Monday, October 31, 2011

Peapod leases 12,900sf in Philly

"Peapod, Online Grocery Delivery Company leases 12,900 SF of Industrial Space on Woodhaven Road in Philadelphia.

Manna Realty Investor, LP leased to their new tenant, Peapod, LLC, to occupy a 12,900 SF truck terminal at 2011 Woodhaven Road in Philadelphia, PA.

The property is a 12,900 SF one-story, industrial building on 5 acres. It features 10,500 SF of shop/dock area, 2,400 SF of office area, and 9-13' ceiling heights. There are 32 tailgate docks and one drive-in ramp. The property is strategically located at the west end of Woodhaven Road (Route 63) just off of US Route 1. Peapod, the new tenant, offers online grocery shopping in 20+ metro, suburban and community locations in about a dozen states. Its markets include Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, suburban New York City, Manhattan, Milwaukee and Washington, DC, and in Connecticut.

Peapod's virtual aisles are stocked with 8,000+ products that include natural and organic items, office and school supplies, videos, pet items, and prepared foods. Peapod is the online shopping and delivery service for Giant Food and for Stop and Shop supermarkets, chains owned by Ahold USA, a subsidiary of Dutch food retailer Royal Ahold."

20,000 SF of Warehouse trades in Bethlehem

Dent Design Hardware buys 20,000 square feet of warehouse space at 298 Keystone Drive, Bethlehem, PA. The selling price was $435,000.00.

The seller was Dayton Superior Specialty Chemical Corporation. Dayton Superior, headquartered in Ohio, is the "leading North American provider of non-residential concrete construction accessories, chemicals, and forming products." For more information, visit

The buyer is Dent Design Hardware. Dent is a local specialty hardware manufacturer founded in 1894. For more information, visit"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rothman Institute expands in South Jersey

"When Dr. Richard Rothman started the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia in 1970, he had nine doctors.

Today, it has become the region’s largest orthopedic practice, with 83 doctors, 14 offices and a specialty hospital in Bucks County, Pa., according to Rothman CEO Mike West.

The Rothman Institute has bought a 70,000-square-foot, four-story building on Route 73 and Greentree Road in Evesham for $5.8 million to house a medical facility. The seller was regional commercial real estate company Brandywine Realty Trust, based in Radnor, Pa. The building formerly housed a law office.

The facility will feature 45 exam rooms, three X-ray rooms and epidural injection suites.

“Our team is thrilled about this additional expansion into New Jersey,” West said. “We are especially grateful for the leadership of Mayor Randy Brown and the support of the community for their cooperation in the development of our new facility.”

Brown said he’s “overwhelmed and overjoyed” that Rothman has chosen the township as home to a large new medical facility.

“To have such a prestigious name on Route 73 in our town ... it opens the door for more businesses to want to relocate to Marlton,” Brown said Friday.

As towns fight to attract ratables, Brown said, Evesham is showing it’s a destination for shopping, dining and other attractions — and it continues to lure business in a sluggish economy.

“The demographics are outstanding, and the ease of access is the main reason we’re moving there,” West said. It will also be more convenient for patients coming from the Trenton area.

He said Rothman was outgrowing its facilities in nearby Voorhees and that was affecting patient volume. Rothman will take the top two floors of the new building, which should open in February or March, West said.

“We anticipate leasing out the other 25,000 square feet,” he said. “We had to basically gut it. We are rebuilding it.”

He said the Evesham site will employ 40 full-time employees; 20 doctors will rotate through the office.

Rothman has specialty-trained physicians in every orthopedic area, including hip and knee, spine, sports medicine, shoulder and elbow, foot and ankle, hand and wrist and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

It’s the company’s second big investment in the region in two years.

In September 2009, Rothman opened its first private specialty hospital in the building that once housed Pennsylvania’s first breast care hospital. Rothman moved into the Bensalem property formerly occupied by the for-profit Comprehensive Breast Care Institute of DSI.

The hospital was a first for the Rothman group, which is headquartered at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Rothman wanted to open its own medical center for some time, but proposed congressional health care reforms that would restrict or prohibit the doctor ownership of hospitals fast-tracked those plans, West said."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lower Merion residents fear City Avenue urbanization from plan

After years of being worried about what a rezoned City Avenue might look like, some Lower Merion residents this week got a look at sketches showing what the change could mean for the busy corridor.

They're still worried.

"People are fearful of a lot of extreme densification and urbanization," said Teri Simon, president of the Wynnewood Civic Association. Township officials "have made some changes . . . but they haven't changed that."

