Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cold Storage Becoming a Hot Property Investment

The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX), which reportedly attempted to buy one cold storage warehouse operator earlier this year, has found a willing partner in another.

Sioux City, IA-based Cloverleaf Cold Storage has agreed to a recapitalization that will see private equity funds affiliated with Blackstone make a majority investment in Cloverleaf alongside the firm's existing Feiges and Kaplan family shareholders, who will continue to operate the business post-closing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, Atlanta-based Americold Corp., the worlds largest owner and operator of temperature-controlled warehouses, filed an initial public offering this week to form a new REIT called Americold Realty Trust. It was previously reported that Americold turned down a $3 billion buyout bid from Blackstone this past September, according to Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer magazine and other news reports.

Goldman Sachs is funding Blackstone's Cloverleaf investment. The Wall St. financial firm is well versed in the cold-storage real estate sector having partnered with JPMorgan earlier this yeat to sell a $1.3 billion CMBS offering backed by loans on 54 cold storage facilities operated by Lineage Logistics Holdings LLC.

The Global Cold Chain Alliance, an industry trade group, recently forecast that, beginning next year, owners and operators of U.S. temperature-controlled warehouses as a whole will see a five-year compounded annual growth rate in revenues of 4% based on the group's view that U.S. demand from food producers, distributors, retailers and e-tailers exceeds currently available temperature-controlled capacity in the U.S.

The alliance further posits that an owner with a large-scale network of high-quality temperature-controlled warehouses will be well-positioned to take advantage of these trends.

Market capitalization rates in the temperature-controlled warehouse sector for triple net leased temperature-controlled facilities have ranged from 6.25% to 7.25% and for owner operated temperature-controlled facilities ranged from 7.5% to 8.25%, according to a recent report on temperature-controlled warehouses by Cushman & Wakefield.

The higher capitalization are attributed rates of owner-operated facilities to the net operating income derived from the handling and other services provided by the owner to customers at the facility. The report further said that temperature-controlled facilities have benefited from the same capitalization rate compression that has helped drive values in the warehouse sector since the global financial crisis.

Cloverleaf Cold Storage
Cloverleaf is the eighth-largest public refrigerated warehouse company in North America, as reported by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses. It operates a network of 19 warehouses across eight states in several Midwest and Mid-Atlantic markets, providing a variety of food grade storage, handling, and freezing services to food producers.

"Our partnership with a world-class firm such as Blackstone provides us with significant capital and operating resources to invest for growth and continue to expand our platform," said Daniel Kaplan, co-president of Cloverleaf, in a statement announcing the recapitalization with Blackstone.

Wells Fargo Securities served as financial advisor and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP served as legal advisor to Cloverleaf during the transaction. Barclays and Goldman Sachs served as financial advisors to Blackstone and Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisors. Committed debt financing for the recapitalization was provided by Goldman Sachs.


Americold Files IPO for REIT
Meanwhile, Americold Realty Trust filed for an IPO of an undisclosed number of common shares. The company has a global portfolio of 160 warehouses spanning about 945.3 million cubic feet. Of this number, it owns or leases 134 warehouses in the U.S. and manages another eight. Its other warehouses are located in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina.

It listed the value of its assets at $2.39 billion as of Sept. 30 and reported $1.14 billion in revenue first nine months of 2017.

"We consider our temperature-controlled warehouses to be 'mission critical' real estate in the markets we serve from 'farm to fork' and an integral component of the temperature-controlled food infrastructure supply chain, which we refer to as the 'cold chain,' " Americold said in its filing.

The company plans to use capital from the common stock offering to take advantage of the market opportunity from the combination of tight warehouse capacity and increased demand for a range of handling and other warehouse services.
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fall 2017 Real Estate Economic Forecast (Video)

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New coworking operator enters Philadelphia market

Natalie Kostelni Reporter Philadelphia Business Journal

Another coworking operation is entering Philadelphia and offering its own twist on the growing shared-office concept.

Bond Collective, which is based in New York, has signed a 10-year lease on 22,000 square feet on the top floor of One Penn Center where it plans to open next spring a coworking space called Bond Station House. Bond Collective attempts to differentiate itself in the increasingly crowded coworking market with its “high design,” said Shlomo Silber, CEO and co-founder of Bond Collective.

“Our model is boutique, hospitality driven space with high design,” he said. “We don’t see enough high-design space in the market.”

That may be a product of the cost it takes to build out such fancy space and the narrow margins produced by the memberships and other services provided by a coworking operation. Bond Collective has based it business model on it and believes it fills an unmet niche in the realm of coworking.
Full story: https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2017/11/15/bond-collective-coworking-space-one-penn-center.html?s=print

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Deloitte 2018 CRE Outlook (Video)

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Monthly Economic Outlook – November 2017 (Video)

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Philadelphia's office market slides while the suburbs take off

Natalie Kostelni Reporter Philadelphia Business Journal
The office markets in Philadelphia’s Central Business District (CBD) and the suburbs are a tale of contrasts, according to various third-quarter research reports.

The suburban market had its strongest quarter in terms of demand for office space than it has had in the last 12 years and the vacancy rate nearly dropped to its lowest point last seen in the first quarter of 2008, according to CBRE Inc. data. That’s when the vacancy rate stood at 14.9 percent. It is now at 15.1 percent.

Activity was so robust in the suburban office sphere that there was 935,538 square feet of absorption, or space occupied by tenants and taken off the market. The submarkets that saw the most leasing activity were Fort Washington, King of Prussia, Conshohocken, and the Malvern-Exton area, according to JLL.

That was not the case in Philadelphia where there were signs that the CBD is on the wane. The CBD logged its highest vacancy since the third quarter of 2014, climbing to 13.7 percent as tenants such as PNC Bank, Wells Fargo and Verizon gave back space and tenants haven’t backfilled the spaces that have been thrown back on the market, according to Newmark Knight Frank research. Savills Studley’s research showed the vacancy rate nudging up for the third consecutive quarter and now is 15.0 percent compared with 13.8 percent.

Full story: https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2017/11/03/philadelphias-office-market-slides-while-the.html?s=print
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Life Time Athletic ventures into co-working space

Natalie Kostelni Reporter Philadelphia Business Journal
Life Time Athletic, which has expanded during the last two years into the Philadelphia area with locations in Wayne, Pa. and Mount Laurel, N.J., has decided to venture into co-working.

As part of its 80,000-square-foot fitness facility in the former Macy’s in Ardmore, Pa., Life Time will dedicate 12,000 square feet to a co-working space called Life Time Works. This is the first time the Minnesota company has decided to add a work area for small business owners, freelancers and others can use. In addition to its membership to its fitness facility, it will be offering memberships and different pricing to this space as well. 

In addition to typical cardio and weight lifting rooms, Life Time provides professional fitness, family recreation and spa treatments. It often provides indoor and outdoor swimming pools, basketball and racquet courts, personal training and group fitness, yoga, child care, hair cuts and boot camp fitness. An area that is assigned to co-working is a natural extension to its business, company officials say.

Full story: https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2017/11/10/life-time-athletic-co-working-space-ardmore.html?s=print

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Friday, November 10, 2017

The Westover Companies purchased Gilbertsville Shopping Center for Cash

The sale of Gilbertsville Shopping Center, an 85,576-square-foot, grocery-anchored shopping center located in Gilbertsville was traded. It is an affluent Philadelphia suburban community within Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

The seller was Brixmor Property Group.  The Westover Companies purchased the asset on an all cash basis.

Gilbertsville Shopping Center is anchored by Weis Markets, which has been a tenant since the center was constructed in 1976.  The 95.6-percent-leased center is also home to Anytime Fitness, T-Mobile, Pet Valu, Dairy Queen, National Auto Stores, Great Clips, Quest Diagnosis, Key Bank and Fine Wine & Good Spirits.  The center is at 1050 East Philadelphia Avenue (Route 73).

“The Gilbertsville Shopping Center has been a successful asset since its development due to its market positioning and Weis grocery anchor. Grocery-anchored retail in the Philadelphia suburban markets continues to price aggressively, and Gilbertsville was no exception with multiple competitive offers throughout the marketing process.”

“Gilbertsville is a strong suburban market with access to multiple employment hubs. Weis is ideally positioned within the local marketplace, which has enabled it to be a successful store and enhance the property’s ability to attract and retain tenants.”
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United Way Puts Philly Headquarters Up For Sale

The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey has put its headquarters building on the market. The international charity built the eight-story office building at 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway overlooking Logan Square in 1970 and has occupied it ever since.

 "Together with our Board, we ultimately determined that owning the building is not central to our mission of ending intergenerational poverty, and that, if sale of the building could generate significant revenue, the opportunity cost of investing in a building versus investing in the community and in our initiatives is too great," United Way interim President and CEO Mike DiCandilo said in a statement.

 There is expected heavy interest in the 60K SF office building, and expects to complete a sale early next year. Situated across Logan Square from the Franklin Institute and a few blocks from the nearly complete Comcast Innovation Center, the property is zoned for a variety of uses, including multifamily. DiCandilo said the United Way will remain in the City of Philadelphia, though he did not disclose plans to move out or find a new location when the building is sold.United Way also declined to disclose an asking price for the property.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Brandywine Starting $3.5B Schuylkill Yards Project In Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Brandywine Realty Trust, in partnership with Drexel University, is beginning Phase I construction of the mixed-use, master-planned Schuylkill Yards development in the University City submarket of Philadelphia, PA.

