Tuesday, January 31, 2012

World Trade Center Rises, And So Does Its Price Tag


Philadelphia's Retail Vacancy Decreases to 6.3%

"The Philadelphia retail market did not experience much change in market conditions in the fourth quarter 2011.

The vacancy rate went from 6.4% in the previous quarter to 6.3% in the current quarter. Net absorption was positive 725,884 square feet, and vacant sublease space decreased by 366,346 square feet.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2011 include: Target moving into 133,500 square feet at Shoppes at Kissel Village; and Burlington Coat Factory moving into 110,000 square feet at Whitman Plaza.

Quoted rental rates decreased from third quarter 2011 levels, ending at $13.96 per square foot per year.

A total of 12 retail buildings with 453,996 square feet of retail space were delivered to the market in the quarter, with 1,819,784 square feet still under construction at the end of the quarter.

This trend is compared to the U.S. national retail vacancy rate, which decreased to 6.9% from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 16.3 million square feet in the fourth quarter."

Action Manufacturing Chooses PA over South Carolina

"Action Manufacturing purchased a 128,000 sq.ft. former Ferag Inc. printing-automation equpiment plant at 190 Rittenhouse Circle, Keystone Industrial Park, Bristol, PA. Action is a Philadelphia-based company that makes military fuses and detonators maker, for $6.125 million.

Action boss Arthur Mattia has been considering moving the company and 175 jobs from aging buildings on the St. Christopher's Hospital's campus at 2nd and Erie, to North Carolina, which is trying to entice Northern companies South to replace manufacturing jobs that have left for China and other countries.

Their broker said the state and local government officials deserve credit for raising job-training funds to help keep Action in Pennsylvania."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Construction Begins on the Courts at Spring Mill Station

A fence went up around the Reilly Foam building at Hector and North Lane recently and some demo work as begun on the back of the property. As we have previously reported, Home Properties is building over 300 apartments and some retail at the location.
Previously Reported: http://tinyurl.com/83hcgb9

Friday, January 27, 2012

Landlords Poised to Regain Upper Hand In Recovering Office Market

2011 Sees Office Leasing, Sales and Pricing Improve Amid Growth In Office Jobs and Rising Tenant Demand. Outlook Has Landlords Preparing To Sing: "Our Day Will Come"

"Office space absorption doubled during 2011 as the office-using job base expanded and vacancies declined across nearly two-thirds of U.S. submarkets, CoStar Group reported this week in its Year-End 2011 Office Review & Outlook. The report presented to CoStar clients found that positive momentum in office fundamentals and the continued absence of new construction is expected to result in higher rents for building owners over the next few years.

Office sales increased steadily through 2011 over the previous year as investors sought to get ahead of the curve, with investor interest spreading beyond the safer well-leased investment-grade buildings in top-tier markets and into smaller properties and second-tier markets such as Seattle, Atlanta and Northern New Jersey. Total fourth-quarter 2011 office sales are likely to match or exceed fourth-quarter 2010’s impressive $25 billion once all sales are tallied.

Total CRE sales, which evened out in 2011 across all property types, is estimated at nearly $300 billion, the highest since the peak of the real estate boom in 2007, and well above the historical average of around $220 billion since 2000.

Although office tenants continue to hold the cards in many markets, (see related topic:"Renew or Relocate? Incumbent Landlords Willing To Sweeten the Pot") CoStar reports the outlook appears to increasingly favor building owners in coming years as the cycle continues.

"To sum it up, for the office market, we’re just now getting started. Now is a good time to be an office investor," said Walter Page, director of research for Property and Portfolio Research (PPR), CoStar’s analytics and forecasting division. "We expect vacancy to continue to decline through 2015, and when you have declining vacancy rates, you can raise rents, returns are better, and for an investor, that’s good news."

Economy Shows Positive Signs For CRE

CoStar Group founder and CEO Andrew Florance noted that, although overall employment growth has been anemic, the U.S. posted a solid 1.7% gain in office-using jobs, led by technology and energy markets such as Seattle, Boston, San Francisco and Dallas.

Other positive signs abound, including a leveling off in the loss of manufacturing jobs and a bottoming of the housing market, which should be less of a drag on the economy going forward, and likely to be the source for new jobs as replacement demand for single-family and apartment housing fuels expected construction demand.

Meanwhile, corporate profits are off the charts, from $800 billion in 2000 to $2 trillion in 2011.

"Coupled with low interest rates, companies are in a position to invest aggressively in new facilities and equipment. From a CRE perspective, Corporate America is well positioned to invest in their businesses, plant facilities and equipment," Florance added.

Challenges remain, including relatively weak consumer confidence, continued high unemployment, a record federal budget deficit and economic upheaval in Europe. Occupancy recovery varies widely between metros, with "have" markets such as supply-constrained New York City showing 7.4% vacancy and housing bust "have-nots" like Phoenix lingering at a stubbornly high 20.7%.

However, CRE values have recovered to roughly 2000-year levels, and vacancies declined across the country last year. In a strong indicator of an impending office rebound, vacancy rates declined in 63% of the 2,400 office submarkets tracked by CoStar. That’s the strongest number since 2004-05, which roughly marked the beginning of the last CRE up cycle.

In the fourth quarter, CoStar recorded 18 million feet of net absorption, which drives occupancy rates and other leasing fundamentals, and a total of 49 million square feet for the year, doubling 2010’s absorption.

Despite rising concerns about the darkening economic picture that started last spring and continued through the year, absorption rose sharply in the second half of 2011, said Page, noting that companies are leasing space "and smaller tenants, the lifeblood of the office sector, are back."

Jay Spivey, CoStar senior director of research and analytics, said that the office recovery, while not feeling very strong so far for many landlords and investors, is actually much stronger than the recovery in the office market following the collapse of Internet companies and real estate downturn 10 years.

"We have seven quarters of positive growth, and at that same point 10 years ago, we were still seeing negative absorption," Spivey said.

Concessions Starting to Disappear

With improving occupancy and little new supply, concessions like free rent and tenant improvements are burning off in some markets and overall, the long downward slide in average office rents has likely bottomed.