Township leaders held two public meetings to answer questions on the rezoning ordinance, which seeks to make City Avenue more pedestrian-friendly and create mixed-use commercial and residential space, including indoor and outdoor recreational facilities.

A sticking point for residents has been the proposal to allow building heights to reach 200 feet. In addition, the ordinance allows buildings to be closer to the curb, with retail in the bottom floors. While some residents fear urbanization, township officials envision a more-walkable corridor replacing the current vista of mid-rise buildings and surface parking lots.

Board of Commissioners President Liz Rogan said the rezoning aims to transform the district into a place that is "more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly."

"The best way to secure people's investments is to have a sustainable community," Rogan said. "I think it's critical for the township to be sustainable in the future, and we can't sustain the quality of life we have now on the backs of the residential community we have."

Rogan said she thought redevelopment would boost property values of the City Avenue district in Lower Merion as well as surrounding communities.

Some Lower Merion residents, however, see the plans and envision traffic nightmares.

"We are a suburban community," Shortridge Civic Association president Joan Hindin said at Monday's public workshop. "We don't want to be so urban-looking."

The Monday meeting was the final workshop held by the commissioners to get feedback from residents. The next night, a Planning Commission meeting was held to present the current ordinance draft to commission members. They are expected to vote next month on whether to recommend zoning changes to the commissioners.

More than 70 residents went to the Monday meeting, and about 25 attended the next night. A wide majority of those attending the meetings was opposed to the rezoning plan.

At the Monday meeting, Bob Duncan, township director of building and planning, introduced illustrations to provide examples for the possible developments along the intersection of City and Belmont Avenues. It showed commercial development, with buildings pushed closer to the curb, as well as surrounding buildings with increased height around the GSB Building at 1 Belmont Ave.

The example, intended to ease apprehension, did anything but comfort audience members.

Richard Kaufman, a Bala Cynwyd Republican running against incumbent George Manos for Ward 9 commissioner, said residents have been asking for pictures demonstrating the vision for the project, but the pictures shown did not help the township's efforts.

"This has shown what an absolute crowded, congested, urban area you're creating in a suburban environment that we all enjoy and can at least currently function in," Kaufman said.

"You've made my job easier to try to fight against this ordinance passing at all," he added.

Duncan said the pictures were shown because residents asked for an example of what redevelopment would look like, and that it was a different question as to whether the images portrayed were economically feasible.

In an interview, Manos said he understood residents' desires to see the project's vision rather than read about it, but he said illustrations would not accurately depict potential redevelopment.

"Still, I understand residents have concern, but from what I understand, these fears are based on their own calculations as opposed to accurate information," he added.

The Monday meeting grew tense as Simon put a question to Montgomery County principal planner Scott France, who attended the meeting on behalf of the county government.

"I have to point out that in Lower Merion, there has been an absence of planning for a number of years," Simon said. "Here, Commissioner Rogan is sitting there with a smile on her face, and this isn't funny. This is serious, it's the future of Lower Merion."

France said he didn't want to comment on the planning process in Lower Merion.

"From [the county's] standpoint, we see the area in a broader context, and we support the general goals that have come out of the ordinance and aren't critical of those goals it attempts to address," he said.

France said he saw the public's concern, but wasn't sure if that was because of misunderstanding the ordinance or other reasons.

The tension carried into the Tuesday special Planning Commission meeting, which acted as a workshop for the commission members.

Gary Brandeis, a Lower Merion resident and developer who serves on the City Avenue Special Services District, was the lone audience member to support the ordinance at the Tuesday meeting.

"This commercial district is important to the township as a whole, and there's always a fear of development and the unknown," he said. With adoption of the ordinance, "the Township of Lower Merion would be in a great situation financially and the tax base would be in much better shape than it is today."
Hugh Gordon, president of the Federation of Civic Associations, said he feared that impact fees, which developers would pay for infrastructure projects, would not adequately address traffic problems.

Planning Commission member Brian Hirsch asked about the lack of a master plan, wanting to know if there was any detailed document outlining the project in narrative form.

Duncan said that the closest thing resembling such a document was the list of goals in the ordinance.

The Planning Commission is expected to vote on the ordinance on Nov. 7.

Full Article:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cramer Gets Interactive with EPR CEO: David Brain

Several King of Prussia projects may be coming together

by Peter Van Allen

" After delays and a down economy, some long talked about proposals are expected to become reality here.

A casino, a Wegmans and two new hotels are all expected to come online in coming months and a Target store may not be far behind, local officials said. At the same time, the region’s business-improvement district is tackling a series of initiatives designed to make the area more attractive and traffic-friendly.