The first phase of the $3.5 billion, multi-year project will create a 1.3-acre community park at the corner of 30th and Market Streets to be known as Drexel Square, followed by a redesign of the former Philadelphia Bulletin Building, and the development of two towers at 3003 JFK Boulevard and 3025 JFK Boulevard. This first phase of development will produce 4.6 acres of entrepreneurial space, educational facilities, research laboratories, corporate offices, residential and retail spaces, hospitality venues and open public spaces.

Schuylkill Yards is the next chapter in Brandywine’s commitment to West Philadelphia, which began more than 15 years ago.

Brandywine built West Philadelphia’s first office tower—Cira Centre—in partnership with Amtrak, followed by the historic renovation of the new IRS Philadelphia Campus. Brandywine then began construction of Cira Centre South in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania—a two-tower development comprised of FMC Tower—Philadelphia’s first “vertical neighborhood”—and evo—the nation’s tallest, luxury student apartment tower at the time of completion. Cira Green, Philadelphia’s first “park in the sky” creates a bridge between the two towers. The park serves not only as an amenity for tenants, residents and guests of Cira Centre South, but as an open-to-the-public destination for community gathering and relaxation.

“Today we take the first steps in making this large-scale innovation community a reality,” says Jerry Sweeney, president & CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust. “As Brandywine continues to expand the West Philadelphia skyline, we do so with a forward-thinking, inclusive approach to the future. We embrace the changing habits of how people are living, creating, working and spending their time. We are proud that our first project in Schuylkill Yards will deliver a green public gathering space where the community can connect, interact and share experiences.”

As a priority of Brandywine’s curated neighborhood experience, Drexel Square will include 1.3 acres of public space directly across from Amtrak’s 30th Street Station. The space was designed in partnership with planning and design firms SHoP Architects and West 8 Landscape Architects, and will serve as a four-season destination with community programming throughout the year. Drexel Square is just one portion of the 6.5 acres of greenspace and improved streetscape planned for Schuylkill Yards, and is expected to be completed in Q4 2018.

“All great cities have great public spaces. Drexel Square will be Philadelphia’s next signature square – a sixth square adding to the five originally created by William Penn. Drexel Square is the keystone to the larger transformative development project at Schuylkill Yards, conceived by Drexel University and brought to life through a partnership with Brandywine Realty Trust,” says Drexel University president John Fry. “Drexel is proud to have chosen Jerry Sweeney and his team at Brandywine for this project that will benefit all of University City and Philadelphia.”

In conjunction with Schuylkill Yards’ groundbreaking, Brandywine will implement a $5.6 million neighborhood engagement program focused on small business development, job creation, and affordable housing. This initiative emphasizes Brandywine’s commitment to improving Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, and ensuring Schuylkill Yards serves as a bridge to West Philadelphia communities.

“Thanks to Brandywine’s thoughtful community building, this project will help us expand opportunities to many Philadelphians in need of jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and provide them with the security of affordable, permanent housing,” says Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Brandywine was a great partner in helping the city develop our PipelinePHL, which will also help us diversify the building jobs and provide people with barriers to employment a life-long career in the trades. What Philadelphia truly needs is long-term inclusive growth and this project serves as a model for how we can make that happen going forward.”

Schuylkill Yards will, over the next 15-20 years, bring to Philadelphia a next-generation innovation community defined by thoughtful place-making, civic engagement, and quality execution, Brandywine says. The project will be strategically designed to emphasize thoughtful collaboration, inspiring spaces and dynamic movement. When completed, the site will host a combination of repurposed buildings, new high-rises with world-class design, and a diverse network of public spaces regularly programmed for community engagement and enjoyment.

As master developer of Schuylkill Yards, Brandywine leads an experienced development team that includes residential developer, Gotham Organization and life-sciences developer, Longfellow Real Estate Partners. SHoP Architects is responsible for the district planning and development of architectural standards, and West 8 Landscape Architects has designed the public realm plan and overseen development of landscape standards.
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Commercial Real Estate Development at NAR 2017 (Video)

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tax Reform Bill Draws Cautious Support from CRE Industry Leaders

CRE industry leaders who worried that the largest rewrite of the U.S. tax code in more than three decades would eliminate like-kind 1031 exchange transactions or curtail the ability of businesses to write off interest and debt expenses breathed a collective sigh of relief last week after House Republican leaders outlined the major components of their long-awaited bill.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), released last week by the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, also retains existing rules for writing off depreciation of commercial property, while reducing the tax burden on all businesses.

Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, who led efforts to keep those provisions, said the proposed bill, by reducing barriers to private-sector capital formation and business investment, "will boost economic demand and job growth."

"If the final bill is similar to the one introduced today, our industry will put more people to work modernizing and improving existing properties - office buildings, shopping centers, apartments, industrial properties - to meet the changing and growing needs of American businesses and consumers," DeBoer said in a statement.

The proposal reduces the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% for tax years beginning after 2017 and repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax.

The legislation provides for a special maximum 25% tax rate on ordinary income that would apply to the "qualified business income" of individuals engaged in business activities through sole proprietorships, tax partnerships and S corporations. Business income not qualifying as such would remain subject to the normal ordinary income tax rate.

Current law generally treats those entities as "pass-through" entities subject to tax at the owner or shareholder level. Net income earned by an individual owner or shareholder of one of these entities is reported on the individuals income tax return and is subject to ordinary income tax rates up to the top individual marginal rate of 39.6%.

In a bulletin, the CRE Finance Council (CREFC) described the retention of interest deduction, 1031 exchanges and existing cost recovery and depreciation rules as "major steps in the advocacy effort to allow for continued CRE market liquidity and supply/demand balance."

While CREFC remains skeptical that House leadership can meet its aggressive goal of getting the bill to the Senate before the Thanksgiving holiday due to its size and complexity, the group expects a flurry of Congressional activity up until the holiday.

"We caution that uncertainty will be the order of the day until the bill either advances to the Senate (which is working on its own legislation) or gets stymied by member opposition," the group said.

The U.S. apartment industry's main lobbying groups, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA), said that while they are still reviewing the legislation, the proposal as written "looks to encourage economic growth and job creation."

"Critically, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would preserve interest deductibility, like-kind exchanges and other provisions important to the apartment industry," the groups said in a joint statement.

NMHC/NAA said it would work with lawmakers to safeguard those provisions and others, including the capital gains treatment of carried interest and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), during the "long process ahead before tax reform becomes law."

While capital markets, CRE and small-business interests generally lauded the proposal, the residential real estate and mortgage industry cited serious concerns about how the provisions will impact U.S. housing markets, including the production of affordable housing.

"We believe that the proposed changes to the mortgage interest deduction, deductibility of state and local real estate taxes and the exemption for capital gains treatment when families sell their principal residence would have a negative impact on the housing market and potentially the national economy as a whole," said David H. Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). "We are also concerned about the potential impact of certain provisions on the production of affordable housing, which is vital."

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Millennials ready to buy homes? Changes in Multi Family? (Video)

Millennials ready to buy homes? from CNBC.

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The Harman Group has opened Vue32 in University City

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com

The Harman Group has opened Vue32 in University City. The 176,000-square foot, 16-story residential tower and mixed-use development caters to Drexel University faculty, staff, and graduate students, as well as non-Drexel professionals living in the area. The development meets one of the tenets of Drexel’s master plan to reduce the pressure on off-campus housing in Powelton Village. The residential tower at 32nd and Race Street offers 164 junior one-and two-bedroom apartments, as well as a three-bedroom apartment on the top floor. The units all feature nine-foot ceilings and full-height windows that provide sweeping views of the Philadelphia skyline. The development has many community amenities, including a roof-top deck with outdoor cooking facilities, a community room with a full kitchen, a billiards and game room, a conference room, a fitness center, and a secure parking garage under the building.
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Monday, November 6, 2017

Aulder Capital Pays $44.5M for Foxwood Apartments

Aulder Capital acquired the 414-unit Foxwood Apartments in Newark, DE from Fairfield Residential for $44.5 million, or about $107,000 per unit.

The apartment complex , located at 15 Fox Hall in Newark, DE, sits on 27 acres and was delivered in 1989. It totals 357,635 square feet across 31 three- and four-story buildings. It is currently 96 percent leased.

The buyer secured a new $34.3 million mortgage on the acquisition. HFF arranged the financing on behalf of the borrower.
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One & Two Pitcairn Place Sells for $12.1M

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
The sale of One & Two Pitcairn Place, a two building, Class A office complex was completed in Jenkintown, PA. Joss Realty Partners purchased the 98,057 square-foot complex from Pitcairn Properties for $12.1 million. There was $9.225 million in acquisition financing from Beneficial Bank.
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

F&S Produce Acquires Vineland Manufacturing-Warehouse Facility From General Mills

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
F&S Produce Co. acquired 500 W. Elmer Rd., a 580,000-square-foot manufacturing-warehouse facility on 65 acres in Vineland, NJ.

Terms of the sale and the seller were not disclosed, but according to NJParcels.com, a website that aggregates publicly available property data, the site was transferred for $10 in September from General Mills Corporation to a related company, GM Cereals Properties.

