Friday, April 23, 2010

Dentex Dental Mobile, Inc. leases 22,725 SF in Huntingdon Valley

"RMF Associates in leasing their 22,725 SF facility situated on 2.81 acres located at 3035 Franks Road, Huntingdon Valley, Lower Moreland Township, Montgomery County, PA to Dentex Dental Mobile, Inc.

The building offers 3,920 SF of office space and features ceiling heights of 21' 6" sloping to 21' clear, three (3) tailgate loading doors, four (4) drive-in doors, one (1) 2-ton pendant operated bridge crane and two (2) 5-ton pendant operated bridge cranes. The facility is conveniently located in Eastern Montgomery County offering convenient access to Interstate 95, Route 1 (Roosevelt Boulevard), Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76), Woodhaven Road (Route 63) and the bridges to New Jersey.

Dentex Dental Mobile, Inc. is a dental company serving Philadelphia area for nearly two decades. The company utilizes their mobile units as a practical and convenient way to treat patients who have difficulties to get to a physical office. This allows the company the freedom to perform a wide range of dental procedures in the areas that need dental care services."

Whitman Plaza refinanced

"Whitman Plaza, a 279,000-square-foot retail center at Oregon Avenue and Randolph Street in Philadelphia, was refinanced for $16.25 million. The loan was arranged by Berkadia Commercial Mortgage.

The property, anchored by Pathmark and K-Mart, was constructed 25 years ago by Breslin Realty Development. Other tenants include Fashion Bug, Payless Shoes, Radio Shack and Party City. Berkadia arranged the loan with Long Island, N.Y.-based Bethpage Federal Credit Union. The borrower is an affiliate of Breslin Realty Development ... Community Ventures broke ground on Francisville East, a $10.3 million, 44-unit rental development in Philadelphia’s Francisville neighborhood. The development will use $797,390 of federal stimulus funding. The homes will be rented to lower income families ...

Construction of the Salvation Army Kroc Center, a $54 million recreational center at 4200 Wissahickon Ave. in the Nicetown/Tioga section of North Philadelphia, is nearing completion. The 130,000 square-foot facility is being constructed on a brownfield. MGA Partners and PZS Architects designed the project that will include an aquatic education center, gymnasium and fitness center. The project is on time and on budget and scheduled to open in October ...

Thornton Tomasetti Inc., an engineering firm in New York, received an award for Engineering Excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York for structural design of Comcast Center.

Thornton Tomasetti incorporated engineering and safety measure learned after leading the assessment of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. For example, elevators, sprinklers, communications systems and stairwells in the cable company’s headquarters were encased in a massive concrete core that stretches the full height of the building. And, because the building is slender with a small footprint, the building height to core ratio is high with thicker-than-usual exterior walls."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Unsold condos in Old City building to be auctioned

"In the beginning, the six-story, 10-unit condo project at 257-59 N. Second St. was to be called Blu, for the color of its exterior panels.

Architect Jay Tackett was hired by 257-59 Development L.L.C., and "they even built a scale model of it and had pictures of what the units would look like," said Realtor/mortgage broker Fred Glick, the original listing agent.

But completing the project was a hurdle the developer - hamstrung, observers say, by a general contractor who went out of business midstream - couldn't clear.

"People needed to see the finished product," Glick said. "The problem is that it was finished at the wrong time in the wrong area. If it were Rittenhouse or Fitler Square, it would have sold."

At 1 p.m. May 15, the nine unsold units at what is known today as Cu257 will be auctioned at the Hilton Philadelphia Airport Hotel. The minimum bid for the two penthouses, once listed at $1.2 million each, will be $200,000. The minimum bid for the seven remaining units, with list prices ranging from $698,400 to $871,255, will be $95,000.

The seller is 257 Olde City L.L.C. of Wilmington, a subsidiary of the lender, Wilmington Saving Fund Society, designated to complete and sell the building after it was returned to the bank rather than go through foreclosure and sheriff's sale.