In some respects, it’s hard to envision the area being more popular than it is now. The main attraction, the King of Prussia Mall, attracts 25 million people a year, while nearby Valley Forge National Historical Park brings in 1.2 million. Add to that an estimated 50,000 people who work in King of Prussia.

In particular, the casino is expected to make the area more of a round-the-clock destination, said Eric T. Goldstein, executive director of the King of Prussia Business Improvement District (

“We like the nightlife aspects,” Goldstein said.

Paul Decker, president of the Valley Forge Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the casino will add to the mix of attractions.

“It’s a new amenity, something else to get people excited,” Decker said.

The Valley Forge Casino Resort has been approved for the Valley Forge Convention Center. It will include 600 slot machines and 60 table games. Other features will include new restaurants, including a “slider” burger restaurant and an Asian noodle house. A spring 2012 opening is planned.

n On Oct. 26, the owners of the Valley Forge Shopping Center on DeKalb Pike submitted plans to Upper Merion Township to tear down part of the center and build a 178,000-square-foot section devoted to a Target store, Starbucks and other retailers.

The Target project has been talked about for a year. But the formal application process could still take another three months, according to an Oct. 17 letter from the township that went out to residents and property owners.

A Wegmans Food Market is planned for the Village at Valley Forge shops on a former golf course. The 107,000-square-foot store will open next spring.
Some 250 hotel rooms will come online, including a Hotel Sierra and Spring Hill Suites, adding to the Hyatt Place that opened last year with 129 rooms.
A “super” Wawa, the convenience store chain’s larger-format stores that feature gas pumps, is in the planning stages for a former Petco store on DeKalb Pike. If approved, the site would also include a Chick-Fil-A restaurant.
On the restaurant front, a Joe’s Crab Shack opened Oct. 24.
Going forward, Goldstein’s group is pushing ways to improve the liveability of the King of Prussia area. It is already doing extensive streetscaping, including turning median strips into gardens.

But Goldstein is also an advocate of SEPTA’s idea of extending the Norristown rail line to the mall, as well as ways to create walkable “downtown” areas and, in general, make the area less “auto-centric.”

“We’re very auto-centric. We lack scale. We lack pedestrian access. We lack public transit. We lack a town center or a central gathering place,” Goldstein said.

The business improvement district has hired a planning firm to study development patterns and help establish a vision for the future, Goldstein said.

On Nov. 8, Goldstein will talk at the Design on the Delaware conference about the topic, “Suburban Sprawl to Edge City.”

“Employees at hotels need public transportation to get here,” said Decker.

Goldstein acknowledges that significant change “could take decades,” but thinks adding rail service could be achieved within a decade’s time.

“Eight years is not outrageous,” he said. “We have right-of-ways now, but no tracks.”
Full story:

Zoning changes, marketing help revive business park

by Peter Van Allen
"LOWER PROVIDENCE — An aging business park that was on the wane two years ago has turned itself around — with a little help.

Changes in zoning and more aggressive marketing by the township have helped Park Pointe at Lower Providence revive its fortunes.

“In spite of the downturn of the economy in 2008, the ongoing commitment of the board of supervisors and the due diligence of staff — reaching out, being creative and minimizing hurdles — we’re now starting to see the fruits of our labor,” said Joseph Dunbar, township manager.

In less than a year, the business park has added 330 employees.

This week, 85 of those jobs came with the addition of Reilly Foam Corp., a manufacturer that took over a 140,000-square-foot site at Park Pointe.

“We reviewed proximity to our present facility to ensure most of our employees could make the transition, access to public transportation, location of major roads, availability of an educated workforce, and pricing levels. But the single most important factor was the level of cooperation we received from Lower Providence Township,” said Stephen Phillips, president of Reilly Foam, which was founded four decades ago in a Roxborough garage. It now has sites in four states.

Other companies that have taken space in Park Pointe include Horizon Services, an HVAC company with 90 employees; Star Career Academy, with 25 employees; and, by month’s end, a Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant, which will have 100 employees.

In addition, township officials were able to retain two longtime tenants: PJM Interconnect, which signed a long-term lease and kept 625 jobs in the township, and Quest Diagnostics, which signed a 12-year lease for 137,000 square feet, saving 585 jobs.

“The partnership and support from the township played an important role,” said PJM’s facilities manager, Dave Spangler.

Two years ago, the outlook was not so rosy for the 300-acre business park, which dated to the late 1960s.

It was showing signs of age. Longtime manufacturing tenants were leaving or downsizing. Total employment at the park was 3,220, down from the 1982 peak of 4,341, when tenants included Hewlett-Packard, General Electric and Volkswagen, which had a parts-distribution facility there.