The property was previously listed as being owned by Progresso Foods, which is also a division of General Mills. NJParcels.com says the property is assessed at $13.993 million for tax purposes.

The new location satisfies F&S Produce’s manufacturing needs and cuts six months from the company’s original expansion plan of building another facility in Cumberland County, NJ, to increase its production capacity. The manufacturing and warehouse facility at 500 W. Elmer Rd. offers four times the space of the current facilities to accommodate F&S Produce’s future expansion.

F&S Produce has a longstanding manufacturing presence in Southern New Jersey including two production facilities in Rosenhayn, NJ, as well as a trucking operation and freezer warehouse.

“This significant facility sale to F&S Produce represents a successful outcome of job retention and economic growth in the City of Vineland and for the state of New Jersey.”  The New Jersey Economic Development Authority recognized the importance of F&S Produce’s move to job creation and retention in the region with $21.7 million in state tax credits. According to the economic development organization Choose New Jersey, the Garden State is home to a $105 billion food industry and agriculture sector that continues to grow, with 1,900 food manufacturing companies employing nearly 44,000 people in total and, earning New Jersey Saveur magazine’s moniker of “most edible” state in America.
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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Investor Appetite for Center City Apartments Reaffirmed in Q3

As Philadelphia gradually shook off the damage of the 2008 - 2009 financial crisis, affluent millennials and empty nesters began to converge on Center City's rental market. A boom in apartment acquisitions by major investors such as JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock quickly followed.

By 2015, Center City's annual apartment acquisitions had surged to an all-time high of more than $470 million, more than double the sales volume that was recorded during even the best years of the economic high of 2005 - 2007.

The boom in Center City apartment sales has lost some steam, and investments have slowed noticeably in recent quarters. While more than 1,600 apartment units changed hands in 2015, sales dropped by more than 70% in 2016, and less than 400 units have traded during the first three quarters of 2017.

There are a few reasons why investors hit the pause button on Center City apartment transactions. With booming development activity increasing Center City's stock of multifamily units by more than 5% per year, newly-completed apartment towers are increasingly offering one - or in some cases even two - free months of rent in order to lease up on schedule. Furthermore, at the end of 2016, Philadelphia's City Council voted to close loopholes that had previously allowed many large real estate investors to circumvent the city's hefty 3.1% realty transfer tax.

After the drop off in Center City apartment sales activity and the elimination of tax loopholes, some market participants are wondering, do prices need to decline significantly for apartment sales to pick back up again?

The September 2017 sale of the Pepper Building at 1830 Lombard deserves a close look from Philadelphia apartment investors. It was the first Center City apartment deal with a price over $50 million that has closed in more than 18 months. The Pepper Building, built in 1927 but renovated in 2009, sold for $53.3 million. The 4.75% cap rate on the deal reflects robust investor demand for the asset. Furthermore, the per-unit price tag, at $288,000, came closely in line with the price of $294,000 per unit that 1930 Chestnut and 400 Walnut traded for during 2015. Like the Pepper Building, both of these properties were originally built in the 1920's but offer a modern amenity set.

The Pepper Building's sale did reveal some signs that investor demand for Center City apartment has moderated in recent years. This same building sold in 2011, and when the Pepper Building changed hands in that transaction, it spent only two months on the market before selling.

This time around, the building spent about three months on market, and another two months in escrow while the buyer arranged financing. Nonetheless the sale was a largely positive sign for the market. As the first large Center City apartment sale to close in several quarters, the deal reaffirmed investors' willingness to acquire large center city apartment assets at sub-5% cap rates.
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Braeburn Pharma Leases 24,000 SF in Plymouth Meeting

Braeburn Pharma, a pharmaceutical company, has leased 23,805 square feet in the Interchange Corp Cntr Plymouth Mtg office building at 450 Plymouth Rd. in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

The four-story building totals 91,305 square feet and was developed by Leggat McCall Properties LLC in 2000. Braeburn Pharmas lease includes the entire fourth floor. Other tenants in the building include Granite Telecommunications and ESSA Bank & Trust.
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Workhorse Leases Space in King of Prussia

Workhorse, a work vehicle manufacturing company, has signed a lease for 62,000 square feet at the industrial building located at 250 King Manor Dr. in King of Prussia, PA.

The warehouse totals approximately 127,000 square feet and delivered in 1970. It is currently owned by Ingerman-Ginsburg Partnership and managed by Equivest Management, Inc.
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I-81 Industrial Portfolio Trades For $30M

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
NorthPoint Development has acquired a three-building industrial portfolio in the dynamic Northeastern PA submarket from Endurance Real Estate Group for $30.1 million.

The buildings, 7 Alberigi Drive and 15 Alberigi Drive in Jessup, PA, and 32 Earth Conservancy Drive (also known as South Preston Avenue) in Wilkes-Barre, total 544,974 square feet.

According to Real Capital Analytics, a proprietary research database, 15 Alberigi Drive, a 130,000 square foot property, sold for $7.2 million; 7 Alberigi Drive, a 167,000 square-foot industrial, represented $9.2 million; and 32 Earth Conservancy Drive, a 249,000 square-foot warehouse, represented $13.7 million of the portfolio price.

The transaction represents the largest portfolio of industrial real estate that has traded in Northeastern Pennsylvania in several years.

“This was a great opportunity for both the buyer and seller.” The portfolio was 78 percent occupied at the time of the sale. “Endurance Real Estate Group added tremendous value through thoughtful renovations and tenancy, while the remaining vacancy provides further value add opportunity for the purchaser.”

All three buildings are class-A facilities that were initially developed as part of a joint venture partnership between MetLife and Chicago-based Versus Development. They feature market-leading functionality including 30-foot clear height ceilings, T-5 lights and the potential to expand car and trailer parking as well as loading positions.

The properties are strategically located within one of the most densely populated areas in the region, which boasts a strong local labor pool. The surrounding highway network of I-81, I-84, I-80, I-380 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike provides easy access to major Northeast Corridor cities including New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, and Baltimore.

So far this year, the Northeastern PA submarket of the I-81/I-78 distribution corridor has been one of the most dynamic leasing markets in the entire Northeastern U.S. “There has been approximately 3 million square feet of net absorption year to date with over 3 million square feet of new construction underway, much of it pre-leased. The current vacancy rate of 3.8 percent is the lowest throughout the eastern part of the state, and we expect demand will continue to outpace supply.”
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Monday, October 30, 2017

Providence Place breaks ground on assisted living facility at former Collegeville Inn

by Gary Puleo, Times Hearld
The Collegeville Inn’s new lease on life may not be the culinary comeback many folks were anticipating, but as a senior living facility, much of its legendary history will live on.

Providence Place Senior Living at the Collegeville Inn, which underwent a groundbreaking on the 20-acre site recently, even embraces the long gone smorgasbord’s legend in its name — a first for the company, noted Ashley Uhler, vice president of marketing, whose collection of postcards and prints showcase the restaurant’s heyday in the 1950s and ’60s.

“We usually use the name of the town in the name,” Uhler said, referring to a string of Providence Place Senior Living locations throughout the state. “But because the Collegeville Inn was so well known we thought it would be a nice tie-in. Providence Place is proud to be the company that is resurrecting the nostalgic Collegeville Inn.”

Debuting sometime in the post-World War II years, The Collegeville Inn had been shuttered for years when it was purchased in 1994 by Nutrition Services Management Co. of Kimberton. It reopened in 1997 as the Marketplace Restaurant, which closed in the early 2000s, ultimately landing the property under the ownership of M&T Bank.

Although the restored Inn building overlooking Perkiomen Creek will serve as a private dining room for the 113 units’ residents and their guests, the public will be welcome to attend certain functions, said David Leader, president of Providence Place.

“We’ll certainly have occasional public events where we’ll open our doors to the public with hor d’ouevres and things like that,” noted Leader, who said he is pleased to be retaining so much of the building’s character, which is partly attributable to its “Swiss chalet” beginnings decades ago and partly to its 1990s mountain lodge-style makeover as a food court and training center.

“I had heard of the Collegeville Inn but was not familiar with it. As we explored the project we talked to a lot of people and almost everyone in the area had a story about the Collegeville Inn,” he said. “That’s what captivated us to preserve the integrity, the look, the feel and as much of their memories as we could. We’re keeping some of the most memorable aspects … the cathedral ceiling lobby, the pub barroom with the beautiful woodwork. It really has some exquisite wood carvings.”

Providence Place will provide a continuum of care, ranging from minor assistance to significant daily aid, with a separate memory support component.

“Our philosophy is to try and offer seniors options that are a little more affordable than some that are out there today. We’re excited to be coming to the Collegeville area with our unique philosophy of aging in place. The whole building will be licensed by the state of Pennsylvania as assisted living, but some of the people won’t need much assistance besides meals and transportation, while some will need greater amounts of assistance. If you don’t need assistance, great, you pay less. As you need assistance you can take on more. We’ll have people that will stay five or 10 years, and others who come in active and maybe still driving and will stay until the end of their days,” explained Leader. “This will not be a skilled nursing facility but we will have nurses around the clock. Most people now don’t stay in nursing homes very long anymore. They go for a week or two and then they come home. If I were a resident who had an injury I might recuperate for a few weeks in a nursing home and then return here. So that’s how we will function.”

Leader’s father, George Leader, who served as Governor of Pennsylvania from 1955 to 1959, founded the forerunner to Providence Place, Leader Nursing Centers, back in the 1960s, his son allowed.

