Tuesday, May 31, 2011

American Executive Centers makes the big move to Malvern

"American Executive Centers moved its Chester County location from the Exton area to Malvern, getting bigger and more high-tech in the process.

The executive suites provider is now located in Brandywine Realty Trust's Valleybrooke Corporate Center at 101 Lindenwood Drive, Malvern spending $1.5 million to make the move.

"It was a big investment," said G. Michael Howard, president of American Executive. The reason for the investment: "there is a lot of demand in the (Great Valley) marketplace, a positive pulse."

Its previous location was 102 Pickering Way, Exton.

American Executive has a 10-year lease at its new location, home to 56 private offices for on-site clients and a number of virtual clients."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Investment in Real Estate is Investment in Commodities

Commodity pricing has a huge effect on commercial property prices and commodity prices help to drive up the price of office real estate, Philip Blumberg, founder and Chairman, Blumberg Capital Partners.

Volpe Enterprises Acquires 40,000 SF Facility in North Wales PA

"The 40,000-square-foot industrial building located at 217 Church Road in North Wales, PA was purchased by Volpe Enterprises for $1.825 million, or about $45 per square foot from William and Joe Wildman.

The property was previously used as light manufacturing facility by Deluxe Corporation. The acquisition will allow for expansion into the Bucks, Lehigh and Southeastern areas of Pennsylvania.

This industrial facility was originally constructed in 1963. Plans are under way to completely remodel the building."

Judge dismisses Chapter 11 petition of 10 Rittenhouse developer

By Alan J. Heavens

"A federal bankruptcy judge has dismissed the Chapter 11 petition filed by the developer of 10 Rittenhouse Square, the luxury condominium building at 130 S. 18th St.

The petition by Philadelphia Rittenhouse Developer L.P. came Jan. 5, just seven minutes before Common Pleas Court Judge Albert W. Sheppard Jr. was to have appointed a receiver. On Dec. 30, Sheppard had approved efforts by the project's senior lender, Istar Financial of New York, to foreclose on the property.

In his late Wednesday decision, Chief Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Raslavich called the Chapter 11 filing "a transparent litigation tactic in a battle between Istar" and Delaware Valley Real Estate Investment Fund, which, as mezzanine lender, has a total claim of $62 million.

In July, after months of lackluster sales at 10 Rittenhouse, Delaware Valley Real Estate Investment Fund - which manages the pensions of 47,200 workers in the region, mostly in the building trades - sued Istar and took control of the property.

Dismissal of the Chapter 11 petition could pave the way for Common Pleas Court to appoint the receiver Istar requested. Bankruptcy Court documents show Istar is owed about $205 million in loans to the 143-unit, 33-story project.

Albert A. Ciardi, attorney for Philadelphia Rittenhouse Developer, said Thursday, "We are disappointed with the decision and are evaluating our options." He said the developer would try to keep things going and reassure homeowners and buyers.

When asked whether he thought Istar would now proceed with the appointment of a receiver, Ciardi said Istar was likely looking at all its options, too.

Efforts Thursday to reach Istar were unsuccessful.

Since 10 Rittenhouse opened in November 2009, just 38 condos - originally priced from $600,000 to $15 million - have sold, according to the city Office of Property Assessment website. Data from the city Recorder of Deeds Office show that a majority of condos sold in Center City since the end of 2008 have been priced less than $500,000.

Developed by Robert Ambrosi and the late Hal Wheeler as ARC Wheeler L.L.C., 10 Rittenhouse opened two years later than planned because of legal battles over preservation and zoning, effectively missing the real estate boom, which ended here in the third quarter of 2007.

On assuming control of the building last summer, Delaware Valley Real Estate Investment Fund created a wholly owned subsidiary to manage it, putting John M. Decker of Dequity Investment Group L.L.C. in charge.

In its July lawsuit in Common Pleas Court, the investment fund accused Istar of "hatching a scheme" to defraud it and the developer by letting the project go into default and assuming control, with the result that "only Istar would obtain repayment." That suit is pending as the state court considers whether monetary damages should be awarded to the investment fund.