As the vacancy rate grew during the recession, the township was losing valuable tax revenue.

Working with the business park’s manager, Bill Roth, township officials knew they had to take steps to change things.

At the time, Dunbar said the No. 1 complaint was that the park had no amenities.

“It’s a real ’60s-style business park,” Dunbar said at the time.

Still, the business park’s key asset may have been proximity — on South Trooper Road, minutes from the burgeoning Route 422 corridor.

A $15.6 million interchange was already planned for Route 422, improving access to the site. To improve the park’s roads, the township spent $620,000 to upgrade infrastructure.

Officials sought and received a zoning change that allow for a wider range of businesses, including restaurants and retailers.

And like many marketing efforts, the makeover included a name change — from Valley Forge Corporate Center to Park Pointe at Lower Providence.

The township unveiled new signs for the business park on Oct. 26.
Full story:

In Oaks, PA Temple follows through on suburban growth

by John George
"Temple University Heath System lung and orthopedic specialists have expanded their reach into Montgomery County by opening an outpatient facility in Oaks, a move that is part of Temple’s strategy to expand its presence outside the city.

The 5,500-square-foot Temple at Oaks satellite office is in the Oaks Corporate Center on Cresson Boulevard about six miles west of the King of Prussia Mall. It’s part of a building that also includes a Premier Urgent Care Center.

“By bringing Temple’s clinical expertise in these specialty programs [pulmonology and orthopedics] directly to this new outpatient facility, we are providing close-to-home care for nearby suburban patients,” said Dr. Larry R. Kaiser, dean of Temple University School of Medicine and president and CEO of the health system.

Kaiser said Oaks patients will also have access to advanced therapies and clinical trials available at Temple’s main hospital in North Philadelphia.

Dr. Gerard J. Criner, a professor of medicine at Temple’s medical school and director of the Temple Lung Center, will lead the lung program at the satellite office. Temple lung specialists at Oaks will diagnose and offer treatments for a variety of pulmonary disorders — including asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and lung cancer. The site will also feature a full-service pulmonary function and exercise laboratory, as well as a pulmonary rehabilitation facility.

Specialty programs for patients with advanced lung disease will also be available.
In addition, the complex will offer a whole-body rehabilitation program for patients with orthopedic disorders. A specially constructed cast room was created to facilitate immobilization therapies for patients with fractures or soft-tissue injuries.

A Temple sleep disorder center is also getting ready to open adjacent to the outpatient-care office in Oaks.
Kaiser, who took over as the head of the Temple medical school and health system in April, said in an interview earlier this year that creating new outpatient facilities and satellite offices in the suburbs was a key part of his plan for growing the health system.

“We want to plant the Temple ‘T’ in a number of locations around the community,” Kaiser said.

At that time, 38 of the 44 physician offices owned and operated by Temple were based in Philadelphia.

Temple spent about $975,000 refurbishing and equipping the Oaks office, which will be open weekdays. Saturday hours are expected to be added.
Full story:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Plymouth Corporate Center, Conshohocken is up for Auction

This is a 200,838 square foot suburban office park located in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. The subject is situated on 16.40 acres and is comprised of five, single- story buildings and one, four-story building which were built between 1984 and 2001. It is current 55% occupied. Current loan balance is $31,692,500. Starting bid is $6,000,000. Full details:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BET Investments Sells Exton Office for $4M

"BET Investments, Inc. sold the 3 Whiteland Plaza office building at 835 Springdale Dr. in Exton, PA to MIM-Hayden Real Estate Fund for $4 million, or about $ 79 per square foot.

The 50,750-square-foot, class A office building is located in the Whiteland Business Park on more than four acres. The building is located within a half-mile of Route 202 and Business Route 30."

Isen Trust Buys Former Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia

"Please Touch Museum sold the 37,180-square-foot building located at 208-212 N. 21st St., and the 25,562-square-foot building located at 200-206 N. 21st St. in Philadelphia, PA in an assemblage purchase totaling approximately $3.34 million. The buildings were purchased by Isen Trust.

208-212 N 21st Street sold for $1,818,592, about $49 per square foot, and sits on 0.3 acres. The buyer plans to use this building as an art gallery. 200-206 N 21st Street sold for $1,523,245, about $60 per square foot, and sits on 0.3 acres as well. Plans call for residential development at this site."

Five new retailers have opened in Center City, Philadelphia

"Laila Rowe, a 1,115 square foot women's jewelry and accessories store at 1712 Chestnut S. The first Laila Rowe Store opened in New York City in 2003; today, Laila Rowe has 17 stores on the Eastern Seaboard, from Connecticut to Virginia.

