Friday, September 30, 2011

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Leases 53,435 SF

"University Place Associates, LLC completed a lease with the U.S. General Services Administration for 53,435 square feet of space to house the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at 2.0 University Place. The 15-year lease is valued at $26 million.

This is a five-story, 96,916-square-foot building located at 30 N. 41st St. within one of the city's Keystone Opportunity Zones. The property achieved LEED® Platinum pre-certification status in 2009.

"By leasing space within 2.0 University Place, the GSA was able to exceed the current administration's LEED Gold standard for leasing new construction."

Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is currently located at 1600 Callowhill, is expected to take occupancy of the first three floors of the building in December 2012.

"In addition to providing tenants a sustainable work environment, 2.0 University Place will have a significant impact on the neighborhood. GSA's lease allows us to move forward with our commitment to revitalizing the Market Street corridor," said Scott Mazo, partner, University Place Associates.

Green elements include storm water management through an extensive modular green roof system composed of soil media and drought-tolerant vegetation; wind and solar-generated energy in common areas; efficient heating and cooling systems that reduce both internal air pollution and tenants energy costs by 50 percent as compared to that of a same size non-green building; a roof-top garden that improves air quality, conserves energy and reduces storm-water runoff; strategically placed shading devices to reduce solar gain during the summer months while allowing heat gain during the winter and secure bicycle parking.

The building is located within one block from the El at 40th and Market streets, which connects commuters to the 30th Street Station in less than five minutes.

A 15,000-square-foot lease with a private company is currently being negotiated at 2.0 University Place with approximately 25,000 square feet remaining available for lease."

Reber Friel Moves into 41,000sf in Oaks, PA

"Reber Friel, owned by Thomas McAvinue, has relocated its facility to a 41,000 sq. ft. building in the 422 Business Center in Oaks, PA. Reber Friel services trade-shows throughout the country. The new facility includes corporate offices and warehouse operations.

The Reber Friel Company has been servicing trade shows since 1937 and McAvinue has been a part of the organization since 1969."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Biomed Firm Breaks Ground on $100M Expansion in University City

"The Wistar Institute, a biomedical research company specializing in cancer research and vaccine development, has broken ground on a seven-story, 89,700-square-foot research tower which will rise above its current facility at 36th and Spruce streets in University City, PA.

The expansion will enable Wistar, currently constrained by aging facilities that its president and CEO Russel E. Kaufman described as "designed for 19th and 20th century science," to expand its research operations, recruit new scientific faculty and pursue collaborative biomedical research in emerging areas of science.

Scheduled for completion in spring 2014, the $100 million expansion project will support 380 construction jobs and is expected to create 100 new research and administrative jobs.

"We designed our new building specifically to foster interactions between researchers in the kinds of multidisciplinary collaborations that spark innovation and drive results," Kaufman said.

Five of the floors will house laboratories with flexible, open floor plans designed to support team science. Each floor will accommodate up to four principal investigators and their laboratory staffs. The new labs, along with the recruiting up to 10 new faculty members with expertise in promising new areas of biomedical research, will enable the institute to increase the capacity of every team working on genetics, vaccines and cancer research.

The expansion will create a new public entrance to the institute on Spruce Street and a 200-seat auditorium. Funding for the project includes an $18 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant from Pennsylvania; a capital campaign, and $70 million in debt financing through Citizens Bank.

Ballinger is serving as project architect and engineer and L. F. Driscoll, LLC is handling construction management."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

1700 Market Street sells for $143.5M

"The Chicago-based Pearlmark Real Estate Partners said Monday that they've closed the sale of Center City's 1700 Market Street office tower to Brooklyn-based property investor David Werner and his partners at a price of $143.5 million, or $170 a square foot. The property includes a 761-car garage.

The sale price is a little less than the $178 per square foot that landlord Brandywine Property Trust paid in 2010 for the Commerce Square complex across the street. Space at 1700, where major tenants include Deloitte and Independence Blue Cross, now rents for about $25 per square foot. Asking rents at Commerce are a few dollars higher.

The contract, negotiated in May, "closed on schedule despite a tumultuous capital market in August and September."