In September, in response to the investment fund's suit, Istar filed for foreclosure in Common Pleas Court and requested that a receiver be appointed.

Under a reorganization plan filed in Bankruptcy Court in March, the remaining units at 10 Rittenhouse would have been sold in three to four years and Istar repaid the $200 million-plus it was owed, even though some of the money realized from those sales, as well as rental of commercial space, would be used for completing the building and for operational costs.

In his 59-page decision, however, Raslavich said that "the only credible valuation evidence," given in February by Istar appraiser Joseph D. Pasquarella, put the value of the building at just $140.2 million, which Philadelphia Rittenhouse Developer L.P. accepted.

Instead of repaying Istar, therefore, the loan would be deficient by about $65 million, Raslavich said.

"The plan doesn't protect the secured creditors' debt," he said, but requires Istar "to suffer the diversion of some unquantified portion of those proceeds over to the debtor to use, as it sees fit, for an array of project-related costs and expenses."

In addition, Raslavich said, precedent requires such a plan to be "tested," typically by putting some units on the auction block to determine real market price.

Istar sought such a test. The developer rejected it.

The three largest unsecured creditors - Dale Corp., Turner Construction, and PZS Architects - are owed $4.92 million of a total $5.7 million in that category. Raslavich said they could not understand why the developer had filed for bankruptcy, nor would they approve the reorganization plan.

"Whether the court evaluates this case based on an overfly of the forest or a walk through the thicket of trees, its impression remains the same," the judge said. "The debtor [Philadelphia Rittenhouse Developer L.P.] bore the burden of providing subjective good-faith intentions and the negating of the objective futility of its [reorganization] plan, and did neither."

Vacancies rise as Bala Cynwyd office market falls behind

by Natalie Kostelni

"The office market here, attractive for its proximity to Philadelphia but without the tax burden, has seen better days.

After once enjoying a tight, enviable 3.9 percent vacancy in 2000, the amount of empty space lingering on the market has been on a steady climb since. Office tenants have been migrating to shinier, newer office buildings just down the road in Conshohocken, Radnor and other nearby markets or closing up altogether.

Tenants are also shrinking. For example, Pearson VUE, which administers professional tests, this month renewed its lease at Three Bala Plaza for 42,000 square feet, down from 68,000 square feet. In addition, many existing tenants simply hopscotch around the office submarket, leaving it with half a dozen buildings with pockets of empty space and a 20.7 percent vacancy rate as of the first quarter. Data puts the vacancy rate at the end of the first quarter at about 17 percent.

Tenants who have moved or closed vary in size and type. Janney Montgomery Scott, Hartford Insurance and Verizon shuttered offices in the market. St. Joseph’s University, which had been in 17,000 square feet at Three Bala, relocated back to renovated space at the former Episcopal Academy campus, which it owns. AT&T trekked out to King of Prussia; Judge Group, Smith Barney and ECBM Insurance moved to Conshohocken; Teva Pharmaceuticals went to Horsham; and GfK U.S. Healthcare headed to Blue Bell.

The market totals 2.9 million square feet so small fluctuations can feel bigger but, still, activity hasn’t been as robust as in Radnor or Conshohocken.

“When you lose a 35,000-square-foot tenant in Bala, it’s significant,” Dugan said. “There’s some small deal activity, but you’re not seeing the 15,000- to 30,000-square-foot deals.”

The pool of office tenants who consider Bala also look in Conshohocken and Radnor, both of which have newer buildings or offices that have undergone major overhauls, putting Bala at a disadvantage.

“It’s a market that was used to having 5 to 6 percent vacancy, but it has spiked. Bala is a simple market. It has a phenomenal location but what has been built in the last 20 years? Nothing.”