CoStar sees significant upside in office rents, which are currently 11% below their long-term trend, Page said. With office construction at an all-time low, rents will rise and are expected to reach their long-term average between 2015 and 2017.

The analysts singled out "premier" suburban areas located near the urban core in markets such as Bethesda, MD, and West Los Angeles are seeing net absorption recover much more quickly on a rolling annual average compared with CBDs or outer suburban areas. Likewise, a survey of four- and five-star buildings in CoStar’s new Building Rating System, the equivalent of the top Class A properties, shows that the best buildings are absorbing most of the space. One- and two-star buildings, typically Class C, were hammered during the recession and are recovering more slowly.

While national vacancy and availability rates are both trending down, there are vast differences within metros and within the CBD and suburban properties in those markets. In Miami, for example, the CBD vacancy rate is about 22%, while suburban and premier suburban rates are lower. By contrast, Atlanta’s Buckhead premier office suburb, where much new construction came on line as the recession hit, has the highest vacancy at over 20%, more than 6 percentage point higher than the Atlanta CBD.

Investors Explore Secondary, Suburban Markets for Deals

The return of portfolio sales outside the largest markets in 2011 shows that investors, who largely retreated to the safety of well-leased properties in safe core markets like Washington and New York over the last couple of years, are ready to assume risk in certain transactions, with the help of a slowly returning flow of debt financing.

Distressed sales volume as a percentage of total office sale transactions fell during 2011. As distress has abated, prices have begun to rise over the last couple of quarters, spreading from investment-grade properties to smaller general commercial sales, according to the CoStar Commercial Repeat Sale Index (CCRSI).

Pricing has risen in most markets and is approaching replacement cost for some buildings, Spivey noted. Higher occupancy buildings are fetching a higher price premium currently than in 2007, possibly opening a window for investors on opportunities in select vacancy challenged properties.

Five Tower Bridge in W. Conshohocken sold for $70M

by Natalie Kostelni

"Five Tower Bridge, one of the crown jewels of the suburban office market, has sold less than two months after coming on the market. It traded for an estimated $70 million to MIM-Hayden Real Estate Fund I, which is a partnership comprised of Hayden Real Estate Investments, Miller Investment Management, both of Conshohocken, and the Davis Cos. of Boston bought the building.

The last time Five Tower sold was in October 2008 when KBS Realty Advisors of Newport Beach, Calif., bought it for $73 million, or around $327 a square foot.

The eight-story, 222,058-square-foot building at 300 Barr Harbor Drive in West Conshohocken is one of the few premier office buildings to trade in recent years as investor appetites have gotten picky about which commercial property buildings, particularly office, they will invest in. When it comes to office structures, many want to buy well-leased, Class A buildings in prime locations.

“It was actively sought after this time as well as previous times for simple reasons, It’s the best of the best. If you’re in the office building investment business, West Conshohocken is undoubtedly the center of the universe.” The building commands $35 a square foot in rent, which is the highest in the suburbs with just a couple of other office properties managing to attain that level.

The MIM-Hayden fund is no different from those selective buyers seeking high-quality office buildings.

“This is a core property in a core market,” said J. Anthony Hayden, chairman of Hayden Real Estate Investments.

The MIM-Hayden fund, which totals a little more than $100 million, had been seeking to buy in the Conshohocken area for the last three years without much success. It decided to take a run at Five Tower in early December and KBS wanted to close by mid-January. The transaction was a “little complicated,” Hayden said.

A mortgage had to be assumed and typically the MIM-Hayden fund doesn’t like to put in more than 10 percent of the fund into a deal; it decided to put in a little more but was still short.

“We had to scramble,” Hayden said.

It sought out extra money from James J. Maguire Sr., founder of Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp. who is also an investor of the MIM-Hayden fund, and other undisclosed high-net-worth individuals to help close the funding gap. The transaction was finalized Jan. 23.

“We bought it right,” Hayden said.
The building is fully occupied and many of the tenants are in the space for the long term. Keystone Foods leases 50,000 square feet through 2019, Oracle America Inc. is in 49,000 square feet until 2020 and Hirtle Callaghan & Co. occupies nearly 30,000 square feet through 2021. Those three tenants account for 50 percent of the building’s occupancy.

Five Tower was constructed by Oliver Tyrone Pulver in 2001 as part of the company’s Tower Bridge complex that has developed over the years in West Conshohocken and Conshohocken. It is the 10th property the MIM-Hayden fund has closed on in the past 11 months. Of the $100 million, 45 percent of the fund has been deployed on a range of office, industrial and other property acquisitions."
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/6nal7yg

Villanova expanding

by Natalie Kostelni
"Villanova University is proposing a more than $200 million expansion to its campus that would significantly re-shape an area along Lancaster Avenue that is now a series of barren surface parking lots.

Early plans call for constructing four, four- to five-story residence halls, a performing arts center, retail space and an 1,800-vehicle parking garage on the main parking lots. The retail space would be oriented toward the students and mean relocating the school’s bookstore, a bistro and some other uses on the campus.

The main objective of the development would be more on-campus housing and therefore pull the students who live in nearby neighborhoods back to the main campus, according to information about the project on the school’s website. The new residence halls would have 1,160 beds and provide housing for 85 percent of the school’s students. The school doesn’t intend to increase its enrollment.

The development would also help ease town-and-gown tensions that have flared up, particularly when partying students get out of hand or when student vehicles clog up neighborhood streets. It would also create a new gateway for the school on U.S. 30 and provide several “traffic calming” designs that would enhance that area of Lancaster Avenue.

As more students prefer to live on campus, the work will also go a long way in improving a pocket of Route 30. A two-year study of an 11-mile stretch of the corridor starting from its borders in Philadelphia to Old Eagle School Road in Strafford was completed last month by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

The study makes a series of recommendations, priorities, plans and strategies that would build on the existing infrastructure but make it more walkable, less congested and connected by bicycling paths. Essentially, the plan makes it more attractive and user-friendly.

“It’s a blueprint for action,” said David Anderson of the regional planning commission. “We found at public meetings that the public in large part were supportive in the recommendations we had. In general, we are all singing from the same hymn books. It’s so obvious what needs to be done but the challenge looking forward is to make it happen in these economic times.”

