Ed Hollin of Riley Riper Hollin & Colagreco represented the landlord.

• Most Significant Industrial Lease - Eric Stretch of First Liberty Partners for 231 W. Stewart Huston Drive in Coatesville, a 35,000-square-foot property with a total lease value of $1.3 million.

• Most Significant Industrial Sale - Eric Stretch of First Liberty Partners for the sale of 3172 Lower Valley Road in Parkesburg, which is the new location for Victory Brewing, a total of 212,000 square feet and a total value of $10.8 million.

• Most Significant Retail Lease - Nicole Lyddane and Chuck Swope of Swope Lees Commercial Real Estate for leasing Univest a total of 5,515 square feet high visibility space at 200 North High Street in West Chester. The lease had a $2.1 million value. Duie Latta of the Clarion law firm also worked on the transaction.

• Most Significant Office Lease - Cat Bianco of Workspace Property Trust for leasing 1400 Liberty Ridge in Wayne, a total of 104,818 square feet and a lease value of $14.3 million. Jim Dugan was given an honorable mention for his lease for 52 East Swedesford Road. The 21,008-square-foot building had a total lease value of $6 million.

• Most Significant Office Sale - Kevin Flynn of The Flynn Co. for 748,835 and 855 Springdale Drive, which had an aggregate of 118,000 square feet and a total value of $16 million. Taylor Young, who worked on the transaction, received an honorable mention.

The event’s keynote speaker, Mark Dotzour, an independent economist who served for 18 years as chief economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University in College Station, said the American commercial real estate market remains the envy of the world and produces better returns than the stock and bond markets as well as hedge funds. Don’t believe doom and gloom media reports, he advised.

“Our economy is the strongest on earth – period,” he said. “Everybody wants to invest here.”

Institutional and foreign investors will continue to snap up American real estate due to those higher returns, said Dotzour, who acknowledged that as an economist he could be wrong “about 50 percent of the time ... I’m due for a big miss.”

“It will end when commercial real estate has a viable alternative” Dotzour said of the market’s attractiveness to large investors.
Full story:

Philadelphia's Office Vacancy Decreases to 8.7%

The Philadelphia Office market ended the first quarter 2017 with a vacancy rate of 8.7%.

The vacancy rate was down over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 173,096 square feet in the first quarter. That compares to positive 1,080,044 square feet in the fourth quarter 2016. Vacant sublease space increased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 1,112,547 square feet.

The Class-A office market recorded net absorption of negative 588,125 square feet in the first quarter 2017, while net absorption for Philadelphia's central business district was negative 4,710 square feet.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2017 include: Ashfield Healthcare moving into 82,000 square feet at 1100 Virginia Dr; WeWork moving into 55,238 square feet at 1900 Market Street; and Holy Redeemer Health System moving into 36,000 square feet at 201 Veterans Way.

Rental rates ended the first quarter at $22.68, an increase over the previous quarter.

A total of six buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 214,556 square feet, with 4,398,979 square feet still under construction at the end of the quarter.

This trend is compared to the U.S. National Office vacancy rate, which stayed at 9.7%, relatively unchanged from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 10.78 million square feet in the first quarter. Average rental rates increased to $24.44, and 339 office buildings delivered this quarter totaling more than 21.29 million square feet, with 154.4 million square feet still under construction.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Capital One Leases 330,000 SF in Wilmington Consolidation

Financial services corporation Capital One has signed a new 10-year lease for 174,000 square feet in the office building at 800 Delaware Ave. in Wilmington, DE and renewed its current space at the adjacent 802 Delaware Ave. through 2027.

The company, which recently acquired Wilmington, DE-based financial services companies HSBC and INGDirect, will consolidate offices from several area buildings as its new space is renovated and built out.

800 Delaware is a 10-story, 277,899-square-foot, 4-Star office building in the Wilmington CBD submarket while the adjacent 802 Delaware building totals 240,780 square feet of 4-Star office space over 14 floors. DelleDonne & Associates developed the 800 building in 1994 and renovated it in 2007. Other tenants there include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware and Heckler & Frabizzio.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

O'Neill Property Group has GSK campus in Upper Merion under agreement

by Natalie Kostelnie, Staff writer Philadelphia Business Journal

O’Neill Properties Group has put GlaxoSmithKline’s “West Campus” in Upper Merion, Pa., under agreement, according to sources. And, if a deal is completed, it will for the first time in three decades free up the property to be marketed to multiple tenants.

The property at 709 Swedeland Road consists of 43 buildings totaling about 2.2 million square feet of office, lab and warehouse space. In 2014, GSK announced it planned to sell its West Campus and lease back a portion of the site that consisted of its sterile clinical manufacturing pilot plant.

Frances DeFranco, a GSK spokeswoman, declined to comment on whether the sprawling campus was under agreement. A representative from O’Neill Properties also declined comment.

Undertaking the repositioning of 2 million square feet of space would be a daunting task for any developer. There is demand for lab space in the region, which has an abundance of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies. Such specialized space is expensive to build and fit out. In light of that, its ready-made, move-in condition might be appealing to prospective tenants.

There is also demand for office space. Large blocks of well-located office space in the suburbs is becoming scarcer and may present O’Neill Properties or any buyer with an opportunity to renovate the space and create an amenity-rich environment that would appeal to tenants.