According to Bob Dann, vice president of Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. in Clifton, N.J., the properties will be sold through "bidder's choice." In each round, the winning bidder chooses his favorite property from the remaining inventory.

The first penthouse and the first three condos are guaranteed to be sold at the minimum or higher, with subsequent units subject to the seller's confirmation, Dann said.

Property previews begin Tuesday, from 4 to 6 p.m. Beforehand, prospective bidders must sign up for a property-information package at

Real estate auctions like this one are becoming more commonplace. Spann conducted one for Westrum Development Co. in June 2008, selling 11 townhouses at Hilltop at Falls Ridge in East Falls.

In June of last year, Accelerated Marketing Partners of Boston auctioned 40 units at the Murano at 21st and Market Streets; the company will do the same April 29 with 36 units at The Phoenix, at 1600-18 Arch St.

The auctions' intent was to reduce unsold inventory to financially manageable levels. A by-product for Hilltop and the Murano: Units not on the block were sold afterward to unsuccessful bidders.

Auctions can help create interest in the real estate market as a whole, though agents and brokers disagree whether last summer's Murano event achieved that for Center City.

Sometimes, a viable marketing plan works as well.

Richard Oller, who acquired 50 residential and three commercial units at the Aria on Locust Street near Broad at a November sheriff's sale, closed on 16 units after the deed was filed Dec. 31 and has 10 under agreement - more than half his remaining inventory.

"We set our prices 'at market' when we acquired the property" - an average 30 percent discount from the original list - "without reducing prices at all," Oller said.

Price was just one of Cu257's problems.

"Why didn't it sell? Price, economy, and location. What a product mix!" said real estate broker/developer Allan Domb.

The median sale price for condos in Old City was $344,950 in the first quarter of 2010, according to Trend Multiple Listing Service. Half sold for more, half for less.

Cynthia Kehl wants the part of Cu257 she says rests on her roof at 142 Vine St. removed before the auction, or to be compensated for the damage she says has been done to the south wall of her 18th-century rowhouse.

Kehl, who has hired a lawyer, said at least three of her neighbors also have issues with the building.

When asked about those issues, the auction house's Dann replied that the bank says they have been addressed.

A certificate of occupancy has not yet been issued for Cu257, normal when final inspections are under way, said Maura Kennedy, a spokeswoman for Mayor Nutter's office. She added the Department of Licenses and Inspections expects that to be taken care of soon.

Blu's name became Cu257 after the developer, in return for permission to build a 5,900-square-foot roof deck, agreed to change the exterior facade panels from blue to red. Cu is the periodic-table symbol for copper.

The new owner brought in Philadelphia developer David Grasso, of Grasso Holdings, to finish and market Cu257.

"There was a great deal of work that needed to be done because the property had been sitting fallow for some time," Grasso said. "We spent considerable time working on the exterior to ensure that the building was watertight. It was a tough job."

His firm marketed the units and had what he described as "significant interest from prospective buyers" until the lender decided on the auction, Grasso said.

Realtor Mark Wade of Prudential Fox & Roach, who handles Center City condos, said the auction offered the chance for a good deal.

"At the price point where some of these units may eventually sell, it is hard to highlight any negatives . . . in terms of locale, views, or the fact that the property had problems selling when first offered to the general public," Wade said.

"It is not too amazing what a drastic reduction in sale price can overcome."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Delinquency rates higher

"The delinquency rates of commercial loans in the Metropolitan Philadelphia area have steadily crept up during the last four quarters. Lodging appears to have taking the biggest hit and largest jump quarter over quarter, and multifamily second in line, according to data provided by Trepp Inc. Office and retail are also suffering but not at the pace as the other two property types.