Villanova is in the early stages of the project and in designing its overall concept, but it has detailed the plans on its website. It hired Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York and Voith & Mactavish Architects of Philadelphia. The school was set to begin presentations to the community and Radnor officials on Jan. 23 but canceled. No new date has been scheduled, according to the township.

Villanova officials declined comment until it goes before the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners, said Villanova spokesman Jonathan Gust.

The school has held two meetings with neighbors who have some general concerns, said Kathy Bogosian, who sits on the Radnor Planning Commission but hasn’t gotten to see the full proposal yet.

“My personal opinion at this point, since I haven’t reviewed the plans, is the buildings look attractive but a major concern is parking and whether there is enough,” Bogosian said.

The neighbors, especially, the businesses in the nearby Garrett Hill commercial area are worried the new retail will unfairly compete with them and might be able to forego paying some taxes since the university is tax exempt.

A tentative timeline for starting construction of the garage in May 2013 and completing it within a year and then begin building the residence halls between May 2014 and August 2016. The performing arts center could get under way once funding was secured."
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/6qfkcmf

Global Real Estate Investments in 2012


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Anro Printing Bldg in Devon Sells for $6.8M

Anro Printing/Direct Mail sold two adjacent parcels to YBH Sales and Service, Inc. for $6.8 million, or about $87 per square foot.

The properties are located at 222 and 230 W. Lancaster Ave. in Devon, PA. The first is a 75,773-square-foot flex building was previously Anro's corporate headquarters. The adjacent building is a 2,480-square-foot retail bank.

Save-A-Lot grocery store opens in Delco

"Save-A-Lot Food Store, a discount grocer with smaller stores, opened Wednesday at the Barclay Square Shopping Center, 1500 Garrett Road.

The 15,500-square-foot store has fresh produce, a meat department and national brands. It creates 40 jobs.

It is operated by Shawn Rinnier of Save Philly Stores LLC, a franchise group that now operates five area Save-A-Lot stores. Last month, the franchise group opened a store in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, at 5834 Pulaski Ave.

Save-A-Lot has 1,280 stores nationwide and is owned by Eden Prairie, Minn.-based SuperValu Inc., which also owns Acme Markets. It has a total of 45 stores in the area."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trammell Crow, USAA Break Ground On PA Spec Project

This is a great sign of the turn around and being under built.

"Trammell Crow Co. and USAA Real Estate Co. have started work on a 700,000-square-foot speculative distribution facility at Mountain Creek Distribution Center in Carlisle, PA.

The two-building industrial project on 113 acres at Exit 44 off Interstate 81 in the Central Pennsylvania industrial market is approved for 1.3 million square feet of warehouse space designed to achieve LEED Core & Shell (CS) certification.

The first building, scheduled for completion next summer, is designed with cross dock loading, 32-foot-clear ceiling heights and onsite trailer storage.

"The I-81 Distribution Corridor continues to be one of the most active markets in the country, with little to no availability for Class A space greater than 500,000 square feet," says Pat Duncan, chairman and CEO of USAA Real Estate.

"The market's comparatively strong performance throughout the economic downturn has further solidified its position as a top tier market," said Andrew Mele, senior vice president, Trammell Crow, which will manage the day-to-day development responsibilities.

USAA manages a multi-billion dollar portfolio including recent acquisitions of $3 billion and development assets of $2 billion. Trammell Crow has developed or acquired over 525 million square feet of buildings with a value exceeding $55 billion. As of June 30, 2011, Trammell Crow had over $3.5 billion of projects in process, $1.4 billion in its pipeline and $1.4 billion in long-term operating assets."

Lease Renewals and Expansions in Philly

Berger & Montague renewed 27,260 square feet at 1622 Locust St. in Philadelphia. The Law Offices of Tom Wagner renewed and downsized from 10,500 square feet to 6,243 square feet at 8 Penn Center in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants completed its move to its new headquarters at 1801 Market St. in Philadelphia. It had been at 1650 Arch St.

Four Seasons Financial Group Inc. leased a new corporate headquarters in 8,022 square feet at the Marlton Executive Offices, 701 Route 73 in Marlton, N.J. Two Penn Center at 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard completed a series of four tenant renewals. CDM, an engineering and construction company, extended its lease for roughly 7,200 square feet on the sixth floor of the 20-story building. Sue Ann Eckel, the Philadelphia in-house counsel for Government Employees Insurance Co. expanded from about 4,000 square feet on the eight floor to 6,958 square feet on the 13th floor. McCann, Schaible & Wall, attorneys specializing in personal injury and medical malpractice, re-upped on 5,411 square feet on the 11th floor. Lastly, the Law Firm of John J. Hykel extended the lease on 1,210 square feet on the 13th floor.

Commercial Real Estate Update with Joe O'Donnell

Thank you to Matt Mittman from Mittman Rehling http://www.mittmanrehling.com/

Monday, January 23, 2012

Exeter Property buys Plymouth Corporate Center

by Natalie Kostelni
Exeter Property Group has added the Plymouth Corporate Center to its portfolio of properties.

The real estate company snagged the six-building office complex totaling roughly 196,700 square feet at 625 W. Ridge Pike at an auction.

It’s being rebranded as Conshohocken Ridge Corporate Center. The largest building in the complex is a four-story, 91,700-square-foot structure. Four are single-story, 25,000-square-foot buildings and there is a single, 5,000-square-foot structure.

Trinity Capital Advisors bought the office park in December 2005 for $24.5 million in a partnership with GE Capital. A $31.69 million loan that was secured by the property was sent to special servicing in April 2010 and foreclosure proceedings were initiated in April 2011, according to Trepp Inc. and people familiar with the property and transaction. The property at the time of the sale was just 55 percent occupied.
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/6uuwc7v

Davison & McCarthy, P.C. is the First Tenant Signs at City Center Lehigh Valley

"Law firm Davison & McCarthy, P.C. has become the first company to sign a lease to become a tenant of One City Center, the $50 million Class A office that's part the mixed-use development being constructed on 7th Street between Hamilton and Walnut Streets in downtown Allentown, PA.