During the federal budget impasse, investors stopped buying mortgage-backed bonds, forcing investors to borrow from banks at higher rates.

Meridian Capital's Jonathan Stern arranged for Werner to borrow $123 million in senior mortgage and mezzanine financing through UBS.

Philadelphia office rents have been roughly flat for 20 years. But Beneville said the sale was proof that Philadelphia remained attractive: "It's a big building, there was a lot of competition from institutional U.S. and offshore investors."

Buyer Werner represents "out-of-town New York capital," said Beneville, and banker UBS is "a major institutional lender."

Renmatix moves to King of Prussia

By Harold Brubaker

"A renewable-fuels and materials company - backed by a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm has moved its headquarters and technology center to King of Prussia.

The relocation of Renmatix Inc., in a deal being announced Tuesday at an event with Gov. Corbett, company officials, and John Doerr of the venture-capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, brings only a dozen or so jobs to the region to start.

But employment at Renmatix could balloon if its elaborate process for making fuels and chemicals from plant materials that are not used for food becomes a commercial success.

Furthermore, the Philadelphia region could become a hub for the nascent renewables industry, as it was for the chemicals and pharmaceutical industries in the 20th century, officials said.

"We're in the rapid scaling-up mode here locally," Mike Hamilton, a former Rohm & Haas Co. executive who joined Renmatix as chief executive officer in August 2010.

Hamilton would not say more about local employment goals at Renmatix, leaving the details to Corbett at Tuesday's event. Hamilton also declined to detail the incentive package Renmatix received from Pennsylvania for the move from Kennesaw, Ga., where it has a demonstration plant that makes samples for potential customers.

Renmatix's product is sugar derived from plants or parts of plants that are not used for food, as is the case with traditional U.S. ethanol production from kernels of corn. The reliance on corn to meet federal mandates for renewable fuels has helped drive food prices higher in recent years.

Renmatix - a contraction of "renewable materials" - says it can use waste wood and a wide range of other plant materials to make sugars that yeast can ferment into fuel or chemicals.

A more important incentive than money for relocating to the Philadelphia area was the workforce, said Hamilton, who lives near Wayne.

"We have a wealth of material-science talent and depth here in the region, which was attractive to us. We want to tap into that and attract a number of people to come and work with us," he said, citing the presence of DuPont Co., Dow Chemical, FMC Corp., and Arkema Inc.

Another attraction was Pennsylvania's hardwoods, which have the state in the running for Renmatix's first commercial plant, a $100 million facility whose location will likely be announced early next year, Hamilton said.

"We're in active discussions with some possible sites," he said. "It would be in a hardwood-producing part of the country. Somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic is the likely location for it."

DuPont, in Wilmington, has been pursuing similar goals, developing a portfolio of materials and chemicals derived at least partially from corn. In 2008, DuPont formed a $140 million joint venture with a Danish company to make ethanol from corncobs and other nonfood materials.

DuPont has since bought Danisco A/S for more than $6 billion.

Renmatix takes a different route, one that is cheaper and faster than enzymes, Hamilton said, to turning cellulose and hemicellulose into sugars.

Renmatix plans to sell those sugars to manufacturers that will further process them into chemicals and, eventually, plastics and other goods.

The company uses water in what is called a "supercritical" state, a combination of temperature and pressure that makes it act like solvent that releases sugars from the wood chips or whatever plant material is being processed."

Monday, September 26, 2011

MIM Hayden Real Estate Fund Acquires Distressed Asset in REO Sale

"MIM-Hayden Real Estate Fund has closed on 955 Mearns Road in Warminister, PA from J.E. Robert Companies, special servicer for Bank of America Corp. The subject property was acquired out of foreclosure for $11.2 million, or about $37 per square foot.

The 305,000-square-foot, single-story flex building sits on more than 28 acres. It was built in 1962 and renovated in 2002. The building houses quite a few credit-worthy tenants with long term leases, including S&P Industries which renewed its 82,000-square-foot lease this month."