“Leader Nursing Centers was a public company that was acquired by another company in the 1980s. My family then decided that in the future we would no longer have companies that could be acquired by someone else, so Providence Place is a private company. We have five other Providence Place Senior Living facilities and also run Country Meadows Retirement Communities. Between the two we have properties across the state.”

Leader noted that the relevance of his company’s name to Lower Providence Township was purely coincidental.

“I often joke that who would have guessed we’d be calling ourselves Providence Place in a township where everything is called ‘providence something’?” he said, laughing.

Before Horst Construction begins erecting the building that will house 113 apartments of varying sizes adjacent to the Inn, a wall will be built to address the property’s longstanding flooding issues.


Full story: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20171024/providence-place-breaks-ground-on-assisted-living-facility-at-former-collegeville-inn
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Emerging Commercial Real Estate Trends 2018: Best Bets (Video)

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Checkpoint Extends So. Jersey HQ Lease 10 Years

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
With a $10 million capital improvement commitment from Sky Management Services, inventory control and security firm Checkpoint Systems has extended the lease on its global headquarters for another ten years. Located at 101 Wolf Drive in Thorofare, NJ, the asset is located a few miles from the Philadelphia CBD.

Through its affiliate company, Sky Power, the company will also be installing a renewable solar energy system to help Checkpoint reduce its carbon footprint and produce nearly all its own electric power from non-polluting solar energy.

“This project allows us to create a State of the Art Technology Development Center for Intelligent Retail Solutions,” says John Dargan, president of Checkpoint. “It also allows us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint through the installation of a solar energy system.”

Checkpoint’s global headquarters, which facilitates its North American distribution, research and development, and office operations, was designed and built for the company in 1994.

According to Alex Dembitzer, Sky’s founder and CEO, renovations are scheduled for completion in 2018.

“The renovations at Checkpoint will modernize the facility, and the renewable energy solar project will reduce the carbon footprint while converting the property into a sustainable facility,” says Dembitzer.

Dembitzer has made reducing the environmental impact of Sky’s buildings an increasing priority as part of what he calls his personal social mission.

At New Jersey’s Wedgewood Waterford US corporate headquarters, for instance, Sky installed a 1.5 MW solar energy system which is expected to provide 90 percent of the facility’s electricity.

Additionally, Sky Management made the proactive decision to purchase an adjacent land parcel, making it possible for Checkpoint to expand in the future if needed or for Sky Management to pursue additional development opportunities.

The long-term extension and modernization will preserve more than 150 jobs in Southern NJ and create an estimated 100 construction jobs, supporting Sky’s core values of creating and providing a substantial positive social and environmental impact in the communities in which it is active.
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Industrial Vacancies Falling In Philadelphia, Spec Builds Up In Lehigh Valley

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com

The market for industrial property tightened in the third quarter as industrial real estate vacancy declined in Philadelphia, but the continued frenzy of speculative construction along the PA I-81 and I-78 Corridor in the Lehigh Valley region led to an increase in vacancies there.

In the Lehigh Valley, 1.5 million square feet of speculative construction added during the third quarter remained largely vacant.

“Both the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area and the industrial, warehouse and manufacturing markets along the major Interstates of I-81 and I-78 continue to benefit from job creation in the Pennsylvania economy,” Statewide unemployment rate declined by 60 basis points over the past year to 4.9 percent.

“Philadelphia’s manufacturing index has been positive for 14 consecutive months and rose 4.9 points to 23.8 in September,” he says.

Overall vacancy for industrial property in the Philadelphia Market ended the third quarter at 3.4 percent, down 150 basis points from a year ago. The market includes six Pennsylvania counties as well as Philadelphia, three southern New Jersey counties and northern Delaware. Overall asking rental rates declined slightly, 1.3 percent, in the past year to $4.59 per square foot for all industrial property types. “Strong activity in class A facilities is leaving more class B and C product available for lease, which is dragging the overall rental rate average down. Still, the Philadelphia market absorbed 4.6 million square feet year-to-date in 2017, even with 2.7 million square feet of new construction this year.”

The southern New Jersey market, with both Burlington and Gloucester counties already topping one million square feet in total year-to-date leasing, led the region in both leasing and new construction. Major Philadelphia Market transactions in the third quarter included:

Amazon signed the largest lease, taking 652,411 square feet being built at 240 Mantua Grove Rd. in West Deptford, Gloucester County, for fall 2018 delivery.

In Burlington County, PFG Customized Distribution renewed for 127,340 square feet at 500 Highland Drive in Westhampton.

National Powersport Auctions leased 112,000 square feet at 2578 Pearl Buck Rd. in Bristol for the Lower Bucks County submarket’s largest deal in the third quarter.

Prologis executed the largest investment sale of the quarter with its sale of the 936,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center at 3000 AM Drive, in Quakertown, to WPT Industrial REIT for $74.3 million or $79 per square foot.

Two-thirds of the 7.1 million square feet of speculative industrial space delivered to the PA I-81 and I-78 corridor this year remained vacant at the end of September, including much of the 1.5 million square feet that came onto the market during the third quarter. “The vacancy in that new space is the primary reason that year-over-year overall vacancy has increased 140 basis points to 5.3 percent. Still, rent growth remains strong in the PA I-81 and I-78 industrial market, increasing by 5.5 percent year-over-year to $4.76 per square foot. Lehigh Valley produced the largest increase with asking rents, up 11.8 percent, to an average rate of $5.31 per square foot for warehouse and distribution space.”

The Lehigh Valley submarket leads in construction, with nearly 5.8 million square feet. Leasing activity has been strong in all three PA I-81 and I-78 submarkets this year.

Central PA leads the region with nearly 6.3 million square feet of new leasing activity this year, including the largest lease of the third quarter when Syncreon signed for the one million square-foot building under construction at 100 Goodman Drive in Carlisle.

The Northeastern PA submarket’s year-to-date leasing activity of 4.5 million square feet already surpassed 2016 totals and is on pace to top the previous annual high of 4.6 million square feet in 2007. American Tire leased 1 million square feet under construction in the Northeast Logistics Center in Tobyhanna for the quarter’s largest lease.

XPO Logistics signed the Lehigh Valley submarket’s largest lease of the third quarter for 628,475 square feet at 1611 Van Buren Rd. in Easton.

The largest investment sale of the third quarter took place when Northpoint Development acquired Endurance Real Estate Group’s portfolio of 544,975 square feet of warehouse-distribution space in Northeastern PA for nearly $30.1 million, or $55 per square foot.

Asking rental rate annual average growth are forecast to 1.7 percent for the next five years in the Philadelphia industrial market. In the short-term, however, the delivery of more than 1.1 million square feet of speculative space probably will cause overall vacancy to rise for the next six to nine months. Meanwhile, the researchers also forecast healthy construction activity continuing throughout the PA I-81 and I-78 market with 14.3 million square feet under construction set to deliver over the next year.
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tracking STEM jobs to invest in commercial real estate #STEMdex

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Post Brothers Complete Largest Residential Redev in Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin,Globest.com

Post Brothers has completed the largest residential redevelopment project in Philadelphia, the $100-million redesign and renovation of Presidential City, the iconic, four-building apartment community located at the foot of City Avenue. Post Brothers began full gut renovations to Presidential City in 2014, transforming each of the complex’s 1,000 apartments into luxurious, high-efficiency residences. The redevelopment of Presidential City culminated with the completion of The Adams, the fourth and final building to be redeveloped at the complex. Post Brothers tapped internationally renowned architect Philippe Maidenberg for his first US project.
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Demand For Workforce Housing Drives Camden, NJ, MF Trade For $35M

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
As Camden, the poorest city in New Jersey, experiences a business transformation, demand for workforce housing is driving attractive pricing for multifamily properties.

With the relocation of Subaru’s North America Headquarters here from nearby Cherry Hill, a $1 billion Brandywine Property Trust office complex under development on the waterfront, and more companies expanding through state tax incentives, the Crestbury Apartments, a 392-unit multifamily property in Camden, NJ, has been sold for $34.45 million, just under $88,000 per unit.

The seller was Brick, NJ-based Tryko Partners. The asset was purchased free and clear of debt by an affiliate of New York-based Lincoln Avenue Capital, owner and developer of low-income housing properties nationwide.

“The property was part of the RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) program and received a new 20-year subsidy contract. The seller recently upgraded the flooring, windows, roofs, and boilers throughout the property, which made the asset attractive and a great long-term investment.”

After purchasing Crestbury Apartments in 2013, Tryko Partners invested $3.6 million in capital improvements. This included the incorporation of an innovative, high-tech security initiative in conjunction with the Camden Police Department; a playground; updated lighting, landscaping and sidewalks.

“We are seeing a tremendous amount of interest in well-maintained, workforce housing both market-rate and affordable in South Jersey due to solid economic drivers and its proximity to Philadelphia."

The apartments are a mixture of one- and two-bedroom units. The Crestbury is situated on over 18 acres at 2552 South 8th Street in Camden. The property is minutes from the Walt Whitman and Ben Franklin bridges, Cooper Hospital, Campbell’s Soup headquarters, and the Camden Waterfront.
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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Medical Office Investments (Video)

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Workspace Property Trust Files for IPO to Raise $100 Million

A year after acquiring a nearly $1 billion portfolio of suburban office properties, Horsham, PA-based Workspace Property Trust on Monday filed to raise up to $100 million through an initial public offering.