Here’s a breakdown of the delinquency rate by property type for Philadelphia MSA for past four quarters. At the end of second-quarter 2009 the rates were: lodging 3.10 percent, multifamily 0.41, office 0.87 and retail 3.28; third-quarter 2009: lodging 3.0 percent, multifamily 0.53, office 1.21 and retail 3.85; at the end of fourth-quarter 2009, lodging rose to 3.9 percent, multifamily jumped to 8.66; office to 4.10 and retail to 3.94; at the end of the first quarter this year: lodging shot up to 11.19, multifamily increased to 9.15 percent, office slightly rose to 4.88 and retail climbed to 4.51."

Saturday, April 17, 2010 Purchases Office in Bucks County Business Park acquired 78 Cabot Blvd. E. in Langhorne, PA, from Enterprise Leasing Co. for $1.6 million, or $175 per square foot.

The single-story, 9,166 square-foot office building is in the Bucks County Business Park and was built in 1995., an online automotive auction company, plans to occupy the entire building.

Patriot Parking Sells Independence Press Bldg. for $4M

Patriot Parking Inc. sold the nine-story Independence Press building in Philadelphia, PA, to Kabro Associates for $4.05 million.

The building at 525-533 N. 11th St. delivered in 1920 and was fully occupied by the Independence Press until the company sold the property in 2007. The building was previously approved for 92 residential units.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Andrew Florance Says Commercial Defaults May Rise in 2012: Video

This is a great interview with Andrew Florance from Costar on Bloomberg. CoStar is analytical and listing service most commercial real estate firms use.
$1.4 Trillion of commercial notes coming due between now and the next 3 to 4 years.

Monday, April 12, 2010

3 Montgomery County properties sell in March

"1) A 5000 SF, one story building at 701 W High St., West Pottsgrove was sold by Duane and Patricia Lawrence to Bob Overdorf, who will use the building for a custom welding shop and the home of Ed Quay Race Cars. The $300,000 sale was financed by the Victory Bank in cooperation with the SBA.

2) A 3500 SF office building situate 123 E. Broad St. in Souderton Borough was sold by Todd and Barbara Hilsee to Jon and Kathleen Roska, for use as offices for their new company.

3)A 65,000 SF Industrial facility located at 1 N. Washington Ave., Borough of Telford was sold by Warren Lumber and Millwork, Inc. to Washington St. Investments for the relocation of Myco Mechanical Contractors. The property consists of approx. 10 acres and 2 buildings. Purchase price was $1,780,000.
Aggregate value of the 3 transactions exceeded $2.5 Million."

Dougherty Automotive Services Leases 11,500 SF in West Chester

"Dougherty Automotive Services, in negotiating a lease agreement for 11,500 SF of flex space located at 17 Hagerty Boulevard in West Chester, PA. Aggregate rental of the lease was $519,000.

Dougherty Automotive Services was founded in 1977 and is a family-run service facility specializing in Swedish and German cars. This new facility, which they moved into in February, contains state of the art diagnostic and repair equipment, provides ample space for over 15 employees, an extensive parts department and a thriving mail order business.

17 Hagerty Boulevard is an 11,500 SF one story flex building which is one of five located in the West Chester Business Park. Amenities include ceiling heights of 20', drive-in loading, 3 phase electric, fully sprinklered, gas heat, abundant parking and public water and sewer. This facility is centrally located with excellent access to Route 202."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Forman Mills/Citizens Bank Location Sells for $6.2

"Lerner-Heidenberg Properties purchased the retail building at 3500 Aramingo Ave. in Philadelphia from A & P Supermarkets for $6.2 million, or $108 per square foot.

The 57,288-square-foot building is situated on five acres. It was built in 1920 and is currently 100 percent leased to Forman Mills and Citizens Bank. The property sits next to the Imperial Plaza, a 121,350-square-foot shopping center, which Lerner-Heidenberg has owned since 1999."

Real Estate Realities

Great interview on CNBC yesterday with Bill Mack of Mack-Cali regarding office rents and the overall commercial real estate market. "A rolling loan gathers no loss."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

hhgregg Opening 12 New Stores in Philly Market

"Continuing its expansion across the mid-Atlantic region, hhgregg has announced approximately 600 jobs for its 12 new stores in the Philadelphia region. The Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics retailer is adding about 50 new employees per location.