3900 Jasper Street in Philadelphia trades for $3.5M

"The Sale of 3900 Jasper Street in Philadelphia Former Northeast Catholic High School Complex was completed. The former Northeast Catholic High School for Boys building was sold to Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School (MBA). The purchase price was $3.5 million.

Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School (MBA), currently located at 2501 Kensington Avenue, opened its doors in 2000 and serves 1,155 students in grades 6-12. MBA's selection of the Northeast Catholic High School for Boys building as its future location reflects a decision to remain in close proximity to where current enrolled families reside."

Flex Building in Burlington, NJ Sold for $2 Million

"The Sale of a 79,000 sf Flex Building in Burlington County New Jersey, recently sold for $2 Million.
The property, located at 1601 Schlumberger Drive is situated on seven acres in Moorestown, New Jersey. The property is comprised of office space, air-conditioned production area, and warehouse space. Located in Moorestown Corporate Park, the property is well landscaped and close to local highways. The buyer intends to use the property for additional storage and will make available approximately 20,000 square feet of office area available for lease.

The buyer was 1601 Schlumberger LLC. The property will be occupied by EMSL Analytical Inc. who is the nation's leading environmental testing firm. EMSL's network of nationwide laboratories has been providing quality analytical services since 1981. They offer a wide array of analytical testing services to support environmental investigations focused on asbestos, microbiology, lead paint, environmental chemistry, indoor air quality, industrial hygiene and food testing. Additionally, they also provide materials testing, characterization, and forensic laboratory services for a wide range of commercial, industrial, regulatory, and law enforcement clients.

The seller was First Industrial Realty Trust. First Industrial is an established REIT and owner of industrial real estate serving thousands of customers, which leases, manages, buys, sells, and develops industrial real estate, providing real estate solutions for every stage of the industrial supply chain."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Galman Group Completes $15.1M Multifamily Portfolio Purchase

"GPX Realty Partners LP sold four apartment complexes totaling 225 units to The Galman Group for $15.1 million, or about $67,100 per unit.

Langford Apartments, located at 360 N. Bethlehem Pike in Ambler, contains 36 units. Containing 39-units, the Livingstone Apartments are located at 240 E. County Line Road in Hatboro. The Wellington apartments contain a total of 136 units and are located at 2529 Horsham Road in Hatboro. The Oak Terrace Apartments has 14 units, and is located at 2621 Horsham Road in Hatboro. The three properties in Hatboro, PA are operated as one facility."

Hunt Companies Sell 298-Unit Multifamily Complex For $23M

"Hunt Companies sold the 298-unit multifamily property located at 4666 Caroline Ave. in Dover, DE to Morgan Management LLC for $23.18 million, or about $77,800 per unit.

Formerly military housing, the Eagle Meadows apartment complex totals 352,202 square feet, on 72 acres located about 15 minutes from downtown Dover near Dover Air Force Base. The property recently underwent approximately $4 million in renovations including new HVAC, roofs, electrical panels and other improvements to one-third of the units. The property was 97 percent occupied at time of sale."

Kenhorst Plaza Sells for $16.2M

"Katz Properties LLC acquired Kenhorst Plaza from Spectrum Partners LLC for $16.15 million, or approximately $107 per square foot.

The deal totals 151,150 square feet at 1895 New Holland Rd. and the outparcels - a Dairy Queen, Blue Ball Bank and Sears. The center is located at the corners of Kenhorst Plaza, New Holland and Philadelphia Avenues, and was 89 percent occupied at the time of sale."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Phila. breaks ground for Old City hotel

By Suzette Parmley
"With 268 rooms overlooking Independence Mall in the heart of what is often referred to as the most historic square mile in the country, the four-star Monaco Hotel will be one of only two city hotels to open next year.

So Mayor Nutter gave the new hotel and the 200 permanent jobs and 400 construction jobs it brings an official welcome Thursday at a groundbreaking ceremony where the Lafayette Building currently sits, at Fifth and Chestnut Streets. As an adaptive reuse project, the Monaco will take over the historic building.

"We have been long awaiting this particular property," said Nutter, just before posing with Niki Leondakis, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants president and chief operating officer. The duo donned hard hats and each got behind a jack hammer and a pile of concrete cinder blocks.