Landlords have spent money, sometimes millions of dollars, to make interior renovations. Tishman Speyer, the market’s largest landlord with just over 1 million square feet, has made some interior upgrades to its One, Two and Three Bala buildings, but not to the extent of some of the buildings in Radnor and Conshohocken. Maguire Partners sank $6 million into renovating One Belmont. Keystone Property Group totally re-did One Presidential Blvd. and 225 City Ave. — but that only accounts for 208,000 square feet of space. All of those makeovers still can’t keep up with Conshohocken or Radnor.

“What draws people to Bala Cynwyd...is a lot of executives on the Main Line can live close to the office and don’t pay city taxes, but you still have easy access to the city. What has happened over the years is the asset quality has really fallen behind buildings in Conshohocken and Radnor.”

Bala also doesn’t attract a lot of large space users, which has also been a challenge. Bala is predominantly tenanted by companies leasing 2,500 to 6,000 square feet.

“It’s very hard to make up for 40,000 square feet of vacancy. In other markets, there are a lot of 20,000-square-foot tenants that can come in and fill in that.”

Nearby suburban businesses also hesitate to move to Bala because rents are relatively high and asset quality isn’t as good as where they are, he said.

Rents average about $31 a square foot.

“For Bala to be competitive for the next 20 years, we need new development,” said Gary Brandeis, managing director of Fb Capital Partners, which invests in real estate and owns the Crown Plaza on City Avenue. Brandeis also sits on the City Avenue Special Services District. “Bala can’t compete against Radnor, Conshohocken and new development. I think for an office submarket, this is a critical part of keeping Bala Cynwyd competitive over the long run.”

Lower Merion is trying to establish an overlay district along the City Avenue corridor that could have the potential to spur new development. The new zoning would promote taller buildings and denser, mixed-use development that would be more pedestrian friendly in a designated area.

The proposal, for example, would allow the height of existing and new buildings to reach up to 300 feet tall, or roughly 30 stories high. The zoning would flank both sides of City Avenue and Philadelphia City Council passed the zoning district in 2009. Lower Merion Commissioners have yet to sign off on it and hearings this summer are expected to refine the ordinance.

The overlay district has been controversial. Opponents worry that taller buildings will mean more traffic congestion and be a detriment to the residential communities. If the zoning eventually passes, development activity would be years away but once in place, could potentially pull more tenants out of Center City who are seeking breaks on Philadelphia taxes and proximity to the city and brand-new buildings.

“The location of Bala will never change but the rezoning is going to be a factor to make it more competitive. It needs the rezoning, otherwise more tenants will leave.”

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sonco Worldwide Inks 50,000-SF Lease at Bldg 200

"Sonco Worldwide, a distribution and manufacturing company, signed a lease for 50,000 square feet of warehouse space at Crownwood Industrial Estates. In addition to the warehouse space, Sonco also leased 1.5 acres of land to use as additional storage area.

Located at 805 N. Wilson Ave. in Bristol, PA, Building 200 was completed in 1975 and totals 110,968 square feet. Crownwood Industrial Estates consists of four buildings totaling about 219,000 square feet on 25 acres. Crownwood Industrial Estates is located less than one mile from the PA Turnpike."

Rittenhouse Row Building Sells For $2M

"Democratic County Executive Committee sold its 6,000-square-foot office building to Pearl Properties LLC for $2 million, or about $333 per square foot.

Located at 1421 Walnut St. in downtown Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Row will be renovated into a retail / office location."

Somerset Retail Sells for $9M

"Schoolhouse Crossings sold 464 Elizabeth Avenue, a fully leased, three-building retail center in Somerset, NJ, to Somerset NJ LLC for $8.965 million, or about $445 per square foot.

This 20,164-square-foot shopping center is anchored by a 14,564-square-foot Rite Aid and includes a 3,600-square-foot New Millennium Bank branch and a 2,000-square-foot Dunkin Donuts. The buildings were constructed in 2009 and each tenant holds long-term leases. The property sits on a 3.29-acre lot at a signalized intersection."