Davison & McCarthy will occupy up to 10,000 square feet of the five-story, 200,000-square-foot office and retail building that will include a 570-space underground parking garage. The firm's 13 employees will be among up to 700-plus workers who could occupy One City Center at its opening near September 2013, around the date Allentown's arena at 7th and Hamilton streets is scheduled to start serving as home to the Phantoms, the Philadelphia Flyers' top minor league affiliate.

Davison & McCarthy currently has nine lawyers and three paralegals.

Preconstruction site work for One City Center, including geotechnical testing and site surveying, began Dec. 10, 2011, with construction scheduled to begin this summer. The building will offer floors of up to approximately 40,000 square feet and will include amenities such as:

- connected parking beneath the building
- security and staffed lobbies
- Retail shops on the first floor and green space over the parking garage

The first phase of City Center Lehigh Valley includes flexible plans for up to 200 luxury apartments, a minimum of 250,000 square feet of Class A office space and 50,000 square feet of upscale retail space.

City Center is a project of City Center Investment Corp., a real estate development and management company based in Allentown and led by developer J.B. Reilly, who has owned the property for the One City Center building since 1999. With plans for future phases, City Center Investment Corp. bought several properties near the arena site in 2011, using a $20 million credit line provided by the Allentown Commercial Industrial Development Authority, which, through Neighborhood Improvement Zone legislation, will be at least partially retired using state and local taxes paid by City Center tenants."

Two Lease Transactions Totaling 34,000 SF in Montgomery County, PA

"In the larger of the two, Graduate Plastics, Inc. has expanded from Florida and Illinois to occupy 28,000 square feet of industrial space at 1000 North Cannon Avenue in Lansdale, PA. Graduate Plastics, aka Quantum Storage Systems, offers the largest selection of plastic bins, steel & wire shelving and storage containers.

Absolute Home Mortgage will occupy 6,361 square feet of office space located at 2600 Philmont Avenue in Huntingdon Valley. The landlord is Toll Management Company. Absolute Home Mortgage merged with United Capital Lenders, LLC in August, 2011."

The Tile Shop Signs 25,522 SF Lease in King of Prussia, PA

"The Tile Shop has signed a 25,522-square foot lease to open a tile and floor covering store in King of Prussia, PA. The store will open this summer at 201 Allendale Road adjacent to Costco and will occupy the former Levitz Furniture site.

The Tile Shop is based in Minneapolis-St.Paul and operates 47 stores in 17 states. The retailer has 2 additional locations in Metro Philadelphia located in Moorestown, NJ and Wilmington, DE.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kimco takes loss on Phila. office building it bought before crisis

"Kimco Realty Corp. sold a property on Walnut Street in Center City for half the amount it bought it for five years ago.

Pearl Properties of Philadelphia bought 1701 Walnut St., an eight-story office building that has Juicy Couture as one of its retail tenants, for $6.6 million, according to property records.

Kimco paid $12 million for the roughly 25,000-square-foot building in May 2007 when it was on a buying spree in Philadelphia, particularly in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Among the other buildings Kimco bought around the same time include 1401 Walnut St., where Banana Republic has a store; 1429 Walnut St., home to Armani Exchange; and 1628 Walnut St. Kimco has also sold some of its other buildings to Pearl Properties, including 1401 and 1429 Walnut."

150 East Swedesford Road in Wayne Sells to Private Investor

"The Buyer, 1571 North Valley LLC, has already signed a multi-year lease agreement with College Tuition Benefit.com, a company which makes it possible for employers to provide employee's children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews with a guaranteed college scholarship through the company's individual benefits package.

150 East Swedesford Road is a first floor condominium unit with four private offices and a conference room, kitchen, open area and new high energy heat pump. The building is situated on a beautifully landscaped lot and has an abundance of parking available for owners and their clients.

The office condominium totaling 1,527 square feet is situated at the highly visible location known as 150 East Swedesford Road, Suite 102, in Wayne.

Sale price of the condominium was $225,000.

Friday, January 20, 2012

BPG Properties gets favorable court ruling

"A Commonwealth Court has ruled in favor of BPG Properties Ltd. in its efforts to develop a project called Ellis Preserve on more than 200 acres here off route 252 and 3.

This is the third time a ruling has supported BPG Properties and its effort to construct a mixed-use development on the property. The case highlights the long but determined route some developers take (and the legal hurdles they must overcome) in order to move forward with constructing major projects.

In 2004, BPG Properties bought about 218 acres and set out to have the township pass a planned residential ordinance on the property that would create an overlay district on the land. The overlay would allow BPG Properties to construct a range of different buildings, including retail, office and residential. In the summer of 2009, the ordinance was passed.

Newtown Square East, which is affiliated with local developer Claude de Botton, challenged the ordinance in August 2009 before the zoning hearing board. De Botton argued, among other things, that the ordinance violated the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code requiring the identification of specific uses of buildings within a designated area.

The zoning hearing board denied de Botton’s challenge in May 2010; he appealed to Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.

A year ago, a Common Pleas Court ruled in favor of BPG, saying the appeal of the zoning ordinance was “frivolous” and was being used to delay BPG Properties from developing the project. That result was appealed to Commonwealth Court.

In a ruling handed down Dec. 29, Commonwealth Court ruled that a developer doesn’t have to specify building use and would be “unreasonable” during planning stages and would “hamstring” a developer by forcing it to repeatedly go before a governing body to get new approvals, according to court documents. A developer needs the flexibility to adjust to market conditions and other forces at work, the court said in an opinion written by Judge P. Kevin Brobson.

“His opinion speaks for itself and we argue the contrary,” said John W. Nilon Jr., an attorney with Petrikin Wellman Damico Brown & Petrosa, who represented de Botton. “We thought the statute said when it came to building use, you had to designate building use. He thinks you can have a generic designation.”

Steve Spaeder, president at BPG Development Co., said BPG is pleased with the ruling.
“We’re eager to get started on the project, which has long been delayed,” he said.
Whether this ruling will get appealed to the state Supreme Court hasn’t been determined though it is under consideration, Nilon said."

Full story: http://tinyurl.com/88n5msm

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Endo Pharmaceuticals HQ to be Deliver By December

As previously reports 11/1/2011: http://omegacre.blogspot.com/2011/11/endo-to-move-from-chadds-ford-to-east.html

The kickoff construction has officially launched for the development of 1400 Atwater Drive, a build-to-suit project in Malvern, PA, that will be fully leased by and serve as the new headquarters for Endo Pharmaceuticals.