For San Francisco-based Kimpton, this is the company's second investment in the city. It opened the 230-room, four-star Palomar at 17th and Sansom Streets in October 2009.

Nutter said he has stayed at the Monaco in Washington and was excited to bring the luxury brand here. Giving a nod to the Phillies' fifth straight year of advancing to the postseason, the mayor said that by this time next year, fans will be able stay at the Monaco to catch a weekend series with the Phils.

"This will be a spectacular property," he said.

Designed with the sophisticated world traveler in mind, the Monaco, in Old City, will feature brightly colored, whimsical, high-energy spaces filled with pieces that a traveler might have collected along the way.

For the last four years, the vacant Lafayette has been a drag in that highly visible area.

When it opens next summer, the Monaco will be the first new hotel in the Society Hill/Old City area in a decade. The 350-room Hyatt Regency opened in 2000 at Penn's Landing, and the 147-room Omni Hotel opened in 1990 at Independence Park.

"This will bring some new life to the area's hotel supply and, frankly, upgrade the overall quality level of the hotel product in this part of the city," said hospitality expert Peter Tyson, vice president of PKF Consulting USA. "It should draw more upscale tourist and commercial demand to the area and offer an upscale lodging alternative for the more discriminating visitors already staying in the area."

The Monaco will add to a Center City hotel inventory of about 10,700 rooms. It joins the 136-unit Homewood Suites in University City as the only two new hotels scheduled to open next year."

Constar moves HQ to Mich. from Phila.

by Mike Armstrong
"Constar International has moved its corporate headquarters from Philadelphia to Troy, Mich.

In addition, Constar has moved its accounting, legal, human resources, purchasing, and sales and marketing opertions to a new center in Trevose from One Crown Way in Philadelphia -- which is where its former parent company (Crown Holdings) is based.

Crown Holdings spun off Constar in 2002.

Constar, a maker of plastic containers for the food and beverage industry, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in June for the second time in two years.

The company said its new executive office in Michigan is the base for its CEO, Grant Beard, as well as its chief financial officer and other key executives. Constar's R&D and packaging design and engineering teams will remain in Alsip, Ill."

The State Of Real Estate

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Commercial Property Plays

SP Industries Inks 82,000-SF Lease at Mearns Park

"SP Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of equipment and specialty glassware serving pharmaceutical, biotechnology, educational, and industrial sectors, renewed its lease for 82,000 square feet at 955 Mearns Rd. in Warminster, PA.

Located at Mearns Park, Building 1 consists of a 305,000-square-foot, single-story industrial facility that sits on more than 28 acres in the Bucks County Industrial submarket."

10 Penn Center Secures Long Term Tenant

"Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), a professional association of over 20,000 CPA's, signed a ten-year lease deal to occupy 16,176 square feet of office space at 10 Penn Center.

Located at 1801 Market Street, the 27-story, class A, energy efficient office building contains 24 hour / 7-day access and security, a restaurant, bank and travel agency on-site, and nine SEPTA bus lines and subway access at the door."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Teva Pharmaceuticals Closes on 138 Acres of Land in Philadelphia

"Highly Anticipated 1.2M SF HQ Complex to Break Ground
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA purchased 137.47 acres from J.G Petrucci Co., Inc. for approximately $40.59 million. The sale consisted of two parcels, 136 acres at 1 Red Lion Road and a 14,400-square-foot industrial building at 10098 Sandmeyer Lane, both located in Philadelphia. The sale was for the land only, and the purchase price included the approvals to develop a total of 2.2 million square feet of industrial space at the site.

Teva Pharmaceuticals is expected to break ground on Phase I of the project at the end of September. The 1.2 million-square-foot complex is expected to be completed by mid-2013. The single-story building will be built with a height of 125 feet. The complex is expected to have at least 500 employees within three years."

Doylestown building trades for $2.1M

"A 36,677 SF industrial building located at 4049 Landisville Road in Doylestown, Bucks County, PA was sold. The seller was Frank T. Shuman and the buyers were TF Partners, LP aka Thompson Auto Group. The property sold for $2,100,000.