Allan Domb Real Estate pays $4.25M for Philadelphia Retail

"Allan Domb Real Estate, a Philadelphia-based property investment firm, acquired the two-story Diesel USA building in Philadelphia, PA from Goldman Properties of New York for $4.25 million, or about $752 per square foot.

The retail building at 1507 Walnut Street totals 5,652 square feet and is fully leased to Diesel USA."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Morgan Stanley to buy 50% of King of Prussia Mall

by Natalie Kostelni

"Lend Lease has decided to unload its 50 percent interest in the King of Prussia Mall for $545 million. The Australian investment company said it entered into an agreement to sell its portion of the property to Morgan Stanley Prime Property Fund (NYSE:MS). Lend Lease will reap $545 million in proceeds after debt and take $100 million in profits after taxes and other transaction costs, according to the company.

The suburban Philadelphia shopping mecca totals 2.85 million square feet. It opened in 1963 as an open mall and over the years evolved into the largest enclosed mall on the East Coast.

Lend Lease bought its 50 percent interest in 1996 for $110 million. It made the investment under the name Yarmouth Lend Lease KOP Inc. A cluster of other investors that went under the name Kingmark Associates ­— which included original developer Kravco Co., Simon Property Group and three family trusts own the remaining 50 percent.

Lend Lease will use the proceeds to pay debt and fund its investment pipeline in the United States, the company said in a statement. The deal is expected to close in August."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Next Great Real Estate Area

Parkway Business Center Secures Long-Term Government Tenant

"The State of Delaware has signed a ten-year lease for 62,400 square feet at 220 Lisa Drive in New Castle, DE.

The 64,000-square-foot warehouse building is located in the Parkway Business Center. The property was built in 1998, and sits on almost 17 acres."

Properties Previously Bought at Peak Exerting Downward Pressure on Current Prices

"The commercial real estate market is continuing to adjust from "bubble" prices as 70.2% of the acquisitions made from 2005-2007 and subsequently sold in the first quarter of 2011 sold at a lower price, according to the latest release of CoStar's Commercial Repeat Sales Indices (CCRSI).

Comparatively, 40.5% of acquisitions made before 2005 and subsequently sold in the first quarter of 2011 sold at a lower price. 55% of the first quarter 2011 sales pairs were for properties previously purchased in 2005 or after.

"What we have been able to do is to quantify the subsequent pricing performance of the 'bubble' era acquisitions," noted CoStar Senior Real Estate Strategist Chris Macke. "This is critical information, as many of the 'extend and pretend' loans are secured by these bubble-era properties."

The newly released Commercial Repeat-Sale Indices (CCRSI) May 2011 report is based on data through the end of March 2011.

CoStar's Investment Grade Repeat-Sale Index was down 10.5% for the first quarter following an 8.4% increase in the fourth quarter. This continues the see-saw pricing pattern observed with oscillating quarterly sales data and returns the Investment Grade Index within 2% of its market low in the fourth quarter of 2009. From its peak in the second quarter of 2007 the Investment Grade pricing index has declined 39%.

CoStar's General Grade Repeat Sales Index declined by 1% in the first quarter after a 5.7% decline in the fourth quarter. The General Grade Index reached a new low in the first quarter and is down 33% from its market peak in the third quarter of 2007.

The weak performance of the Investment Grade index during the first quarter along with the continued weakness in the General Grade Index collectively led to a 2.8% decline in the U.S. National Composite Index, which is an equal-weighted repeat sales analysis of all commercial real estate sales, with two-thirds of the transaction count contained within the General Grade Index.
Northeast Strengthening
Among the CCRSI's regional prices indices, the Northeast region of the United States continues to lead the nation in terms of strengthening prices having recovered 29% of its pre-recession pricing levels.

However, the Midwest posted the strongest quarterly gain of 3.2%. The Midwest now replaces the Southeast as the only other region to join the Northeast as having gained back any of its pre-recession pricing levels.