The two five-story office buildings totaling 300,000 square feet located in the Atwater Business Park overlooking a 60-acre lake are scheduled for completion in December 2012. The buildings will be connected by a two-story glass lobby and feature a cafeteria, fitness center and conference center.

The Atwater Corporate Center, located in the 388-acre Atwater Business Park, a mixed-use master development in the Philadelphia suburb that will include office, hotel, and multifamily properties off the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Highway 29. The development will be served by a new interchange now under construction by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Food Lion Latest To Shrink Store Counts In Grocer Shakeout

"Delhaize Group, the Belgium-based parent of Food Lion chain in the U.S., is the latest grocer to shrink its store count. The latest news on store closings follows on the heels of A&P announcing last week that it plans to close 14 more stores following its emergence from bankruptcy and, more recently, another grocery store chain, Sprouts, said it will close three Austin, TX area stores.

According to analysts, these store closings won't be the last.

"The fact is that further grocery shakeout is inevitable," said Garrick H. Brown, retail research director at Terranomics. "The grocery pie only has so many slices. Mid-size regional chains, particularly those that are unionized, will likely see the greatest challenges ahead. Because of this, expect more mergers and acquisitions in the months ahead."

However, Brown added: "All of these closure announcements fall against the backdrop of a wide variety of new grocery concepts expanding in the marketplace. The good news for landlords is that there are plenty of new concepts looking to expand that could backfill these vacancies. The bad news is that most of the store closures will likely be from the old guard-traditional grocery store users in the 50,000- to 80,000-square-foot range. Most of the chains in growth mode are smaller format concepts."

Delhaize will close 113 underperforming Food Lion stores, most of which are in markets with the lowest store density. It will also close a distribution center and 13 additional Bloom and Bottom Dollar stores.

Also as part of the resizing, the grocer plans to convert 42 Bloom stores back to Food Lion. Seven Bloom stores will be closed and the Bloom brand will be retired. Food Lion divvied up its Food Lion stores in 2004 to differentiate between the higher-end Bloom concept and traditional deep-discount, no frills Food Lion stores.

In the U.S., Food Lion has decided to focus its Bottom Dollar Food brand on markets which provide the greatest opportunity for growth such as Philadelphia, where it has enjoyed considerable success, and in Pittsburgh, where it will open its first stores this quarter.

It will convert or close the Bottom Dollar Food brand stores in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. This will result in the conversion of 22 Bottom Dollar Food stores to Food Lion and the closing of six stores in these markets.

The good news is that Delhaize plans to add hundreds of Bottom Dollar Food stores in the next five years. For starters, Delhaize will open 14 Bottom Dollar Food stores in Pittsburgh and Youngstown, OH, by the end of the first quarter, and it expects to open another 10 to 15 stores by year-end in its newer markets.

"While we grew our revenues for the full year, we are disappointed in the fourth quarter revenues in the U.S. and Belgium. Consumers continued to feel pressured in the fourth quarter due to the macro-economic environment and this led to a reduction in spending," said Pierre-Olivier Beckers, president and CEO of Delhaize Group. "We also encountered an increase in competitive activity. We are determined to further improve our price competitiveness in 2012, particularly in the U.S. and Belgium."

"After a thorough review of our store portfolio, we have decided to close or convert a number of stores in the U.S. and in Southeastern Europe during the first quarter of 2012," Beckers said. "This decision is in line with our New Game Plan which is aimed at accelerating profitable growth. For a retailer, it is never an easy decision to close stores as we are fully aware of the impact on our associates, our customers and the communities we serve."

"We are consistently executing our New Game Plan strategy and continue to invest in the many initiatives that are part of it such as the successful brand strategy work at Food Lion, the expansion of Bottom Dollar Food in its newer markets and our growth plans for Southeastern Europe," Beckers added.

Delhaize Group ended 2011 with a sales network of 1.650 supermarkets in the U.S., a net addition of 23 stores over 2010."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Endo, turnpike ramp could reinvigorate Malvern office park

by Natalie Kostelni

"IMC Construction is making headway in the construction of Endo Pharmaceuticals’ new headquarters at the Atwater Corporate Center in Malvern.

Already the construction company has cleared out 80,000 yards of dirt so that the complex will be positioned to overlook an 80-acre body of water created by a former quarry. The Endo (NASDAQ:ENDP) project was designed by L2 Partridge and is being developed by Trammel Crow Co.

It’s the first new construction for Atwater in a decade. Trammel Crow drew up plans for it in late 1999 and told East Whiteland it anticipated a seven to 10-year period to build out the 2.5 million-square-foot office park. The last time a building was constructed there was back in 2002 when Trammel Crow constructed a 151,477-square-foot structure that Allstate Insurance used to consolidate several of its offices. Ever since, the 388 acres that make up the corporate center at Route 29 and Yellow Springs Road has sat fallow.

With the Endo headquarters and finally the construction of a Pennsylvania Turnpike ramp at Route 29, I suspect progress at Atwater will pick up for tenants like Endo that are looking for build-to-suit opportunities. The turnpike interchange will likely have greater implications for other office parks in that area, including the Great Valley Corporate Center, Valley Creek Corporate Center and Uptown Worthington among others. Those commuting to the area no longer have to clog up local roads to get there. The turnpike ramp will also potentially reorient the gateway to Great Valley from Swedesford Road and Route 202 to the side where Atwater is located.

The Endo headquarters, which consists of two, five-story buildings totaling 320,000 square feet and a single-story parking deck for 420 vehicles, will certainly create a solid footprint in Atwater. Aside from having a full-service kitchen, cafeteria, training center and conference center, and an on-site exercise center, the complex will use water from the former quarry to feed a cooling loop for its geo-thermal HVAC system.

Dave Holveck, CEO of Endo, has said the company’s move from Chadds Ford will put Endo closer to the “heart” of the health-care corridor in Pennsylvania, where nearly 100 other health-care and life sciences companies are based. Earlier this week, the company said it has been affected by the Novartis recall because some of its products are made at the affected Novartis plant in Nebraska."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Philadelphia region’s top commercial real estate deals of 2011

by Natalie Kostelni
Commercial real estate sales throughout the Philadelphia region last year were not robust.