Workspace Property, which first filed a confidential S-11 registration statement on June 30, plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WSPT, selling an undisclosed number of common shares in the IPO at a to-be-determined price. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and BofA Merrill Lynch are the joint book runners on the deal.

The company, led by former Mack-Cali Realty executives Tom Rizk as CEO and Roger Thomas as president, will use the IPO proceeds to purchase common units in its operating partnership, Workspace Property Trust, L.P., from Safanad Suburban Office Partnership, LP, an affiliate of Safanad Ltd.

The operating partnership will in turn use a portion of the net proceeds to repay the company's existing loan with KeyBank NA, repay a senior mortgage loan and three mezzanine loans in relation to the purchase of its second portfolio, and pay about $63.9 million in cash to redeem the preferred equity issued by the operating partnership as part of the second portfolio acquisition.

The operating partnership expects to use any remaining proceeds for general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures and future acquisitions.

Workspace Property hopes to capitalize on the outperformance of suburban office properties relative to CBD properties in recent years, with company executives telling CoStar in October 2016 "the prediction of the death of the suburbs is greatly exaggerated."

A year ago this month, the company acquired 108 office and flex buildings and 26.7 acres of land in five markets from Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LPT). The $969 million purchase with partners Safanad, a Dubai-based global principal investment firm; and affiliates of diversified investment firm Square Mile Capital Management LLC, was the company's second major transaction with Liberty Property and expanded Workspace's holdings to 149 properties totaling 10 million square feet.

In the first half of 2017, 72% of U.S office leasing activity was concentrated in suburban markets, despite suburban markets representing only 69% of inventory.

The spread between average suburban office and CBD vacancy rates is at its lowest point since 1999. Construction as a percentage of inventory continues to increase in the CBD, even though suburban office vacancy rates have declined significantly faster than CBDs since 2011.

Meanwhile, construction has been constrained in the suburban office markets relative to the CBD, while downtown asking rents have been more volatile than suburban rents. Demand for suburban properties has ramped up recently as investors have begun to recognize the widening spread between suburban and CBD valuations, driven in part by investors' willingness earlier in the recovery to pay more for CBD trophy buildings and other assets with a perceived lower risk.

As the largest landlord in the Horsham/Willow Grove, PA submarket, Workspace has 536,994 square feet of flex and tech-flex space and 1.8 million square feet of low-rise office space in 40 properties, with retail development and other amenities providing opportunity for growth near several Workspace assets.

Workspace Properties is further positioned to benefit from continued demand and rent increases for its properties in the King of Prussia/Valley Force submarket, where the company owns 30 properties totaling about 2 million square feet of office and flex space.

The company also owns assets in South Florida, Tampa, Minneapolis and Phoenix.
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Faster Growth of Amazon Fashion Could Rock Retail Real Estate

Lost in the coverage of Amazon's very public search for a second, multi-billion dollar national headquarters, was the barely-noticed lease the company signed in New York City last month. Yet that lease could signal billions of dollars in losses coming for retail commercial real estate across the country.

Amazon signed a 15-year office lease for 360,000 square feet at Brookfield Properties' recently-renovated 5 Manhattan West building. Amazon will take the entire sixth and seventh floors of the 2.15 million-square-foot tower as well as part of the eighth and 10th floors in a move that is expected to bring 2,000 jobs to the Penn Plaza / Garment District submarket of Manhattan.

Amazon Fashion has also previously invested $9 million in a 40,000-square-foot fashion photo studio in Brooklyn (pictured).

"We're excited to expand our presence in New York - we have always found great talent here," said Paul Kotas, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide advertising.

Those jobs will be coming primarily in the Amazon Fashion and advertising divisions, and that signals the online retail behemoth is getting more serious about advancing its fashion and apparel sales. In the past year alone, it has introduced seven private apparel brands to its Prime members, including Goodthreads, Amazon Essentials, Paris Sunday, Mae, Ella Moon, Buttoned Down and Lark & Ro.

A hypothetical rapid rise in Amazon's U.S. apparel market share could have significant credit implications for existing retailers, REITs and CMBS transactions, according to Fitch Ratings in a 'shock scenario report' published last month.

Worst-Case Scenario
Sharp declines in retailer revenue and margins, along with accelerated store closings, would likely drive significant cash flow erosion and weaken credit profiles for apparel-focused retailers, mall REITs and retail-heavy CMBS deals in such a scenario.

This shock would likely fan out broadly across much of the retail real estate sector, with large credit profile effects on mall REITs and retail-heavy CMBS transactions. Large-scale store closures, going well beyond previously announced cuts, would likely follow, Fitch projected.

"REITs owning regional malls with high exposure to troubled anchor stores and a less diverse tenant base would face heavy cash flow pressure," Fitch analysts said. "We estimate that as many as 400 of approximately 1,200 U.S. malls could close or be repurposed as a result of retailer liquidations and square footage reductions."

The Fitch shock scenario assumes an accelerated three-year apparel market share shift to Amazon.com as a price-competitive and convenient alternative to traditional in-store purchases. The hypothetical rapid growth in Amazon's apparel market share to 25% by 2020 could cut apparel retailer margins by around 300 basis points, pushing several retailers toward financial distress.

In addition to weaker cash flow, many mall owners would face reduced access to capital due to negative lender and investor sentiment. Attempts to re-tenant or repurpose underperforming malls with high vacancy rates would likely take considerable time and capital. Efforts by REITs to reposition mall properties in this scenario would be difficult given constraints on capital spending and liquidity in a tight financing environment.

"Widespread defaults on loans backed by malls would have a significant impact on credit quality for Fitch-rated CMBS transactions," the rating agency said. "Given the accelerated timeframe of this retail shock scenario, special servicers would be forced to sell lower tier malls at significantly distressed values rather than undertaking normal stabilizing efforts."

Assuming Amazon's share gains are concentrated in lower price points, low- to mid-tier apparel retailers, including JC Penney, Kohl's and Dillard's, would face intense competitive pressure in such a scenario, Fitch said.


Amazon's Road into Fashion Isn't Assured
The Fitch stress test does not explicitly factor in retailers' responses to a more challenging operating and financing environment. Many of these responses, including cost reduction initiatives, asset sales and secured debt issuance, could mitigate the impact of such a severe competitive shock, particularly for companies that have ample liquidity to respond to accelerated competitive threats.

And let's face it, fashion and apparel margins and sales are thin and thinning out, and could present a tough market for Amazon to break into. Competitive pressures on in-line apparel retailers have been building for at least a decade. Younger apparel consumers have demonstrated less interest in traditional department store fashion offerings, and shifted more toward 'fast fashion' and off-price retailers.

Retail real estate brokers operate in dual worlds when it comes to shopping. They are both consumers of merchandise online and brick and mortar sales people. As such, their take on Amazon is interesting.

Going into fashion is nothing new to Amazon, said Soozan Baxter, principal of Soozan Baxter Consulting, a New York-based, landlord-focused retail advisory firm. "They own Shopbop and Zappos. Shopbop is a phenomenal collection of contemporary brands with a loyal customer, while Zappos is a favorite for anyone who likes to buy shoes online."

However, shopping on Amazon is like being in an online market place without a point of view, she said. The chaotic experience doesn't resonate.

"If they can execute a bricks-and-mortar experience that is more like Shopbop and perhaps even use that name, they will be very successful," Baxter said. "If they execute more retail stores under the name Amazon, do customers get confused: is it the bookstore? Is it a Macy's? Is it an Intermix? Is it a car showroom? Is it a grocery store? The point of view gets confusing."

"The bottom line is that the margins in retail are challenging. As they want to delve further into bricks and mortar, can they create a different experience? Furthermore, Amazon has been richly rewarded by Wall Street without making a 'real profit.' As Amazon morphs into more of an omni-channel player, how will Wall Street respond to them?" Baxter asks.

Jason Polley, managing leasing director of StoneCrest Investments in Germantown, TN, says Amazon clearly has retailers scrambling to evolve and better integrate their brick and mortar stores with their online presence.

"Apparel has always seemed to be an area of retail that requires a brick and mortar presence for the customer to see, touch and try on merchandise before a purchase, as on-line purchases of apparel have a much higher return rate compared to other products sold online," Polley said.

But the problem is not all Amazon.

"Despite Amazon's clear impact, I do believe some apparel retailers have lost touch with their customer base and their core mission to deliver what their customer wants to buy," he added.

Paul Schloss, an associate broker at NAI Horizon in Tucson, also says the onus is on traditional retailers.

"Conventional apparel retailer's inventory models demand velocity of inventory turn-over to generate absolute gross margin/profit to recover fixed occupancy costs," Schloss said. "As traffic migrates to the internet, and those logistical efficiencies drive down competitive prices and margins, we are witnessing the implosion of mall retailing: reduced consumer traffic and turns, obsolete structural inventory models. How these retailers re-construct, narrow and innovate their inventory profiles, merchandise offerings, and tactical offerings will define site base retailer's demise or survival."
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Warehouse boon fueled by Amazon's expanding need for space (Video)

Warehouse boon fueled by Amazon's expanding need for space: Black Creek Group president from CNBC.