The property is a one-story, modern warehouse & service facility situated on 5.8 +/- acres. It features 5,800 SF of office area, 18' ceiling height, 6 docks and 5 drive-in doors. The facility will be used for auto sales, service and auto body repairs, an expansion of their local, current locations. Thompson Auto offers a great selection of new and pre-owned vehicles at their dealerships, a rental car facility, a full-service detail center, and a full service collision center."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pen-Parkman Acquires 3,500-SF Wendy's in Glenolden

"132 N. MacDade Blvd., a 3,500-square-foot fast food restaurant in Glenolden, PA, sold to Pen-Parkman LLC for $2.16 million, or about $617 per square foot.

This location is occupied by Wendy's on a triple-net lease. The property is surrounded by major retailers in free-standing locations as well as in the surrounding shopping centers: Glenolden Shopping Center, Pathmark Shopping Center, and Creekside Plaza."

Philadelphia, PA Market Trends for Commercial Real Estate

Average Office Lease Prices- per sf (clickable image)

Average Office Sale Prices- per sf (clickable image)
Average Industrial Lease Prices- per sf (clickable image)
Average Industrial Sale Prices- per sf (clickable image)
Average MultiFamily Sale Prices -per unit (clickable image)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Iroko Pharmaceuticals expands at the Philadelphia Navy Yard

"Iroko Pharmaceuticals Latest from The Business Journals Officials tally Philly Live! jobsIroko sells Canadian rights to Vancocin antibioticIroko Pharmaceuticals buys iCeutica Follow this company .will expand at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Corporate Center with a new, 56,000-square foot headquarters at the South Philadelphia site.

The expansion will allow Iroko to increase the size of its work force from about 50 people to more than 200.
It currently occupies about 19,000 square feet of office space there.

Full story:

REITS Are Rocking

Time to Buy Commercial Real Estate?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Shire seeking new digs for headquarters

by Natalie Kostelni

"Shire plc is considering relocating its North American headquarters out of the Chesterbrook Corporate Center here and possibly moving to New Jersey or Delaware.

The company occupies more than 450,000 square feet of office space in four buildings and employs roughly 1,100 people in the properties.

“While the Chesterbrook space has been very good for Shire as we have grown locally, nationally and globally over the past seven years, it is appropriate for us as we consider renewing our lease options here to review other possible real estate alternatives that may also meet our growing business needs,” said Matt Cabrey, spokesman for the company, in an email.

The company is serious about looking at alternatives, Cabrey said, and not just an exercise to build a case for a potential incentive package from Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware.

Shire first signed a lease for 725 Chesterbrook Blvd., a 128,000-square-foot building in the Chesterbrook, in March 2004. That space once served as the U.S. headquarters of another pharmaceutical giant, Astra, which stunned Pennsylvania officials and moved to Delaware following its merger with Zeneca. On the bright side, the Astra move opened up enough space to allow the Dublin, Ireland-based Shire to consolidate 11 North American sites into one.

Within six months of that initial lease, Shire realized it was growing so rapidly that additional space was needed. It was then the company leased 735 Chesterbrook Blvd., an 81,000-square-foot building.

A walkway was constructed connecting the two buildings. It also occupies 115,000 square feet of 1400 Liberty Ridge, where it signed a 10-year lease in 2007, and all of 1200 Morris Drive, a three-story, 114,000-square-foot building. That lease runs until 2017.

When Shire first consolidated in Chesterbrook seven years ago it received a $3.45 million financial incentive package from Pennsylvania as part of a commitment to create 400 new full-time jobs over three years. Shire exceeded that by 188 new jobs. The company received another $2.07 million in state subsidies to create 390 jobs in 2007.
Full article:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

DelShah Capital Sells 78-Room Hotel

"DelShah Capital LLC sold the 78-room hospitality building located at 877 Interchange Road in Lehighton, PA. The building sold for $4 million, or about $51,282 per room. The hotel was purchased by Omega Hospitality LP.

This Hampton Inn Hotel by Hilton totals 55,000 square feet on 2.7 acres located two hours from downtown Philadelphia. Amenities include an indoor pool, a fitness center and a whirlpool."

REITs to put in your IRA