O’Neill has completed office and multifamily projects throughout the region but is familiar with the area where the GSK property is located. The real estate company developed projects in Conshohocken, Pa., and maintains its headquarters off Renaissance Boulevard, just a stones throw away from the GSK campus.
Full story:

Is this a good time to sell my CRE property? (Video)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Amazon Adding Three More NJ Fulfillment Centers

by Steve Lubetkin,
CRANBURY, EDISON, AND LOGAN TOWNSHIP, NJ— will open three additional fulfillment centers in New Jersey, at sites in Cranbury Township, Edison and Logan Township that the online retailer says will create more than 2,500 new, full-time jobs.

Since Amazon launched operations in New Jersey in 2012, the company has grown its fulfillment workforce in the state to 13,000-plus full-time employees across seven existing facilities in Avenel, Carteret, Florence, Logan Township and Robbinsville.

“Our ability to expand in New Jersey is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce,” says Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North American Operations. “We are excited to continue growing by creating an additional 2,500 full-time roles at new fulfillment centers across the state.”

Amazon employees at the more than 900,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Cranbury Township and the one-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Logan Township will pick, pack and ship larger customer items such as music equipment, sports gear, and patio furniture. The 900,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Edison will handle smaller customer items such as books, toys and kitchenware.

“We applaud Amazon for investing in several expansions throughout New Jersey and for creating greater opportunities for our high-quality workforce,” says New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Friedman Group Acquires, Renovating Phoenixville Apartment Complex

by Steve Lubetkin,
Breckenridge Plaza, a 92-unit garden apartment community with 48 two-bedroom apartments, 40 one-bedroom apartments and 4 studio apartments located on Nutt Road in Phoenixville, PA, has been acquired by an affiliate of Friedman Realty Group for $8.7 million.

Friedman specializes in revitalizing apartment communities, shopping centers and office buildings.

Major renovations underway on the property will help reposition the property with a new name—Phoenix View Apartments—and Friedman also plans to capitalize on the economic revitalization initiative that has attracted large developers for multifamily, class-A properties in and around Phoenixville.

“The property had all the hallmarks of the type of property we like,” Brian K. Friedman, president of FRG. The property had been overlooked for years by the previous owner.  Rents fell well below the market and vacancies rose to 42 percent. Yet it had terrific bones with a garden setting and brick exterior, providing us with an opportunity to significantly enhance the property’s curb appeal. With 40 years of expertise restoring class-B apartment communities, we will turn Phoenix View Apartments into one of the most sought after multifamily addresses in Phoenixville.”

Exterior improvements include new building entryways and common area designs, gable roof siding replacement, apartment deck and balcony replacements, decorative window shutters plus updated lighting, landscaping and signage.

“The repositioning of the exterior amenities, including the former in-ground pool, is just another fresh start for Phoenix View Apartments,” says Friedman.  The apartments will also benefit from new energy efficient windows and sliding glass doors.

Apartment interiors will receive new plank hardwood flooring throughout the living and dining areas with new carpeting in bedrooms, new kitchens with updated cabinetry, stainless steel appliances (including built-in dishwashers and microwaves), quartz countertops and subway tile backsplashes.  Additionally, the kitchen layouts will be re-designed from their current footprint to provide for a more open and modern look.  Bathrooms will be gutted and everything will be replaced, such as new floor and wall tile with upgraded vanities, light fixtures and plumbing fixtures.  All apartments will also include individual stackable washers and dryers within the unit.

The property’s prior ownership had not invested any capital for major or minor renovations and upgrades, except for adding newer roofs and parking lots, all of which were required by the Borough of Phoenixville to address previous multiple code violations.  Inside the units, everything from the HVAC systems to kitchen cabinets and appliances to the bathrooms were original and in poor condition.  With a deteriorated look, inside and out, the property’s marketability stagnated and suffered, with vacancies rising to 42 percent at the time FRG purchased the property.

“This is a complete gut job,” says David B. Friedman, CPM, owner and vice president of FRG.  “It’s going to be an enormous effort to renovate and restore this property, but this is what we do.  We convert under-managed garden style apartments into modern, contemporary communities with state-of-the-art amenities that can compete with new construction.”

Built around 1970, the property consists of five two-and-a-half-story brick on block buildings with pitched roofs constructed on a three-acre parcel.  The property sits atop of a hill at the busy intersection of Nutt Road and Bridge Street and is within one-half mile from downtown Phoenixville and the township’s Borough Hall.

“The growth of Phoenixville has been tremendous,” says David B. Friedman. “A number of high-profile multifamily projects are coming out of the ground led by developers who have been attracted to Phoenixville’s economic revitalization. The growth shows no signs of waning; renters are exhibiting strong interest in suburban settings with access to downtown shopping and dining destinations.  We believe Phoenix View Apartments fills an important niche in the sub-market by providing beautifully renovated apartments at competitive, affordable rents.”

Phoenix View Apartments is close to major highways such as Route 422, I-76 and provides convenient commuter access to Pennsylvania routes.  Within 10 miles is the King of Prussia Mall, one of the largest retail shopping centers in the country, as well as major regional employers such as The Vanguard Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Dow Chemical Company, and Lockheed Martin.