While multifamily was the hot property type that traded last year, office, retail and industrial lagged behind. Here’s a look back at some of the top deals (For more information and context on the transactions, click on the links):

Simon Property Group took control of the 2.4-million-square-foot King of Prussia Mall in a transaction valued at around $1.25 billion, which was the largest transaction from last year in terms of dollars and square feet, making it a difficult one to beat.

David Werner Real Estate Investments paid $143.5 million for 1700 Market St., an 841,000-square-foot building in Philadelphia.

An affiliate of the Morris Cos. of Rutherford, N.J., bought Ashbridge Square, a 386,016-square-foot shopping center at 900 E. Lancaster Ave. in Downingtown for $51.75 million.

Teva Pharmaceuticals paid $40.59 million for 138 acres at One Red Lion Road in Philadelphia.

An affiliate of Liberty Property Trust paid $40 million for the surface lot at 18th and Arch streets in Philadelphia.

 An affiliate of Post Brothers Apartments bought the old Empirian Luxury Towers at 633 W. Rittenhouse St. in Philadelphia for $27.3 million.

 BPG Properties Ltd. sold Executive Terrace, a four-story, 132,089-square-foot office building at 455 S. Gulph Road in King of Prussia for $26.5 million.

 Home Properties paid $24 million for Waterview Apartments, a 203-unit complex fronting Route 3 at Waterview Road in West Chester from Fairfield Residential Inc.

 Bart Blatstein’s Tower Investments paid $21 million to buy 1400 Spring Garden St., a 19-story building totaling 300,000 square feet that has a 208-space parking garage from the state. Tower also paid $22.65 million to buy the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News’ old headquarters at 400 N. Broad St., an 18-story, 470,000-square-foot building.

SI Organization Inc. bought the 271,000-square-foot building it occupies at 751 Vandenburg Road in King of Prussia for $21.4 million. The building was constructed in 1967. Lockheed Martin sold its Enterprise Integration Group division in November 2010. When Lockheed divested itself of EIG, it was renamed SI Organization, which quietly supports the intelligence community on their missions.

Federal Realty Trust sold the Feasterville Shopping Center, a 110,362-square square-foot strip at 1045 Bustleton Pike in Feasterville for $20 million.

Full story: http://tinyurl.com/7bk7jnd

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Aetna Renews at 58,000sf in Allentown

The lease of 58,460 sf of office space at 1550 Pond Road (Winchester Plaza), Allentown, PA was completed.
The transaction is a lease renewal for the current tenant, Aetna. Aetna is a national leader in health-related benefits, including health, dental, pharmacy, group life, and disability insurance.

Spike's Trophies Limited Purchases 2701 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

"Spike's Trophies Limited acquired the 21,700 square foot modern one story masonry building, situated on approximately 1.79 acres located at 2701 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA."

501 Cetronia Road sells for $6.4M

The sale of 107,770 sf of retail space at 501 Cetronia Road, Allentown, PA was completed. The selling price was $6,430,000.00.
The owner, First Star Bank, is a community bank headquartered in Bethlehem, PA.

The buyer, St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, is a multi-hospital system affiliated with over 1,200 doctors in the Lehigh Valley region.

A&P Closing 14 More NE Stores

"The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Inc. (A&P) filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking approval to close 14 stores in four states as the company prepares to emerge from Chapter 11. The store closures are expected to be completed in the company's fiscal first quarter, subject to court approval.

"We are continuing to take the steps necessary to position A&P to emerge from Chapter 11 with a strong future and ensure that we remain focused on our top priority - providing great value and service to our customers every day," said Sam Martin, A&P president and CEO. "As part of our preparations to emerge from Chapter 11, we have decided to close these 14 underperforming locations.

Affected Stores
Pathmark, 300 Montauk Hwy, East Islip, NY
Pathmark, 517 Route 72 West, Manahawkin, NJ
A&P, 35 Main St., Danbury, CT
Pathmark, 145 Passaic Avenue, Kearny, NJ
A&P, 59 Outwater Lane, Garfield, NJ
Waldbaums, 725 Sunrise Hwy, West Babylon, NY
Pathmark, 6718 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Twp, NJ
Waldbaums, 399 Ocean Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY
Waldbaums, 601 Portion & Cenacle Road, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
Waldbaums, 711 E. Jericho Turnpike, Huntington Station, NY
Pathmark, 1 Pathmark Plaza, Mount Vernon, NY
Pathmark, 2100 Country Line, Upper Moreland, PA Waldbaums, 40 Vanderbilt Pkwy, Commack, NY
A&P, 175 Avenue A, Bayonne, NJ

Susquehanna LP Sells Industrial Building in York

"N18 Property LP, an affiliate of Endurance Real Estate Group LLC, purchased the industrial facility at 515 N. Zarfoss Dr. in York, PA from Susquehanna Real Estate LP for $8.75 million, or about $26 per square foot.

The 309,900-square-foot industrial building is located in the York County Industrial submarket of Philadelphia. It was built in 1985 on 26.2 acres."

The Property was developed in 1982 and features all the amenities required by contemporary distribution needs including ceiling heights up to 31' clear, 28 loading doors, wet sprinkler system and approximately 6,500 SF of office space. The Property is fully leased, to syncreon.US, Inc., a specialized provider of integrated logistics services to global industries that is providing logistical support and light assembly services to Harley Davidson from this facility.

"This acquisition is indicative of the types of deals we are seeking to acquire; well-located, functional, bulk distribution buildings at an attractive basis significantly below replacement cost at a time when we are seeing a significant improvement in leasing fundamentals in the Pennsylvania I-81/I-78 industrial markets," said Benjamin Cohen, President of Endurance.
Endurance also recently acquired 2834 Schoeneck Road a 270,000 SF bulk distribution in the Lehigh Valley in March of 2011 and 420-440 Drew Court a 146,906 warehouse/flex flex facility in King of Prussia, PA in November of 2011. We continue to seek additional office and industrial assets (both stabilized and value-added) to acquire with our capital partners.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012: A Silver Lining for the U.S. Office Market?