Scheduled to open in the spring, the new stores will provide job opportunities to residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The locations are as follows:

9733 Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

740 Lehigh Valley Mall, Whitehall, PA

1251 Knapp Road, North Wales, PA

10 Quarry Road, Downingtown, PA

1101 Woodland Ave., Suite 4000, Wyomissing, PA

4215 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, NJ

3371 US Highway 1, Lawrenceville, NJ

1000 Brandywine Parkway, Wilmington, DE

1380 N Dupont Highway, Dover, DE

2000 Clements Bridge Road, Woodbury, NJ

700 Center Blvd., Newark, DE

100 Lincoln Plaza, Langhorne, PA

"As we continue our mid-Atlantic expansion, entering the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, now is an exciting time to join the hhgregg team," said Dennis L. May, president and CEO of hhgregg.

hhgregg's aggressive expansion has been creating a lot of jobs throughout the mid-Atlantic region over the past several months. In March, the company announced 300 job openings in the Baltimore area and 115 openings in Hagerstown, MD, and Winchester, VA. In February, the retailer announced 240 jobs in Central and Northern Pennsylvania."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Former Tastykake factory to become shopping center

"Tasty Baking Co. on Tuesday said that it will sell its Nicetown bakery, offices and distribution complex to a retail developer for $6 million.

The buyer is a limited partnership formed by Metro Development Co. , which develops large-scale retail centers.

According to a statement released by Tasty Baking, TMKG Associates L.P. "anticipates developing the site into a retail center to serve the surrounding area."

Tasty Baking is selling its bakery at 2801 Hunting Park Ave. and its corporate offices and distribution center at 3413 Fox St.

But before that can happen, the sale is contingent on receiving a zoning change for properties from the City of Philadelphia. There's a 90-day "due diligence" period with closing occuring within 60 days after that. But if the zoning hasn't been changed, Tasty Baking can extend the timeline by up to six months.

The Metro partnership has the right to terminate the agreement at any time during the 90-day due diligence period.

Tasty Baking said it would use the cash proceeds from the sale to reduce the debt it took on to build its new $78 million manufacturing plant at the Navy Yard. The new facilities were backed by $31 million in publicly subsidized financing.

The publicly held Tasty Baking is the snack-foods maker behind Butterscotch Krimpets and Kandy Kakes. Its distribution footprint is the Mid-Atlantic region."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pottstown apartment buildings on auction block

"Four apartment buildings in Pottstown, all of which are in a financially distressed state, are headed for the auction block beginning today. All the buildings have low occupancy.

The properties are:

• 1 W. 4th St., a three-story building totaling 2,018 square feet that has four units. It is 40 occupied and the starting bid has been set at $70,000.

• 25 Chestnut St., a three-story building totaling 4,704 square feet. It also has four units and is 60 percent occupied. Bids start at $75,000.

• 356 Chestnut St., a three-story building totaling 4,608 square feet with five apartments. The building is 67 percent occupied and bids start at $75,000.

• 67 N. Franklin St., a four-unit apartment building totaling 5,535 square feet. The 3-story structure is 38 percent occupied and a starting bid of $75,000.

The apartment buildings will be auctioned online by Real Estate Disposition, an Irvine, Calif., company. Bidding ends Wednesday.

Though not in foreclosure, 36 condos at the Phoenix, a building at 1600-18 Arch St. in Center City, are scheduled to go up for auction April 29. Last year, owners of the Murano in Center City also sold condos at auction to move the units."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

School District Spends $4.3M for Flex Building

"Downingtown Area School District purchased the 55,068-square-foot flex building at 540-560 Trestle Place in Downingtown, PA, from a private seller for $4.3 million, or $78 per square foot.

The light distribution facility sits on about four acres of land in the Trestle Bridge Industrial Park. It has an 18-foot clear ceiling height in the warehouse with eight loading docks and nine drive-in bays."