Overall, pricing for commercial real estate in the Northeast remains 15% lower than its pre-recession pricing levels. The West, Midwest and Southeast regions remain down 38%, 37% and 35% respectively.

The Northeast region of the United States benefits from the impact of commercial property sales in New York City and Boston, two desirable core markets that have continued to attract investor interest, and have generally stronger economic conditions and superior multifamily pricing performance.
Retail Rebounds
Retail was the only property type that did not experience a pricing decline during the first quarter of 2011. Retail posted a 1.6% gain while office declined 11.7%, industrial declined 5.1% and multifamily declined 3.1%.

By property type the highest percent of distress in the first quarter was in hospitality at 42.6%, followed by office at 35%, retail at 30%, industrial at 28.4% and multifamily at 25.4%."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Liberty Property Trust Sells 32 Properties in Lehigh Valley

"Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LRY - News), today announced that it has sold 32 properties, offering 1.4 million square feet of space in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, region, for approximately $124 million. Liberty remains both the largest landlord and the only national commercial real estate company with a local presence in the Lehigh Valley.

"This sale is consistent with our Lehigh Valley strategy. Our focus remains on developing and operating high quality distribution properties in the growing distribution corridor that stretches from the Lehigh Valley through Harrisburg to Hagerstown, MD," said Bob Kiel, senior vice president and city manager for the Lehigh Valley region.

"We took the opportunity to divest some older properties in the Lehigh Valley International Airport submarket in order to focus on growth in the west side of the Lehigh Valley and across the corridor," he continued. "As the economy picks up speed, demand for high quality distribution facilities across the region is growing."

The properties include office and high-finish flex properties and are located in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, William Penn Business Center, and Stabler Corporate Center. The properties are approximately 90% leased."

Pureland Industrial Complex Sells for $8.4M

"Mapei Corporation acquired the industrial facility in Bridgeport, NJ from Liberty Venture I, LP for $8.4 million, or about $37 per square foot.

The property is located at 2155 High Hill Rd. in southern New Jersey's distribution corridor. It totals 231,000 square feet.

Liberty Property Trust was the the seller."

Bank of America More Than Tripling Number of Customer Centers

"Bank of America plans to more than triple its number of customer assistance centers in the coming weeks, bringing the total to 40 in 22 states by early summer.

Beginning this month and into July, the bank plans to open 28 new centers in some of the metropolitan areas that have been the hardest hit by the downturn in the economy and housing market.

Bank of America is already operating 12 fulltime customer assistance centers, including five opened since the first of this year.

Seven of the new centers will be in hard-hit areas of California, including two additional locations in greater Los Angeles, as well as sites in San Diego, the Inland Empire, the Antelope Valley and the northern and southern San Joaquin Valley.

Other metropolitan areas to be served by the new centers include Atlanta; Baltimore/Washington; Denver; Detroit (two locations); north metro Detroit/Pontiac; Houston; Kansas City; Miami; Milwaukee; Nashville; Newark, NJ; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Raleigh; Richmond, VA; San Antonio; St. Louis; and Tucson.

Since the first of the year, Bank of America has opened customer assistance centers in Alexandria, VA; Chicago; Glendale, CA; Orlando; and Seattle."

American Furniture Design Leases 24,000 SF in Springfield

"American Furniture Design Co., a local furniture designer and retailer, signed a five-year lease for about 24,000 square feet in the retail building at 134 Baltimore Pike in Springfield, PA.

The single-story retail building totals 24,000 square feet and was originally constructed in 1970 in the Delaware County submarket."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Community College of Philadelphia Purchases Land

"The School District of Philadelphia recently sold 1.4 acres to Community College of Philadelphia. The land is located at 434 N. 15th St. in Philadelphia, and sold for $5.8 million in an all-cash transaction.

The development site is zoned G2, has all utilities to site, and is currently built out as a 250-car parking lot. The land was on the market for about 16 months and is now being held for future mixed-use redevelopment. Until the redevelopment begins, the land will be used for employee parking."