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Equus Capital Partners Sells 22-Property PA MF Portfolio In $467M Deal

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Equus Capital Partners sold a 22-property, value-add multi-housing portfolio totaling 3,426 units in various Pennsylvania locations for $467 million. Holliday Fenoglio Fowler marketed the properties in six sub-portfolios on behalf of Equus.

“We are very pleased that we were able to successfully market and close all 22 properties within a year of launching the first sub-portfolio. The properties offered diversity of size, ranging from 50 units to 400 units; vintage, ranging from the early 1960s through the mid-2000s; and locations throughout the eastern half of Pennsylvania, from Harrisburg through suburban Philadelphia and into the Lehigh Valley.”

The properties sold in phases to different buyers throughout 2017, with the most recent closing at the end of September. Property locations include suburban Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Wyomissing, Lehigh Valley and northeastern Pennsylvania.

“Each of the 22 properties within the portfolio generated significant interest and attracted a variety of investors, from small private groups to large institutions. We conducted 113 tours, which resulted in 68 offers throughout the process.”
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Matrix Development Group Sells Industrial Building

Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc. has purchased the distribution warehouse at 35 Dauphin Dr. in Mechanicsburg, PA for $24.8 million, or about $80 per square foot, from Matrix Development Group.

The industrial facility delivered in 2008 and totals 310,050 square feet. Tenants in the building include UniPart, Hafele America and WEG Electric Corp. The building boasts 42 dock-height doors with levelators and two drive-in doors.
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DDR Corp Sells West Valley Marketplace

Slate Retail REIT purchased the shopping center at 1091 Mill Creek Rd. in Allentown, PA for an undisclosed amount from DDR Corp.

The Walmart-anchored shopping center, known as West Valley Marketplace, totals 259,163 square feet. JDN Realty Group developed the retail center in 2001. Other tenants include Sprint, Pet Valu and Great Clips.
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Prologis Sells Quakertown Facility for $74.3M

WPT Industrial REIT purchased the Prologis Quakertown industrial building at 3000 AM Dr. in Quakertown, PA for $74.3 million, or about $79 per square foot, from Prologis.

The 935,540-square-foot distribution center delivered in 2006 in Bucks County. The property features 90 dock doors with levelators, two drive-in doors and parking for 150 trailers.

20 Multi-Family Properties Sell in Powelton Village Philadelphia

A total of 83 units and 20 properties sold for $14 million in the city’s University City submarket. The seller was West Village UCA, and procured the buyer, a private investor, in the transaction. The properties are all located in Powelton Village, in the heart of the neighborhood’s world‐renowned education, medicine and technology hub. Situated on the 3200 block of Powelton Avenue, 11 of the properties (3201-3027) are on the odd side of the street while two are even-numbered (3214 and 3220). The 3214-3218 Pearl St., properties feature three two-unit townhomes with patios and garages as well as an additional loft in two of the units. Across the street at 311-313 N. 33rd St., is a 24-unit building with an adjacent parking lot. In total, the portfolio is comprised of a mix of studio and one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom layouts for a total of 144 beds.
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Monday, October 9, 2017

City Line Capital has completed its 11th Acquisition

City Line Capital has completed its eleventh self-storage property acquisition in the past six months. The company’s portfolio now totals over 700,000 rentable square feet across eight different states including Colorado, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina. The properties have been rebranded and are being managed by industry-leading third-party management firms. City Line Capital continues to aggressively seek self-storage properties nationwide, and currently has six additional properties under agreement, totaling approximately 350,000 rentable square feet.
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Friday, October 6, 2017

1760 Market St. put up for sale

By Natalie Kostelni  –  Reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal

A partnership that owns 1760 Market St. in Philadelphia has decided that it wants to sell the boutique office building just two years after buying it for $20 million.

The property joins two other Center City office towers to come on the market. Gemini Rosemont Realty is looking to unload 2000 Market St., a 29-story, 665,649-square-foot office building, while Equity Commonwealth is seeking to sell 1600 Market, a 39-story, 760,000-square-foot office structure.

Stockton Real Estate Advisors and Alterra Property Group bought 1760 Market, a 15-story, 126,689-square-foot building, in September 2015. At the time, it was 65 percent occupied and the partnership was attracted to the building’s location between Comcast Center and the Comcast Innovation Center, which is under construction, and Rittenhouse Square.

With those buildings and the neighborhood serving as significant anchors that bookend a portion of the city, "18th Street has become a pedestrian super highway,” said James Paterno of Stockton. As a result, 1760 Market had a front-row seat to that heightened activity and Stockton thought the building could take advantage of it.

Since the acquisition, the partnership has spent $4 million on various renovations, including upgrading the lobby and elevators as well as installing a communal café area with seating and a conference room shared by tenants. A new lighted canopy was installed at the entrance to give it more of an identity. The goal of the renovations was to give a 1980s vintage building a contemporary look.

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Full story: https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2017/10/02/1760-market-st-put-up-for-sale.html

Rodman Properties buys 1,000-unit apartment portfolio

By Natalie Kostelni  –  Reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal
Rodman Properties Inc. has, through a $103.4 million loan, bought a portfolio of seven apartment properties with nearly 1,000 units in a deal that stands as the company’s largest acquisition to date.

The Wynnewood real estate company bought the multifamily communities from Madison Apartment Group, which is a division of Equus Capital Partners, a Philadelphia-based real estate fund. They were part of a portfolio of 22 properties in the suburbs, the Lehigh Valley and central Pennsylvania comprising 3,426 Class B apartments Equus began selling off in August 2016.

The apartments Rodman bought in the deal were in Harrisburg and Allentown. Earlier this year, it had bought two other apartment properties in Berks County that had also been part of the same portfolio Equus was unloading.

Though based just outside of Philadelphia, RP Management has since its founding in 1992 concentrated on making buys in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. It prefers those tertiary areas because they are less competitive in terms of buyers and are solid markets for Class B rentals, said Michael Cohen, who founded Rodman and serves as its president.

The areas have something else going for them that appeals to Cohen. “A lot of these market also don’t have a lot of new construction,” Cohen said.
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Full story: https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2017/10/05/rodman-properties-drops-103m-to-buy-apartments.html

Alterra buys 1401 Arch St., plans conversion

Natalie Kostelni Reporter Philadelphia Business Journal

Alterra Property Group has acquired 1401 Arch St. in Philadelphia and has plans to convert the building into apartments.

The 177,000-square-foot office building called One City Place was sold by AFIAA, an investment adviser for pension funds in Switzerland that bought it in 2005 for $22.5 million. It couldn’t be determined how much Alterra paid for the property or any other details about the project. Leo Addimando, managing partner at Alterra, said he didn’t have any comment at this time.

As a result of the pending conversion, the building is being vacated. The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania’s Probation and Pretrial Departments signed a new lease on 120,000 square feet at 714 Market St. and will move in by the end of 2018.
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Full story: https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2017/10/05/addimando-alterra-buys-1401-arch-st-apartments.html

Philly's Suburban Office Market Outperformed Downtown In Q3

by Matthew Rothstein, Bisnow Philadelphia
Philadelphia's downtown and suburban office markets trended in opposite directions in the third quarter. Asking rents and net absorption declined both quarterly and year-over-year in Q3, while vacancies rose in the central business district. The current vacancy at 10.9 to 13.1% estimates vacancy among downtown office buildings.

 The negative trends are due to consolidations from major players like PNC, Wells Fargo, Verizon and IBX, which the small number of entrants has failed to offset. The combination of large blocks of availability in existing buildings with the incoming delivery of 700K SF of new office space has both slowed leasing and decreased rents as landlords struggle to differentiate themselves for tenants. The CBD's vacancy rate is at its highest point since 2014. “The number of tenants relocating from the suburbs to downtown has dwindled. Also, a decline in leasing activity by co-working firms and Comcast has failed to move space off of the market so far this year.”

The slowdown could be a natural ebb ahead of the delivery of the Comcast Technology Center, which will coincide with other office buildings, 2,600 apartments and 1M SF of retail opening in 2018. Meanwhile, a lack of new construction is helping to drive pricing upward in suburban markets like Conshohocken and Radnor, while the relative value of King of Prussia and its emerging live-work-play scene is increasing leasing activity there. Overall there are estimates 314K SF of positive net absorption in the suburbs so far this year, while other estimates 716K SF. With certain office complexes renovating and repositioning to keep up with modern trends without competition from new construction, the suburban market looks poised to keep its momentum into 2018.

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Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/philadelphia/news/office/philadelphia-q3-office-report-suburban-outperforming-cbd-79927?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Burlington Signs 40,000-SF Lease at Centerton Square

Burlington Coat Factory signed a 10-year lease for 40,000 square feet in the Centerton Square shopping center at 50-70 Centerton Rd. in Mount Laurel, NJ.

Burlington Coat Factory will join DSW Shoe Warehouse, Five Below, Wendy’s, TJ Maxx and PetSmart in the 681,299-square-foot shopping center.
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Office Investment Forecast (Video)

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Billionaire investor Sam Zell: Retail landscape looks like a 'falling knife (Video)

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Retail REIT chief says his mall properties are 'detoxing,' adding Experiential Stores (Video)

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Gorman/Abrams JV Acquires Whiteland Town Center In Exton, PA

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
A joint venture between Gorman & Company and Abrams Realty & Development has acquired Whiteland Towne Center, a 359,673-square foot shopping center located at 229 West Lincoln Highway in Exton, PA, from Equus Capital Partners.