"The U.S. office sector witnessed a spurt in market fundamentals in fourth quarter 2011 with a significant positive absorption and increase in occupancy and rents, although the performance remained relatively dispersed by both geographical location and market types.

Absorption refers to total square feet leased over a specific time period in a specific geographic area, while positive absorption is a measure of the net square feet leased after taking into consideration the space vacated during the period.

In its report titled “Fourth Quarter 2011 United States Office Outlook” that tracks 43 U.S. markets to provide ‘an overview of supply and demand, pricing conditions, a statistical analysis and an outlook on future performance, Jones Lang further predicted that despite a tepid economic recovery in the domestic market and continued uncertainty in the global macroeconomic environment, the U.S. office sector is likely to continue its growth momentum in 2012 at a somewhat similar pace exhibited in 2011.

Key Performance Highlights
The U.S. office sector reported about 10.3 million square feet of positive absorption in fourth quarter 2011 (the seventh such quarterly increase on the trot), bringing the tally for the full year to 34.6 million square feet, compared to 13.4 million square feet in 2010 or approximately thrice reported in the previous year.

Total U.S. vacancy levels in the office sector during fourth quarter 2011 plummeted to 17.6% – the lowest recorded since the second quarter of 2009, and significantly below 18.5% reported in the year-earlier quarter. At year-end 2011, vacancy rate in the Central Business Districts (CBD) was14.2%, while that of the suburban markets was 19.6%.

The office sector is highly correlated to job growth. The U.S. economy ended 2011 on a high note in terms of job growth, with 200,000 jobs added in December – about 50% better than the monthly average of 2010, bringing the official unemployment rate to a three-year low of 8.5%. For full year 2011, approximately 1.64 million jobs were added in the U.S. economy, with office job creation growing at an annualized rate of 1.2%. However, during fourth quarter 2011, office jobs had outpaced the annual growth rate at 1.8%, adding about 475,000 new jobs.

Aberration by Market Types
As evident by a disparity in vacancy rates in CBD and suburban markets, rent increases also varied considerably across both market types throughout 2011. While CBD rents increased 4.8% on a year over year basis, suburban market rents improved by a meager 1.1% or by less than one-fourth of CBD.
The dismal performance in the suburban markets pegged back the overall rent growth for the U.S. office sector at 2.8% for full year 2011, which was largely driven by strong growth in coastal urban markets and areas dominated by the technology and energy firms.

During fourth quarter 2011, overall U.S. office sector rents surged 0.9%, with CBD rents rising 2.7% and suburban rents decreasing 0.2% on a year-over-year basis. Out of the 43 markets in which Jones Lang carried out its survey, the CBD markets that fared well and were recovering at a fast pace were Austin, Texas, Midtown South in Manhattan and San Francisco. The suburban markets on a high-growth curve included Northern California markets of East Bay, the San Francisco Peninsula and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Aberration by Geographical Location
The performance of the U.S. office sector in 2011 also varied widely by geographical locations, with New York and Washington DC – the two largest office markets in the U.S. accounting for about 20% of the total office space in the country, lagging behind, and California and Texas leading the way. While California accounted for 25.7% of the total occupancy gains in the U.S. in 2011, Texas registered a healthy 15.9%, thus accounting for 41.6% of total positive absorption in the country during the year.

In addition, California witnessed a 20% rent growth and a 2.5% decline in vacancy rate with 1.8 million square feet of net absorption during 2011, driven largely by the proliferation of high-tech industry growth in the region.

Contrarily, the performance of New York and Washington DC faltered due to low investor confidence resulting from the uncertainty in the political environment. 2012 being a presidential election year in the U.S., there is a high probability that the U.S. policymakers would refrain from making any radical change on key issues. With political indecision likely to persist in the country until at least the elections are over and the lack of concrete fiscal planning, most companies are playing a tactical ‘wait and see’ game before committing on expansion opportunities.

Furthermore, a sovereign debt crisis in Europe has resulted in the euro struggling for survival, sending ripple effects across the globe. For most of the latter half of 2011, investors have been the victims of inconsistency in the political process across Europe, ending in market volatility.

Consequently, office leases during the second half of 2011 in both markets declined by approximately 25% to 35%. This in turn led to a modest rise in vacancy rates and a dip in asking rents.

On the other hand, markets that were traditionally considered weak office markets namely Tampa Bay and Orlando fared relatively well in 2011 with a considerable increase in absorption and tenant demand. Tampa Bay witnessed a huge demand for office space by healthcare services and providers, while Orlando reported a surge in office leasing due to a booming tourism sector. The office sector is expected to grow at an annualized rate of over 6.0% in the region.

Moving Forward
Although uncertainty in the domestic political environment and austerity measures among the European countries are expected to impede regional economic growth, buoyant job growth in most of the regions in the latter half of 2011 is expected to provide an encouraging sign to the companies who have paused in terms of expansion initiatives."

Impact Thrift to open store in Feasterville

"Impact Thrift Stores announced Thursday it will open a store in Lower Southampton.

The store, in the former Value City at Street Road and Bustleton Pike in Feasterville, will be Impact's fourth thrift store. It also has locations in Hatboro, Montgomery Township and Norristown.

Impact spokeswoman Jo Greenawalt said a date hasn't been set for opening the 66,000-square-foot store, which will be Impact's first in Bucks County. She said the store may be the largest one, in square footage, on the East Coast.

Already Impact has two warehouses full of donations that will go to the new store, but Greenawalt said more donations, particularly of clothing, are needed. They can be dropped off at Impact's existing locations; the Feasterville store cannot accept donations at this time.

"We are blessed right now that we have been inundated with donations over the past year, which is a fabulous thing to happen," Greenawalt said. "We have been blessed with tons of furnishing donations but we really need clothing. But we have no doubt that when we open those doors the store will be packed solid with wonderful things."

Sales from Impact's thrift stores benefit charities that help children and families, the homeless and others in need."