Keystone Property buys Liberty Mutual Building in Bala

by Natalie Kostelni

"Keystone Property Group has expanded its office holdings here and bought the Liberty Mutual building.

The private real estate developer, based in Bala, paid around $4 million for the 53,920-square-foot property at 15 Kings Grant Drive. The building was constructed in 1957 and has been owned and occupied by the insurance giant ever since.

As part of the transaction, Liberty Mutual signed a short-term lease and will remain in the structure for the time being, said Bill Glazer, president of Keystone.

Office properties infrequently come on the market here and a handful of landlords control the bulk of the buildings. Tishman Speyer is the largest owner of office buildings. It bought Bala Plaza, a four-building complex totaling a little more than 1 million square feet, in 2004. A more recent transaction was logged last August, when Goodman Properties of Jenkintown paid $5.35 million for 101 W. City Ave., a 75,000-square-foot property commonly referred to as the Van Sciver building.

When buildings do come on the market, an investor usually seize upon them.

“This is a unique sale because it’s one of the last remaining owner-occupied buildings in Bala,” said a broker. “Keystone was fortunate to be able to acquire the property from a user and add to their presence in the market.”

Keystone first dipped into the Bala market in 2006 when it paid nearly $19 million for the former Aamco headquarters, which it redeveloped and renamed One Presidential Blvd. It also moved its headquarters from Conshohocken to Bala.

“We’ve been looking for opportunities to increase our presence in this market,” Glazer said.

Keystone now owns a total of three office buildings in Bala. It also owns 225 City Ave., a 78,000-square-foot building commonly known as the Pegasus building for tenant Pegasus Communications Corp.

In the case of the Liberty Mutual building, the insurance company decided it made more sense for it to sell.

“If you look at their portfolio, they don’t own a lot of real estate. They basically lease across the country more than own.”

The company also is evaluating its presence in Bala, and while it will likely maintain a portion of its operations in the office submarket, it may relocate some employees further into the western suburbs.

The real estate company typically buys tired, outdated office buildings, totally renovates them and re-leases them."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Office & Industrial Market Trends

Office Rents:

Office Sales:

Industrial Rents:

Industrial Sales:

12 Lease Transactions Completed in Philadelphia Suburbs

"Laredo Mechanical, LLC, a heating and air conditioning service company, leased 3,217 SF of flex space at 5185 Campus Drive in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

Larson Investments, signed a long-term lease at 85 Old Eagle School Road in Wayne, PA. The tenant, Bridgepoint Insurance Group, Inc. leased 2,255 square feet of office space on the first floor of the building.

Marciano Wealth Advisors signed a long-term renewal of their 1,777 square foot office lease at Gulph Crossing (357 S. Gulph Road) in King of Prussia, PA."

Source New Jersey, Inc. renewed their 3,785 square foot flex space at 2460 General Armistead Avenue, Norristown, PA

Keystone Clinical Studies renewed their 2,800 square foot lease at 2460 General Armistead Avenue, Norristown, PA.

• 4 lease transactions at One Belmont Avenue (GSB Building) in Bala Cynwyd.

Just Energy, a leading independent energy supplier with over 1.6 million electricity accounts across the US and Canada, leased 3,998 square feet of office space in a new deal.

Amdocs signed a new deal for 2,931 square feet.

HRI signed a new lease for 4,400 square feet on the fifth floor of the building.

Cambria Capital Management, LLC renewed their 1,815 square foot office space on the third floor of the building.

Rasansky Physical Therapy, renewed at Two Bala Plaza in Bala Cynwyd. Rasansky occupies 5,091 square feet of office space and has been a tenant in the building since 2004.

eToims Medical Technology, LLC, leased 2,208 square feet of space at 233 E. Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore and plans to occupy in June 2011.

Interactive Forums, Inc. in their renewal and expansion. Interactive Forums, Inc. renewed their existing 3,301 square feet and is expanding an additional 901 square feet at 150 Monument Road in Bala Cynwyd.