Papilio, Inc. opened a boutique at 1700 Sansom St, its second store on the east coast and first urban model. Papilio is based in Southern California, and opened its first store in 2010, and has another store at the Tyson's Corner Galleria. The retailer offers high-end Italian-made leg wear and swimwear.

Barbour opened at 1517 Walnut St in early October. Barbour espouses the values of the British Countryside to its clothing.

Dr. Martens opened its new 3,800 SF, two story retail store at 1710 Walnut Street on the city's prestigious Rittenhouse Row in September. This is the UK based company's fifth retail location in the US and it's second on the East Coast.

As previously reported, Jack Wills​, a UK based firm, opened a 6,800 square foot store at 1617 Walnut St, its fourth store in the US, preceded by stores in Boston, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket."

Growth Ahead for Commercial Real Estate?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stone Rose Restaurant to Reopen this week

The Stone Rose restaurant of Conshohocken had a fire on June 30, 2011. Since then the owner, Brian Pieri, has spared no expense in rebuilding, renovating and expanding the restaurant. The long anticipated wait for Stone Rose (2.0) official reopening is finally over. The Stone Rose opens to the public this week! We missed the Rose for our 4th of July and Labor Day celebrations but now is coming back just in time for Halloween. The menu is filled with some great new items as well as some old favorites. If you need something to wash it down with they have 5 microbrew beers on tap, signature cocktail drinks and many of unique, flavorful wines. Check out their website and facebook page for the official launch as well as specials on food and wines.
See you there!

New Jersey's Newport Tower Trades for Record Price

"They don't call it the Gold Coast for nothing.

In the largest sale of a single office property ever recorded in New Jersey, the 36-story, 1.05 million-square-foot Newport Tower at 525 Washington Blvd. on the Hudson River waterfront sold this week for $377.5 million.

The Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT), a $5.3 billion open-end commingled real estate equity fund, acquired the 90% leased office building through a limited partnership subsidiary from Brookfield Office Properties (NYSE:BPO).

According to CoStar information, the previous office property sales record for the state was held by 70 and 90 Hudson Street in Jersey City, a pair of office buildings in the same submarket as Newport Tower that were sold as a single asset to CBRE Investors by Hartz Mountain Industries for $310 million."
Full story:

Brandywine Realty Trust Announces Over 944,000 Square Feet of Leasing Activity

"Brandywine Realty Trust announced today that it has signed over 944,000 square feet in new and renewed leases during the third quarter of 2011, including more than 125,000 square feet of leasing activity commencing through September 30, 2011.

"Leasing production remains the primary focus of our regional leasing teams," stated Gerard H. Sweeney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brandywine Realty Trust. "We are pleased with our solid progress during the third quarter which will ensure we meet our business plan objectives."

Pennsylvania (222,009 SF)

Major leases include:

Main Line Health, Inc. renewed a 27,761 square foot lease at Southpoint II, Berwyn, PA

Kistler-Tiffany Benefits Company renewed a 20,054 square foot lease, and signed a 1,769 square foot expansion lease at 400 Berwyn Park, Berwyn, PA

Factory Mutual Insurance Company renewed a 18,265 square foot lease at Valleybrooke III, Malvern, PA

The Pennsylvania Trust Company renewed a 14,220 square foot lease, and signed a 2,280 square foot expansion lease at Five Radnor Corporate Center, Radnor, PA

Read more:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tackling Real Estate Opportunities

Pennsylvania Steel Company leases 75,000sf in Allentown

Pennsylvania Steel Company leased for 75,003 square feet at 1139 Lehigh Ave, Allentown, PA. The owner of Riverside Business Center is Whitehall Riverside LP.

Physician-owned building going up in Bryn Mawr

by Natalie Kostelni

A group of physician practices are constructing a $32 million medical office building here that Bryn Mawr Hospital had originally sought to build.

The four-story, 141,000-square-foot building at 825 Old Lancaster Ave. was on the hospital’s drawing board as part of Main Line Health’s master plan to expand its presence and add space for patients and physicians in and around the hospital. When it came time to construct the structure, the economy was in the throes of the credit crunch and the financing source of the hospital’s partner started to waver.
A group of doctors got together and decided it was interested in allying with the hospital to construct the building.
An arrangement was struck where the hospital signed a 50-year ground lease with the physicians who wanted to construct and own what is called the Bryn Mawr Medical Arts Pavilion. The hospital still owns the ground. The group secured financing from VIST Financial and First Niagara. Moreland Development is constructing the structure.
The project is expected to be completed by next fall.
Full story:

Tax assessment appeals hurting budgets

by Natalie Kostelni

"A tentative settlement has been reached that slashes the proposed fair market value of GlaxoSmithKline’s nearly 2 million-square-foot drug manufacturing facility on River Road here to $88 million from what was $259 million four years ago.