Philadelphia's Office Vacancy Decreases to 11.6%

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

The vacancy rate was down over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 393,606 square feet in the fourth quarter. Vacant sublease space decreased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 1,544,892 square feet.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2011 include: Quest Diagnostics moving into 136,919 square feet at 1001 Adams Ave; Janney Montgomery Scott LLC moving into 125,418 square feet at Three Logan Square; and AIM moving into 61,483 square feet at River Park 2.

Rental rates ended the fourth quarter at $21.03, an increase over the previous quarter.

A total of seven buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 139,082 square feet, with 1,845,995 square feet still under construction at the end of the quarter.

This trend is compared to the U.S. national office vacancy rate, which decreased to 12.3% from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 21.73 million square feet in the fourth quarter.
Full Report: http://omegare.com/Costar-4Q2011-Market-Report-Office.pdf

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Safeway to sell Genuardi’s supermarkets to Giant for $106M

by Peter Van Allen
"Giant Food Stores said Thursday it will pay $106 million for 16 Genuardi’s stores in the Philadelphia market, while three other Genuardi’s stores will be closed.

Eight other Genuardi’s locations are still for sale, parent Safeway Inc. said separately, and the Genuardi’s name is apparently on its way out.

The 16 stores being acquired by Giant will bear the Giant name. The deal is expected to close by midyear. With the 16 stores, Giant will have 56 locations in the Philadelphia market. Giant recently took over a Genuardi’s site in Feasterville, Pa.

The three Genuardi’s stores that Safeway will close are in Exton, Norristown and Royersford, Pa. Safeway said 145 jobs will be lost at those locations.

Four of the eight supermarkets that are for sale are in New Jersey. (See below for details.)

“We have made the decision to exit the greater Philadelphia market, including four stores in New Jersey, and focus our resources in those operating areas where we have a stronger presence,” said Steve Neibergall, president of Safeway’s (NYSE:SWY) eastern division. “We will be working with the purchasers to ease the transition for our store employees and making efforts to facilitate continued employment for as many of them as possible.”

About 1,800 Genuardi’s employees affected by the Giant acquisition will need to apply for positions at Giant.

All of the stores being acquired are in Pennsylvania. They are at:

• 2395 York Road, Jamison;
• 2890 S. Eagle Road, Newtown;
• 168 N. Flowers Mill Road, Langhorne;
• 4275 County Line Road, Chalfont;
• 1375 Boot Road, West Chester;
• 830 E. Baltimore Pike, East Marlborough;
• 550 E. Lancaster Ave., St. Davids;
• 950 Baltimore Pike, Springfield (Delaware Co.);
• 50 E. Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood;
• 1844 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown;
• 737 Huntingdon Pike, Huntingdon Valley;
• 1121 Bethlehem Pike, Spring House;
• 310 S. Henderson Road, King of Prussia;
• 1925 Norristown Road, Maple Glen;
• 2350 Susquehanna Road, Roslyn;
• 467 Sumneytown Pike, North Wales.

Giant has 180 stores trading under the names Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets. Stores are in Pennsylvania,Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

A Safeway spokesman said it is still trying to sell locations in Doylestown, Conshohocken, Audubon, East Norriton in Pennsylvania. The New Jersey sites for sale are in Cherry Hill, Marlton, Egg Harbor Township and Barnegat Township.

There has been a shakeout in recent years in the region’s supermarket industry, which is seeing increased competition from giants like Walmart and Costco, and also relative newcomers like Wegman’s, Aldi and Bottom Dollar."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Green Courte Partners buys the Avenue of the Arts Garage

"Green Courte Partners, a private equity real estate investment firm in Lake Forest, Ill., bought the Avenue of the Arts Garage at 1501 Spruce St. in Philadelphia. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.
The self-park garage was constructed in 2002 by Parkway Corp. to serve the Kimmel Center on South Broad Street. The property is 10 levels and has 668 parking spaces, and includes 17,272 square feet of retail space occupied by the Buca Di Beppo Italian restaurant and Starbucks Coffee.

Parkway sold it to Next Realty, a Chicago real estate investment company that also owns the Sansom Garage at 1616 Sansom St. in Philadelphia. Next Realty has now sold it to Lake Forest, Ill.-based Green Courte, which targets parking facilities and manufactured housing communities."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

REITs, Time to Buy?


With Citizens Bank suit settled, O’Neill moves ahead with Worthington

by Natalie Kostelni
"O’Neill Properties Group and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania have settled the lawsuits each brought against each other.

Here’s a statement put out by O’Neill and the bank: “Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania and Brian O’Neill of O’Neill Properties Group jointly announce that they have entered into a settlement agreement resolving all litigation between them. The terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential.”

The litigation centered on O’Neill’s Uptown Worthington project in Malvern and Citizens winning a $61 million judgment against the developer. O’Neill countered with its own lawsuit.

A settlement has long been rumored and it’s nice that it finally arrived. Maybe it’s a harbinger of what’s to come this year with commercial real estate: Lenders cleaning up their books, coming to terms on loans and other issues and allowing the industry to start moving some dirt around. What it means for O’Neill is ramping up development at Worthington again.

“We’re going to do it all,” said Brian O’Neill in an interview this morning about Worthington. “We’re out moving and shaking. Tenacity is a rewarding virtue.”

Eight percent, or 35, of the retail tenants who wanted to lease space at the development before the economy tanked are negotiating to return, O’Neill said. After not opening any or many new stores during the recession, retailers are now under pressure to open up sites in proven locations, he said.

Worthington already has Target and Wegmans, which appear to be busy, and O’Neill said they are ringing in record sales. The development also has its infrastructure in place, making it attractive for retailers who don’t want wait for a site to be ready.

O’Neill plans to soon begin construction on the first phase of an apartment complex that will total 750 units at build-out. The first phase will be comprised of 250 apartments.

The company started construction on a pad for a PNC Bank branch and is negotiating with tenants on four other pads. As for office development, O’Neill is in negotiations with a “major” tenant on a 145,000-square-foot building.

“It’s a $400 million project,” he said. “All told, it will be over 1 million square feet. We’re very happy to be moving forward with this project. It’s a winner.”

The developer is confident it will be able to line up funds to finance the work that is expected to get underway.

“The markets are loosening up and are out doing deals,” he said, noting his company is in discussions with numerous lenders."