Conner Strong Signs 90-Month Lease at Liberty Place

"Conner Strong, a leading insurance brokerage and consulting firm, signed a 90-month lease with EOLA Capital's Liberty Place building. The lease is for 23,015 square feet of office space at Two Liberty Place, located at 50 S 16th Street in Philadelphia.

The 57-story, class A office building totals 991,620 square feet and construction was completed in 1990. The building is located in the Market Street West area, and is one of Philadelphia’s premier office towers."

CoLinx Takes 25,000 SF in Thorofare, NJ

"E-Commerce and logistics services provider, CoLinx, has signed a lease agreement to occupy 25,000 square feet at 1251 Metropolitan Ave. in Thorofare, NJ.

The 50,000-square-foot industrial warehouse was constructed in 1967 on a 2.5-acre parcel within the Mid-Atlantic Corporate Center. CoLinx will join Cooper Electric Supply Company, bringing the building to full occupancy."

Forman Mills to Open New Location in Wilmington

"Forman Mills has leased 49,500 square feet of retail space at 4301 North Market Street in Wilmington, DE. A 10-year term was recently signed with a prospective move-in date of August 2011. The discount clothing store will be moving just a few doors down from its current location.

The retail building offers a total of 132,068 square feet of retail and office space with multiple tenants on 10.25 acres. Super Fresh grocery store formerly occupied this space, which offers loading docks and is located on a bus line."

DP Partners Completes Penn Jersey Headquarters in Philly

"DP Partners, an affiliate of Dermody Properties, has completed a new 255,336-square-foot corporate headquarters and industrial distribution center for Penn Jersey (PJP) in Northeast Philadelphia, allowing the company to expand its current operations and retain 250 jobs in the city instead of moving outside the area.

The facility is located on 30 acres at 9355 Blue Grass Road. DP Partners expects the facility will receive LEED Silver Certification by summer. Approximately 230 construction jobs were created since the project's inception in June 2010, resulting in an estimated $51 million in economic benefits to the area.

PJP signed a 15-year lease for the entire facility, with operations beginning this month. The new location allows the tenant to expand by more than 75,000 square feet as it relocates from its current facility on Red Lion Road. PJP is a regional distributor of packaging, paper, janitorial chemical and restaurant equipment and supplies, providing more than 8,500 items to customers throughout the northeastern United States.

A joint venture of Dermody Properties and Boston-based Great Point Investors LLC own the new facility. DP Partners and PJP worked with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) to identify the land site, located in the state's Keystone Opportunity Zone, which provides tax abatements and other incentives for 10 years. Blue Rock Construction was the general contractor for the project."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

United Bank Card Moving HQ to PA

"United Bank Card Inc. has selected the Lehigh Valley as a consolidation location for two out-of-state operations and the corporate headquarters team.

United Bank Card will lease the former regional headquarters of Kraft Foods Inc. in Hanover Township, creating 175 jobs with the relocation from Hampton, N.J. The 27,750-square-foot building will house all office and warehouse operations.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. assisted in securing $778,750 for the project from the Department of Community and Economic Development. The funding consists of a $350,000 opportunity grant, $78,750 in job training assistance and $350,000 in job creation tax credits. The Governor's Action Team coordinated the project."

Monday, May 2, 2011

41,200 SF of Industrial Space Filled By K.S.I. Auto Parts

"K.S.I. Auto Parts leased 41,200 square feet of industrial space at 8295-8301 National Highway in Pennsauken, NJ. K.S.I. is relocating and expanding from its current location at 6875 Westfield Ave. A five-year lease term was negotiated.

K.S.I. Auto Parts will take occupancy of its new space in the 121,000-square-foot warehouse that was built in 1975 and sits on 7.5 acres. This building offers numerous loading docks, is located on the Norfolk Southern Rail line, and is conveniently situated only 10 minutes from the Philadelphia and NJ Turnpikes."