No purchase price was disclosed.

Built in 1988, Whiteland Towne Center is positioned at one of the major retail intersections serving all of Chester County, Route 30 and Route 100. Whiteland Towne Center is shadow-anchored by Kohl’s Department Store and Hobby Lobby, which opened in November 2016 following the departure of Acme Markets in 2012. The remaining shopping center is anchored by national retailers including Party City, Big Lots, Total Hockey, Famous Footwear, Petco and a new CVS Pharmacy is under construction as a freestanding store on a newly created pad site within Whiteland Towne Center at the main entrance off of Route 100.

“The recent leasing activity along with Whiteland Towne Center’s current occupancy of 79 percent provided investors a value-add opportunity to take advantage of the evolving retail market in Exton in an attractive demographic market with average household incomes exceeding $126,000. With very few sizable opportunities to come to market with superior positioning and comparable demos as Whiteland, investors were attracted to the prospect to build upon the 26,000 square feet of recent leasing and continue to transform the asset in one of the best retail submarkets serving the suburbs of Philadelphia. A perfect marriage existed in the end with the selected purchaser. Abrams Realty and Development brings over 20 years of retail expertise in developing and operating over 2.5 million square feet within the MSA coupled with Gorman & Company, the original developers of the largest office park within the Exton submarket, Oaklands Corporate Center, at over 2 million square feet.”

The principals of Gorman & Company, Jim Gorman and Chris Knauer, in a partnership with Jefferson Apartment Group, are also about to break ground on a 291-unit mid rise luxury apartment complex called Parkview located just a mile down the road from Whiteland Towne Center.

“We are obviously bullish on Exton,” says Gorman. “Whiteland Towne Center represents an opportunity to reposition an asset we know well, in a great township with an increasing demand for more services. Abrams is the perfect partner to help us execute this.”

Whiteland Towne Center is located on Routes 30 and 100 across from the Exton Square Mall. The property shares an intersection with a new Whole Foods scheduled to open in 2018.

Abrams Realty & Development will be managing and leasing the center on behalf of the partnership.
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Monday, October 2, 2017

DICK’s Sporting Goods Replaces Sears at Capital City Mall in Harrisburg, PA

PREIT announced the opening of DICK’s Sporting Goods as the replacement for Sears at Capital City Mall in Harrisburg, PA, just six months after the department store closed. PREIT proactively recaptured the department store and attracted the high performing replacement to further strengthen its portfolio and enhance shopper experience, as part of its multi-property anchor repositioning effort. Fine Wine and Good Spirits will follow with a planned November opening.

DICK’s Sporting Goods occupies 61,000 square feet of the recaptured space, with Fine Wine & Good Spirits filling an additional 11,500 square feet. The tenants join the only DSW, Forever 21 and Field & Stream stores in the region, reinforcing Capital City Mall’s lead positioning in the market. Recent additions to the property include top-tier retailers: H&M, Pandora and a new prototype Victoria’s Secret store. As part of PREIT’s commitment to curating a diverse mix of concepts, including experiential tenants, to adjust to a shifting retail landscape, Dave & Buster’s will also open at the property in 2018.
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The Verrichia Company has Acquired the Final 3 Horsham Parcels

The Verrichia Company has acquired the final three parcels necessary to begin development of Horsham Village Plaza; a mixed use retail center that will include a Wawa convenience store with six fuel pumps, a CVS pharmacy with a drive-thru and three additional pad sites available for lease that will include a sit-down restaurants or specialty retailers.

The 5,585 square foot “super” Wawa and 12,900 square foot CVS Pharmayc are expected to open in fall 2018. The three pad sites available for lease total 17,200 square feet and are represented by Metro Commercial. Located at the intersection of Route 611 (Easton Road) and Blair Mill Road, Horsham Village Plaza is located in front of the Pennsylvania Business Campus, home to some of the region’s largest employers, including United Healthcare Services Inc. and a satellite office division of Comcast.
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

For Amazon’s Second HQ’s Search, Bigger May Be Better

While there has been no shortage of market conjecture in recent weeks on where Amazon will decide to locate its new 'co-headquarters,' we decided to crunch the numbers using CoStar’s unparalleled database of commercial real estate information using the key criteria identified by Amazon in its Request for Proposal (RFP).

The rankings weighed the percent of a metro’s population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, the total number of computer and mathematics jobs in the metro, the rate of tech-related job growth from 2013-2015, the total amount of proposed office space tracked by CoStar in the market, the average price/square foot of office properties in the metro based on CoStar sales data, and the affordability of the metro based on CoStar apartment rental data.

With this additional analysis of the specific commercial real estate availability by market, CoStar Market Analytics managers identified the San Francisco-Oakland-East Bay metro area as the top prospect in the new ranking of more than 50 major U.S. metros that fit Amazon’s requirements and preferences for locating a second national headquarters.

TOP CONTENDERS FOR AMAZON HQ2

Six of the nation’s 10 largest cities showed up in the top 10 markets, which are listed in order as follows based on the CoStar Market Analytics ranking:

San Francisco-East Bay
Atlanta
San Jose-South Bay
Washington, DC
Dallas/Fort Worth
New York-NNJ
Boston
Austin
Denver
Philadelphia


Primarily driving those results were the individual metro areas’ ability to meet Amazon’s need for office space.

To be clear, Amazon HQ2 is not a typical headquarters site selection opportunity. As stated in the online giant's RFP, the proposed investment by Amazon in its new HQ2 project is expected to generate billions of dollars in new investments in the area’s economy and tens of thousands of new jobs. Bidding metro areas must have 500,000 square feet of space available by 2019, and the capability or proximity with other potential HQ2 sites for collective capacity for up to 8 million square feet beyond 2027.

What put the San Francisco Bay region on top was that it scored in the top five in all three of the labor force categories: holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, the total number of computer and mathematics jobs in the metro, and the rate of tech-related job growth from 2013-2015.

Most prognosticators have overlooked the Bay Area as a potential landing site for Amazon’s HQ2 campus, citing the region’s high cost of living and office rents, and relatively close proximity to the Amazon's original headquarters in Seattle. Although valid, these cost concerns have not deterred the world’s largest technology companies (and Amazon competitors) such as Google, Apple and Facebook, from continual expansion in the region for good reason. Silicon Valley remains the mecca of global tech talent. High-skilled tech workers continue to flock to the South Bay, one of the few markets in the country where Amazon could immediately find a workforce with the skills needed in mass to establish a second headquarters.

Amazon has also shown a preference for the Bay Area in the past three years, signing leases for more than 366,000 square feet in that time in San Francisco-East Bay, according to CoStar data. Throw in Sunnyvale, CA, and the internet retailer has taken more than 770,000 square feet in that time.

Outside of Seattle, the only market where Amazon has leased more office space is New York. Last week, Amazon announced that it would be adding 2,000 new jobs in Manhattan at a new office at Brookfield's 5 Manhattan West in Hudson Yards, where it signed for 360,000 square feet of space. That brings its total office leasing in New York-NNJ to more than 978,000 square feet in the last three years.

Midsize Markets Offer Cost Advantage

Outside of offering more space or more educated tech workers, the mid-size markets have a clear advantage on cost of occupancy and housing. Only two of the top 10 ranked markets made it onto to the top half of most affordable occupancy costs: Atlanta at No. 16 and Philadelphia at 25.

Atlanta ranks second overall among the MSAs analyzed. Significant points were scored in affordability, with the average housing cost in Atlanta about 50% less than average of the other top 10 contenders. Office space was also 50% less than the average among the top 10 contenders, underlining the lower business costs associated with the metro

While Austin ranks eighth on the list, it and Dallas/Fort Worth are in one of the most business-friendly states in the country. Texas boasts no income tax, offers generous benefits for corporate relocations, which can help offset some of the higher real estate and housing costs.

Given that unemployment in Denver is close to 2% (by far the lowest of any large metro in the country), Amazon would have to rely heavily on net migration to fuel its growth. And in that regard, dozens of major firms have chosen Denver for major expansions or relocations this cycle, including a number of West Coast tech companies.

Philadelphia ranked squarely in 10th place. Philadelphia’s sheer size in terms of population and the large scope of office projects in planning helped push it into the top 10. But where it falls short is in its smaller pool of technology workers, where it ranked 41st.
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Integrated Health Campus LP Secures $53M Financing

Integrated Health Campus LP has secured a $53 million first mortgage for its Integrated Health Campus at 240-250 Cetronia Dr. in Allentown, PA.

Built in 2007, the medical campus totals 301,000 square feet between two buildings and sits on 21 acres in the Lehigh Valley submarket. It has 350 parking spaces and features a fitness center, food service and pool. The medical facility is 84 percent leased.
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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hartz Mountain Industries purchased of 35 Dauphin Drive in Mechanicsburg, PA

Hartz Mountain Industries purchased of 35 Dauphin Drive in Mechanicsburg, PA, for $24.8 million. Hartz Mountain’s purchase of 35 Dauphin Drive is the latest in the company’s current investment strategy of acquiring high quality, stable industrial assets in first tier markets across the United States. Currently 100-percent occupied, 35 Dauphin Drive is situated along US Route 11 (Carlisle Pike) in the Central Pennsylvania, which is characterized by its exceptional highway infrastructure, within a one-day truck drive to approximately 40 percent of the U.S. population and six of the top 10 US MSAs.