The township, Upper Merion Area School District and Montgomery County now owe the drug company a refund of a tad more than $6 million.
The Upper Merion school district is on the hook for the bulk of the $6 million settlement. It owes about $4 million of the amount and will eventually write a $2.45 million check to the company. Smaller amounts will be paid by the township and county but most of it will be paid as a tax credit over several years. The pharmaceutical company, which had $42.5 billion in revenue last year, is the school district and township’s second -argest tax payer.

Lockheed Martin Corp. appealed its property assessment and got the value of its facilities reduced to $22 million from $45 million.

The assesed value for Glaxo’s sprawling campus off Route 29 is now set at $47.7 million. It had been $115 million.

While the school district is the biggest loser in the assessment appeals, the township also takes a hit. Commercial real estate taxes account for 11 percent of the township’s $26.3 million operating budget. It gets most of its revenues, 46 percent, from the business privilege tax.
Full story:
**If you own commercial or residential property in Montgomery County, PA and want to appeal your property taxes go here:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Griffin Land Starts Lehigh Valley Warehouse Project

"Griffin Land & Nurseries, Inc. has broken ground on the Lehigh Valley Tradeport, a 531,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution park located on Fritch Drive in Lower Nazareth Township in the Lehigh Valley.

Though its name evokes images of plants and greenhouses, Griffin Land & Nurseries owns 2 million square feet of warehouse space, including the New England Tradeport, said Michael Gamzon, executive director and COO of Griffin.

The company has a long history in real estate development, ownership and management and purchased a warehouse at 871 Nestle Way in Allentown, PA, and the 51 acres earmarked for the Lehigh Valley Tradeport. Site work began in August for the project that will include a spec warehouse of 228,000 square feet and a 303,000-square-foot warehouse to be built later."

Friday, October 14, 2011

40,000 SF Industrial Building Sells in West Chester

"The sale of 917 Old Fern Hill Road, West Chester, PA was arranged. The 40,000 SF industrial flex building is 75% occupied.

The Buyer, Fernhill Business Center, LLC is led by Brad Wiggins of Wiggins Shredding. Wiggins Shredding plans to occupy the building and expand its operations. The Seller is Fern Hill Associates, L.P.

The 5 acre property in West Goshen Township was not actively for sale on the market."
Price was $3 million, or approximately $75 per square foot.

Trenton Times Building Sold - Offices Relocate to Riverview Plaza

"The former Trenton Times Building, 500 Perry Street was sold to New Jersey Precast Corp. The property is 82,196+ square feet. It was a long standing local community newspaper. The buyer, New Jersey Precast, plans to use the building for their business offices and for storage of building materials, such as pre cast concrete, which is used in the construction of bridges. This property is a Trenton landmark location at the interchange with Route 1 and has excellent access to infrastructure.

The Trenton Times has relocated to Riverview Plaza, the new prestigious office building that is located directly adjacent to the Mercer County Waterfront Park."

Market Trend: Philadelphia's Office Vacancy Decreases to 11.6%

"The Philadelphia Office market ended the third quarter 2011 with a vacancy rate of 11.6%.

The vacancy rate was down over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 1,127,518 square feet in the third quarter. Vacant sublease space decreased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 1,551,066 square feet.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2011 include: Quest Diagnostics moving into 136,919 square feet at 1001 Adams Ave; Broadview Networks moving into 57,209 square feet at Valley Forge Park Place - Bldg 2; and Avantor Performance Materials moving into 56,972 square feet at Saucon Valley Plaza.

Rental rates ended the third quarter at $20.95, an increase over the previous quarter.

A total of four buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 41,483 square feet, with 1,431,502 square feet still under construction at the end of the quarter.

This is compared to the U.S. national office vacancy rate, which decreased to 12.5% from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 23.7 million square feet in the third quarter."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Market Trend: U.S. Office Vacancy Decreases to 12.5%

"The U.S. national office market ended the third quarter 2011 with a vacancy rate of 12.5%, down slightly from the 12.6% reported at the end of the second quarter 2011 and 12.7% in the end of the first quarter.

Net absorption for the overall U.S. office market was positive 23.7 million square feet in the third quarter, up significantly from positive 9.4 million square feet in the second quarter 2011. Vacant sublease space decreased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 52.6 million square feet.

Tenants moving out of large blocks of space in 2011 include AT&T Wireless moving out of 376,350 square feet at Cobalt Center in Atlanta, and Deloitte moving out of 295,136 square feet at 50 Fremont St. in San Francisco. Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2011 include Facebook moving into 1 million square feet at the new Menlo Park campus in the San Francisco market, and Northrop Grumman moving into 328,851 square feet at Park Tower in the Washington, DC market.

The average quoted asking rental rate for available office space, all classes, was $21.30 per square foot per year at the end of the third quarter 2011 in the U.S. market area, a 0.1% decrease from the end of the second quarter.

A total of 182 buildings delivered to the nation-wide market in the quarter totaling 7 million square feet, with 50.7 million square feet still under construction at the end of the quarter including the 3-million-square-foot One World Trade Center in New York City."

Tanger Acquires Outlets at Hershey for $56M

"Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. has closed on its $56 million acquisition of The Outlets at Hershey, located on Outlet Sq. in Hershey, PA. LMS Commercial Real Estate sold the three-building, 237,618-square-foot retail outlet mall for approximately $236 per square foot.

The Outlets at Hershey sit on 33.7 acres of land adjacent to Hershey Park and Chocolate World in Philadelphia's Harrisburg Area East submarket. The properties were built in 1995, and will reportedly be renamed Tanger Outlets Hershey. The facility was 100 percent occupied at the time of sale."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marriott hotel planned for Navy Yard

"A new Marriott-brand hotel is headed to the Navy Yard, the latest in a string of recent developments and expansions planned for the complex.

Liberty Property Trust is close to completing the financing for the new hotel.

"We are delighted to invite you to attend the announcement of a new hotel to be built at the Navy Yard, which will serve the demand of this dynamic and growing mixed-use campus," read the e-mail from Anne Bovaird Nevins, senior vice president of market development at PIDC.

"I don't know much about the project yet," said Ed Grose, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, "but it shows that the efforts to bring business to the Navy Yard has been successful."

Liberty Property Trust, one of the nation's largest publicly traded commercial and industrial REITs, is the current landlord for GlaxoSmithKline, Tastykake, and Iroko Pharmaceuticals at the Navy Yard.

"We have been very pleased to commence several significant projects to the Navy Yard this year, including a new center for GlaxoSmithKline and new headquarters for Iroko Pharmaceuticals," said John Gattuso, senior vice president and regional director for Liberty Property Trust. "We expect that momentum to continue for the balance of the year."

The number of rooms for the hotel and its projected cost were not available. But a source close to the negotiations said Liberty sought bids over the summer to select a hotel developer to own the hotel at the Navy Yard Corporate Center.

The developer - Ensemble Hotel Partners L.L.C of Long Beach, Calif. - was selected a few months ago, while Marriott was chosen as the hotel flag. The financing for the project was still being finalized, according to the source."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kassie Bedding Manufacturing Leases 60,000 SF

"Kassie Bedding Manufacturing, Inc., a bedding distribution and manufacturing company, signed a ten-year lease with SRP Management for its 60,000-square-foot warehouse at 401-437 E. Erie Ave. in Philadelphia, PA.

The Herbach and Rademan building was completed in 1945 and renovated in 2006. The property totals 60,000 square feet on 2.5 acres, and is located about three miles from I-95."

Walmart opens Wednesday in Philadelphia suburbs

by Peter Van Allen
"Walmart will open a Delaware County, Pa., store on Wednesday.
The store, at 400 S. State Road in Springfield, Pa., will be 112,000 square feet, and have 300 employees earning an average wage of $12.15 an hour, the company said."
Full story:

37,600 SF West Conshohocken Industrial Building Sells for $1.85M

"The 37,600 square foot industrial building at 14 Union Hill Road in West Conshohocken, PA has sold to Viking Associates IV, LP for $1.85 million. The seller was Z-B Associates.

The single-story building in the suburbs of Philadelphia was placed under contract less than 90 days of its listed availability.

Viking is a local real estate investment company who acquired the property for investment purposes. They plan to make significant improvements to the building. Currently, space is available for lease from approximately 2,500 SF to 30,000 +/- square feet."

Comercial Real Estate Crisis?

Friday, October 7, 2011

3Q Vacancy Reports for the Philadelphia Area

3Q Philadelphia OFFICE Market Vacancy DECREASES to 11.6%
Full report:

3Q Philadelphia INDUSTRIAL Market Vacancy INCREASES to 9.4%
Full report:

3Q Philadelphia RETAIL Market Vacancy DECREASES to 6.5%
Full report:

All reports and submarket reports can be found at:

Contiguous blocks of space scarce in Conshohocken area

by Natalie Kostelni
"The Conshohocken office submarket has been chipping away at vacancies in several buildings and causing the market to tighten up.
“If someone is looking for 75,000 to 100,000 square feet in Conshohocken, it doesn’t exist any more,”
“Conshohocken is doing great.”