Separately, Sterling Place—a three-building, 350,000 square foot, class A, trophy office complex located at 200, 300 and 400 Sterling Parkway in Mechanicsburg, PA hits the market for lease. Sterling Place is owned by Harrisburg, Pennsylvania based developer Hoffer Properties. The property was developed in 2016 and is located in proximity to Interstate 81, the capital beltway, and amenities rich Carlisle Pike. The three buildings total 350,000 square feet of total new construction, with 400 Sterling Parkway offering a build-to-suit opportunity.  Notable tenants include Deloitte Consulting and Church Mutual Insurance Company.

Eastridge Apartments Harrisburg trades for $6.9 million

Eastridge Apartments trades for $6.9 million. It's a 108-unit multifamily property located in Harrisburg, PA. The seller, a limited liability company was not identified.  Over ten offers we received for the asset and ultimately procured an out-of-market buyer, a private partnership that participated in a 1031 exchange.
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Geodis Logistics, Penske Logistics Renew Full Bldg Lease in Chambersburg

Geodis Logistics LLC, a supply chain operator, has renewed its lease for 177,600 square feet in the industrial building at 1440 Sheffler Dr. in Chambersburg, PA.

In a separate transaction, Penske Logistics LLC, another supply chain management and logistics operator, has renewed its 177,600-square-foot lease for the other half of the building.

The distribution warehouse totals 355,200 square feet in the Chambers-5 Business Park. It was built in 1996 and is currently owned by Exeter Property Group. The asset remains fully leased to the two tenants.
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Westover Companies Acquires Mt. Laurel Shopping Center

Westover Companies, a property management and ownership company, has purchased the fully-leased Towne Square Shopping Center at 860-892 Union Mill Rd. in Mount Laurel, NJ, from The Hampshire Cos.

The shopping center is anchored by a ShopRite super market and was built in 1996 and measures 88,265 square feet.

“Since acquiring the Towne Square Shopping Center in 2012, our strategy was to fully lease the property and secure a buyer within five years," said Igor Derbaremdiker, director of dispositions for The Hampshire Cos. “High demand for stabilized grocery-anchored retail product, the strong growth trajectory of the ShopRite grocery chain and Mt. Laurel’s favorable demographics made this the perfect time to sell and complete our investment strategy for the property.”
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AJH Management Acquires 301-Unit Brandywine Hundred in Wilmington

AJH Management purchased the 301-unit Brandywine Hundred apartment building at 400-402 Foulk Rd. in Wilmington, DE for $52.4 million, or about $174,000 per unit, from a joint-venture partnership of Korman Residential Properties and CenterSquare Investment Management.

The six-story, 385,027-square-foot multifamily property delivered in 1959 in New Castle County.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Philadelphia's Mid-Year Industrial Deliveries, Construction and Inventory

During the second quarter 2017, 14 buildings totaling 5,075,807 square feet were completed in the Philadelphia market area. This compares to 13 buildings totaling 2,848,399 square feet that were completed in the first quarter.

There were 15,226,755 square feet of Industrial space under construction at the end of the second quarter 2017.

Some of the notable 2017 deliveries include: 575 Old Forge Rd, a 1,002,000-square-foot facility that delivered in second quarter 2017 and is now 100% occupied, and Goodman Logistics Center Carlisle Building 2, a 938,828-square-foot building that delivered in second quarter 2017 and is now 0% occupied.

The largest projects underway at the end of second quarter 2017 were FedEx Regional Hub, a 1,200,000-square-foot building with 100% of its space pre-leased, and United Business Park - Lot 6, a 1,200,000-square-foot facility that is not pre-leased.

Total Industrial inventory in the Philadelphia market area amounted to 1,089,388,733 square feet in 21,490 buildings as of the end of the second quarter 2017. The Flex sector consisted of 87,184,348 square feet in 3,444 projects. Within the Industrial market there were 2,723 owner-occupied buildings accounting for 233,021,749 square feet of Industrial space.

This trend is compared to the U.S. National Industrial deliveries, which saw 537 buildings totaling 64.42 million square feet completed in the second quarter, with 272.4 million square feet of industrial space still under construction across the country. Total Industrial inventory in the U.S. market area amounted to almost 22.2 billion square feet across more than 643,700 buildings, including 92,000 flex projects and 72,000 owner-occupied buildings.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hanover Ridge Buildings Set to Deliver

NorthPoint Development will complete construction next month on two new industrial buildings within its Hanover Ridge Trade Center at 600 New Commerce Blvd. in Wilkes Barre, PA.

Construction started in 2016, and when completed, Bldg 2 will total 842,880 square feet while Bldg 3 will total 358,498 square feet. Together the properties will offer a total of 120 dock doors, six drive-ins and 119 trailer spaces. NorthPoint expects to break ground on the 311,600-square-foot Bldg 4 in early 2018.
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Ollies Bargain Outlet Coming to Mount Pocono

Ollies Bargain Outlet has signed a three-year lease for 29,679 square feet in the Mt. Pocono Plaza shopping center at 3236 Rte 940 in Mount Pocono, PA.

The shopping center totals 207,455 square feet and was built in 1990. It is currently owned by Heidenberg Properties. Other tenants include Weis Markets and Rent- A-Center.
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Altitude Trampoline Park Jumping Into Carlisle Commerce Center

Altitude Trampoline Park, a growing trampoline facility, has signed a two-year lease for 31,756 square feet in the Carlisle Commerce Center at 2140-2150 White St. in York, PA.

Carlisle Commerce Center is a retail strip totaling 242,720 square feet. It was built in 1988 and is owned and managed by WRDC. Anchor tenants include Big Lots and Planet Fitness.
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Monday, September 11, 2017

Monthly Economic Outlook – September 2017 (Video)

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Executive Education Academy Purchases Allentown Facility

Executive Education Academy Charter School purchased the buildings at 555 Union Blvd. in Allentown, PA for $32.5 million, or about $110 per square foot, from a private investor.

Built in 1947, the five office buildings total 294,639 square feet. The Executive Education Academy was previously in the beginning years of a 12-year lease at the facility when they decided to purchase the building from the landlord.

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PREIT sold the Logan Valley Mall in Altoona, PA

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com

PREIT sold the Logan Valley Mall in Altoona, PA for $33.2 million. Since January 2013, the Company has executed methodically on the sale of 17 lower productivity malls as well as other non-core properties, generating over $750 million in gross proceeds.  Logan Valley Mall is anchored by Macy’s, JC Penney and Sears and generated sales of $324 per square foot compared to PREIT’s portfolio average (excluding this property) of $475 per square foot as of June 30, 2016. Separately, PREIT says three new retailers have opened at Viewmont Mall in Scranton, PA, where the company recast its anchor mix to further diversify and enhance the shopper experience. DICK’S Sporting Goods, Field & Stream and HomeGoods have recently opened within the space formerly occupied by Sears and proactively recaptured by PREIT. Within 14 months of Sears’ closing, the opening of these popular new retailers demonstrates PREIT’s proficiency in identifying and securing quality and high performing replacement anchors.
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Friday, September 8, 2017

Five-Building Naaman’s Creek Business Center Trades To SSH For $16M

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Philadelphia-based SSH Real Estate has acquired Naaman’s Creek Business Center for $16.22 million from a joint venture between Endurance Real Estate Group and Thackeray Partners. It is a 190,729 square-foot, five-building portfolio.

SSH Real Estate,  a privately held company, is known to have 11 assets worth about $458 million, according to proprietary research database Real Capital Analytics. The company was formed by Jeff Seligsohn, Peter Soens, and Robert Hess, and has been associated with $170 million in acquisitions in the past decade, Real Capital Analytics says.

“We are seeing strong demand for flex properties in good in-fill locations. Naaman’s Creek Business Center is the perfect example of this. In just two years occupancy increased nearly 60 percent, yielding a dramatic rise in value.  Functional and flexible assets, such as these play well in good, suburban locations surrounding by strong populations.”

“We are thrilled with the highly successful execution of this deal,” says Albert J. Corr, senior vice president of Endurance who handled the disposition on behalf of the seller. “The portfolio’s attractive setting and strong location enabled us to quickly stabilize it via multiple long-term leases to major tenants including a national furniture distribution company and multiple life sciences firms. This portfolio is consistent with Endurance’s acquisition strategy of acquiring functional buildings in strong in-fill locations.”

Endurance and Thackeray acquired the asset in February 2015 and executed a successful leasing strategy that increased occupancy from 30 percent to 89 percent. New tenants at the park include Zenith Freight Lines, the logistical arm of Bassett Furniture Industries, which took the entire 25,000 square-foot building at 25 Creek Circle, and Pentec Health, which leases the entire 35,000 square-foot building at 9 Creek Parkway.

The buildings, which range in size from 25,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet, are in a 125-acre business park, Naaman’s Creek Center. The buildings were constructed from the late 1990s through the early 2000s and feature all-masonry facades, 19-foot clear ceiling heights, and multiple configurations to accommodate a diversity of tenant requirements. The portfolio fronts Route 322, providing easy access to Interstate 95 and the Philadelphia International Airport to the east (a 15-minute drive), as well as Interstate 476, which presents a direct connection from Interstate 95 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
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