The vacancy rate in the 3.6 million-square-foot submarket at the end of last year stood at 14.1 percent and 14.6 percent in the second quarter. It has now dipped down to 11.1 percent at the end of the third quarter. Some buildings, including Spring Mill Corporate Center, 101 W. Elm St. and One First Ave., among others have reached an occupancy of 95 percent or more.

Some recent lease deals include:

Academy in Manayunk signed a 15-year lease on 63,512 square feet at River Park II, an office building at 1200 River Road.
Kynetic took 35,400 square feet at Two Millennium at 225 Washington St.
NSM Inc. renewed and expanded at Spring Mill Corporate Center.
Monetate moved into 25,000 square feet at Quaker Park.
Main Line Health signed on for 5,000 square feet at Spring Mill Corporate Center.
Northrup Grumman renewed a 25,000-square-foot lease for five years at 200 Four Falls.

Other space has been filled by tenants looking to get nicer office space on the cheap.
With the submarket tightening up, it’s should eventually cause rental rates to tick up, but it’s too soon to say whether it will mean the construction of Seven Tower Bridge, a 14-story, 250,000-square-foot office building proposed by a partnership that includes Oliver Tyrone Pulver Corp."
Full story:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Global Fears Sink REITS

Lyon Conklin & Co Takes 83,000 SF

"Lyon, Conklin and Company, a distributor and seller of Trane and American Standard HVAC systems, has signed a multi-year lease agreement to occupy the entire 83,000-square-foot industrial building at 550 S. Henderson Rd. in King of Prussia, PA.

The single-story warehouse was constructed in 1974 on a 3.4-arce parcel in the East Montgomery County Industrial submarket. The building features nine loading docks, 20-foot ceilings, and 5,000 square feet of built-out office space."

Goodwill Industries Leases 60,000 SF in DE

"Goodwill leased 60,760 square feet of industrial space at the Centerpoint Business Complex in New Castle, DE.

Located at 400 Centerpoint Boulevard, the 120,000-square-foot warehouse building was constructed in 1995 on almost seven acres in the New Castle County Industrial submarket of Philadelphia."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SunGard in $14 million Center City expansion

by Joseph N. DiStefano

"SunGard Availability, the corporate computer backup service run by Wayne-based SunGard Data, has invested $14 million in a 12,200 sq ft expansion of its secure data center in the 1500 block of Spring Garden St.
The new area hosts servers that enable clients to recover their data after power outages and other service interruptions, and to access web-based data through new SunGard cloud-based services.

Besides the new space, SunGard has doubled its electrical generators on site to 8,000 kilowatts, and added electrical and mechanical rooms. Heat-generating units were connected to a "chimney cabinet" system to cut down on cooling needs.

It's the second planned expansion since SunGard opened the site on a 125,000 sq ft floor of the former Smith Kline pill factory in 2009. "We've had a very good upward tick in services orders," said Hamilton Curtis, vice president for managed services. "The growth has been so good, we already have orders for a quarter of the capacity we've just built." Compaines spend a lot on their enterprise software; complexity is increasing at any layer." While cloud-based services cost less than traditional server-based recovery, higher volumes help make up the difference.

Larry Coble, senior vice president and general manager of Recovery Servcies, says a similar expansion is expected at the unit next year, and another in 2013. "After that we'll have to find additional space," said Salvatore.

SunGard Availability employs around 800 at the Spring Garden St site and two other Center City sites, and at its Wayne headqauarters."

Cumberland Crossing, NJ to Gain Two New Tenants

"Two new tenants have signed lease deals to occupy space at Cumberland Crossing in Millville, NJ. Hobby Lobby leased 58,822 square feet of space utilizing the old Pathmark location within the shopping center. Dollar Tree has also signed on to take 12,000 square feet, moving into a portion of the former Staples space. Both retailers plan to be open for the holiday season.

Cumberland Crossing, located at 2209 N 2nd St. in Millville, NJ, offers more than 250,000 square feet of retail space with a mix of tenants that include Wal-Mart, Texas Roadhouse, and Sally Beauty. The shopping center sits on 35 acres at the corner of Route 55 and Route 47."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Viridity Moving to Philly

Viridity Energy leased 15,00 square feet at 1801 Market St. It had been in about 5,000 square feet at 100 W. Elm St. in Conshohocken and it expects to continue growing.
Full story: