Monday, April 30, 2012

World Trade Center Back on Top

Today, 1 World Trade Center reclaims the title of NYC's tallest skyscraper, reaching 1,250 feet.
A time-lapse video shows new World Trade Center

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Philly area’s commercial real estate roundup

by Natalie Kostelni

A building that housed the former Drafting Room, a popular bar and eatery in Spring House, Pa., that closed two years ago, has sold for $1.1 million.

The last time the building sold it was in 1998, for $1.4 million. The 10,000-square-foot building on two acres at 900 N. Bethlehem Pike had been on the market for two years with three different buyers stepping up. The buyer, an affiliate of Andy’s Diner, plans to open an additional location at the site. DRI Real Estate Holdings was the seller.
5 Digit Plus leased 63,809 square feet at 200 Connecticut Drive at the Burlington Commerce Center in Burlington, N.J. The 148,500-square-foot building is owned by Exeter Property Group. 5 Digit, which provides postal optimization solutions and commingling services to agencies and mailers, leased the space for five years.

Perkiomen Creek Village, an eight-unit apartment complex at 514–530 Gravel Pike In Collegeville, Pa., is on the market for $1.15 million. The complex totals 10,500 square feet on the Perkiomen Creek and trail.

Panattoni Development Co. bought 129 acres in I-81/I-78 Logistics Park in Union, Pa., in Lebanon County. Panattoni plans to build two distribution facilities totaling 1.5 million square that will be completed next spring.

A 9,240-square-foot medical office building at 1201 County Line Road in Bryn Mawr, Pa., traded for $1.21 million, or $131 a square foot.
Full story:

South Jersey office market seeing shift

by Natalie Kostelni
"After years of being dominated by two local real estate investment trusts, several new landlords have entered the South Jersey office market. As Liberty Property Trust and Brandywine Realty Trust pared down their suburban office holdings, local entrepreneurial real estate investors saw an opening and stepped up to buy these and other properties that have come up for sale. This ownership shift is something the market hasn’t seen in nearly two decades and could change the way some real estate deals get done.
“REITs have different goals. They have more people to answer to such as shareholders and board members, and private owners don’t; they can make a decision standing in front of a prospect.”

Some of the new players in South Jersey include Somerset Properties Inc., Veritas Real Estate, Hill Properties, and Tequesta Properties Inc. Veritas has been buying in South Jersey for the last two years and has so far accumulated 10 buildings with an eye to buy more. One of its biggest assets is Four Greentree Centre, which is an office building totaling 62,000 square feet in Marlton. Veritas has bought from a variety of sellers including Liberty, banks who have taken back properties as well as regional owners. “With some of the changing dynamics in the market and opportunity presenting itself, we saw a chance now to take an equity position and build up a portfolio,” said Rick Schwartz of Veritas. “I think you’re seeing a situation where you need well-capitalized owners to come in, and underwrite and invest smart. We don’t have the constraints of the REITs. They have dynamics and performance guidelines from a financial perspective. You can do certain things to drive occupancy that don’t necessarily create value and that has an impact on the market in terms of value.” That’s not what Veritas is about, Schwartz said. The owners live in South Jersey and find it important to be hands on, build relationships with tenants and for the long haul. “We plan to be a permanent fixture in the market,” Schwartz said.

Tequesta Properties of Marlton has similar motives. It owns six buildings in South Jersey including One and Five Greentree and 30 Lake Center Drive in Marlton. The company launched a round of capital improvements to its buildings including installing solar panels to completely redoing the lobby, bathrooms and corridors at One Greentree. The lobby hasn’t been renovated since the 1980s. “We want to show we care and we are here to stay for a while,” said Todd Levin, operations manager at Tequesta. “It’s definitely a changing landscape and pretty exciting for companies like Tequesta. We’re going to be able to change the way things were being done.” During the recession, South Jersey experienced little new business growth, so landlords poached tenants from one another to fill vacancies at low rents. While Levin can appreciate why property owners might strike such deals, it’s not a strategy for Tequesta. “We see the leases that were done like that and we’re not doing those deals anymore,” Levin said. “We’re in business to make money. It’s a stability thing and we want to make it clear to the tenant what the rate is and fit out. There’s no game involved. Tenants want that openness.”

Somerset closed earlier this month on a $146 million deal with Liberty Property in which it bought 34 properties. Of those, four were in South Jersey. Somerset is re-entering the area office market after a hiatus. “We see some opportunity in this product type,” said Mark White, a principal at Somerset of Lower Gwynedd. “We think South Jersey and this property type is a proxy for the broader economy, and we’re optimistic that as economic conditions improve so will the value of these properties. It has been out of favor with investors for years and we tend to be a contrarian investor.” A majority of leases completed in the office market during the first quarter were done by these new owners and show rents higher than some previous deals completed over the past year. “The new owners are trying to hold the line on what rental rates should realistically be in southern New Jersey and not give away the house just to win deals and buy occupancy at steep discounts." Two years ago, average starting rents stood at about $6 to $10 a square foot and now it’s up around $10 to $12, he said."
Full story:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What is the 504 Program for Commercial Real Estate?

The Hampshire Cos Acquires Towne Square SC

"The Hampshire Companies has acquired the Towne Square Shopping Center at 860-892 Union Mill Rd. in Mount Laurel, NJ from J.S. Hovnanian & Sons LLC. The 88,380-square-foot retail center was built on 13.1 acres in the South Burlington County submarket of Philadelphia. The neighborhood center boasts an 88 percent occupancy anchored by ShopRite Supermarket, with 9,500 square feet of retail space currently available for lease."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hankin finishes senior housing in Exton, Pa.

by Natalie Kostelni
"The Hankin Group has completed a $10 million, 50,857-square-foot affordable senior housing complex 15 years after it opened a similar multifamily facility in Chester County, Pa. The latest property, called the Bernard Hankin Building, for the company’s founder, has 50 apartments and is located at Pennsylvania Avenue and Rice Boulevard in Exton. The first building was named after Hankin’s wife, Henrietta Potter Hankin."

Prestigious area golf course sold

by Natalie Kostelni
"ClubCorp of Dallas bought Hartefeld National Golf Club in Avondale, Chester County, a private country club that features one of the Northeast’s most honored golf courses, a Tom Fazio-designed championship course that has served as the site of both a PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour event.

The purchase of Hartefeld National marks the fifth acquisition in less than a year for ClubCorp, which plans to spend more than $1 million in capital improvements to the club. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed."

Recent Commercial real estate deals

by Natalie Kostelni
"The Hub at Commerce Square is on schedule to open in what will be its fourth and largest Center City location. The Hub leased 23,000 square feet at 2001 Market St. and will have 13 different spaces to lease out for a variety of uses. The types of spaces at its Commerce Square facility include a 105-seat amphitheater and other rooms that can accommodate from two to hundreds of people in flexible time rental arrangements, such as half-day, full-day, evening and weekends.

Resource Real Estate Opportunity Inc. of Philadelphia bought an 856-unit apartment complex called the Bristol at 1221 Redford St. in Houston from Tritex Real Estate Advisors Inc. for $11.4 million or $13,318 per unit. The 703,862-square-foot property was 52 percent occupied at the time of the sale.

Hill International (NYSE:HIL) was awarded a contract by the Iraq Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to provide design management and construction management services for the new Al Bayaa Teaching Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. The three-year contract has an estimated value to Hill of about $5.2 million. The hospital, which is expected to cost about $210 million, will have 600 beds and will facilitate training of physicians and other medical professionals."
Full story:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick (video)

Canadian manufacturer to move HQ to Montco

"The Corbett administration has awarded $844,000 in incentives to help a Canadian company that makes catalytic converters for diesel vehicles relocate to Montgomeryville.

Environmental Solutions Worldwide Inc. will move its headquarters from Concord, Ontario, to a 40,220-square-foot building that its U.S. research and development and Air Testing Services units have been using since 2005. Last October, the company relocated all of its manufacturing operations from Canada to the Montgomeryville facility.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development provided a $150,000 Opportunity Grant, a $500,000 low-interest loan from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund, and $194,000 in job-creation tax credits. In addition, the state said the company would be eligible to apply for R&D tax credits. In return, Environmental Solutions Worldwide said it intended to create at least 97 jobs within three years and retain 11 existing jobs. According to its most recent annual report, the company had 38 employees, down from 53 the prior year.

The thinly traded publicly held company said that the target markets for its emissions-control technology retrofits are on-road trucks and school buses as well as off-road construction vehicles, tractors, and military equipment.

Environmental Solutions Worldwide, which underwent a major restructuring last year, reported a net loss of $9.23 million, or 5 cents per share, on net sales of $11.89 million in 2011. The previous year, the company lost $9.43 million, or 8 cents per share, on sales of $10.44 million."

Friday, April 20, 2012

5 Tips for Subleasing Your Rented Commercial Property

Have you considered subleasing the area of your rental property that you don’t use? While this can help save money when it comes to your monthly expenses it will only work to your benefit if things are done correctly. If you are currently renting commercial space for your business, but are considering subleasing it keep these five tips in mind.
1.Check with your landlord as well as the terms of your lease agreement to see if you are allowed to sublease the property and under what conditions.

2.Consider if it’s a practical. Can the space, amenities, parking lot, common areas and etc. handle another business?

3.Be mindful of who moves in; be sure that both of you can function without harming your businesses’ image.

4.Hire a commercial real estate specialist and lawyer to put together a sublease agreement that is clear and comprehensible.

5.Be mindful of your business’ future needs and how soon you may need the space back.

Brandywine to use land for projects beyond office buildings

by Natalie Kostelni
"Brandywine Realty Trust, which has traditionally focused on buying and developing office buildings, is looking to break ground in the next six to 12 months on two multifamily projects. While it continues to concentrate on owning office buildings in urban and suburban locations, the real estate investment trust has decided to use land it had been holding for future office development and delve into constructing other types of real estate, such as apartments, retail outlets and hotels.

Brandywine’s decision to venture into other property types comes as demand for new office construction continues to lag. “Our core product is office and that is where we focus and implicit in that is taking a look at other complimentary uses to our office properties,” said Jerry Sweeney, president and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust. What Brandywine (NYSE:BDN) is doing isn’t unusual. In general, many publicly traded REITs have re-evaluated their strategies as commercial real estate markets continue to change.

Private office developers have also reassessed their land holdings and come to similar conclusions. For example, BPG Properties Ltd. of Philadelphia rezoned 15 acres at its New Britain Corporate Center in Bucks County to multifamily for the construction of a 230-unit apartment community. “What had been a bread-and-butter business of buying, leasing and owning suburban office and industrial assets now might look like ‘treading water,’” the report said. “What had been a plan for market diversification — with portfolio holdings in 5-10 separate markets — now may have become a logistics quandary and a drag on growth from the more sluggish markets.”

How a particular REIT may shift focus depends on the organization. For some, it may mean increasing concentration on urban markets or shedding office holdings in some markets to build up the number of industrial properties it owns, as Liberty Property Trust has done in select areas. Brandywine has about 2 percent of its total assets tied up in land, which as Sweeney said, doesn’t sound like a lot but equates to $100 million worth of real estate. By using the land for projects that would work well near existing office properties, the company is putting to work an asset that is otherwise sitting idle and costing the company. “It’s a way to optimize land values,” Sweeney said. To that end, Brandywine plans to construct a mid-rise apartment complex at 134 Plymouth Road in Plymouth Meeting on 20 acres the company had originally gotten zoned to construct between 500,000 and 1 million square feet of office space. Now it intends to construct 400 rental units.

In Center City, it is in the process of finalizing a development plan for 1919 Market St., where it will build a residential tower that would stand 25 stories or more and have between 250 to 275 apartments. A portion of the tower would be dedicated for retail uses and underground parking. Both projects would break ground by the end of this year or beginning of next year. When Brandywine embarks on an apartment project, it plans to enter into partnerships with experienced residential builders who would serve as codevelopers with Brandywine. Sweeney declined to disclose who the company might be partnering with on the two pending projects. “It’s the best model for us,” Sweeney said. “There are some tremendously talented and financially secure and strong residential companies out there that are very effective partners.” Brandywine is assessing a number of properties within its portfolio to determine where it might make sense to move forward with similar developments beyond its core office portfolio."
Full story:

Federal Realty Investment Trust CEO Explains Rental Rate Trends (Video)

Frankford Shoe Factory buys building in Philadelphia

3360-64 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA consisting of approximately 33,000 square feet, plus the rear lot of approximately 6,000 square feet at 3364-68 Braddock Street, Philadelphia, PA was sold to Frankford Shoe Factory Limited Partnership for $270,000.00. The new owners plan to occupy the premises for the manufacturing of furniture and allied items.

HRI Inc. leases 8,100 sf in Bethlehem

HRI Inc. will be occupying a total of 8,100 square feet of space at 1866 Aurburn Street, a 46,000+ square foot multi-tenant building. HRI has corporate offices in State College, PA.They are a contractor for PennDOT projects throughout the Commonwealth. They anticipate occupying this rental unit for the next three years, while they complete a PennDOT project that will improve the highway access for the Sands Casino.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DaVita Anchored MOB Sells For $3.7M

CH Castor LP purchased the medical office building at 7198 Castor Ave. in Philadelphia, PA from an LP for $3.7 million, or about $167 per square foot. The 22,139-square-foot building was constructed in 1950 with a complete renovation in 2010. It is in the Northeast Philadelphia submarket and was fully-leased to multiple tenants including DaVita Dialysis at the time of sale.

Ground broken for a new Center City hotel

"The city's first new ground-up hotel since 2000, and the first tailored to support the expanded Convention Center, broke ground Tuesday at 12th and Arch Streets.

Under a cavernous white tent, about 60 feet from the Reading Terminal Market and diagonally opposite the Convention Center, nearly 200 gathered to shovel the first dirt for the $60 million extended-stay Home2Suites by Hilton.

Some say the development may represent a thawing of the lending markets for new hotels here.

"This is another touchdown for Philadelphia," said Mayor Nutter, speaking from a raised stage just before 9 a.m. "This is all about jobs and economic vitality."

Nutter was among the scores of state and local politicians and representatives of the hospitality industry in attendance. A giant excavator sat in the background, and construction crews did pipe work and moved mounds of dirt to make room for foundation beams.

Completion of the 246-unit, all-suites hotel was once in doubt, like the nearly two dozen hotel projects proposed to support what was to be a much larger Convention Center but delayed or shelved permanently because of the recession and lending crunch that hit in 2008.

Parkway Corp., known mostly for its parking garages, stuck with the project for five years. The company owns the surface parking lot where the new hotel is being built and the multilevel parking garage next to it where overnight guests will be able to park. The hotel will also include an indoor pool, a Wii room for games, and 9,750 square feet of retail space at street level.

"Even though the hotel is the right development at the best location, it wasn't an easy project," Parkway's president, Robert Zuritsky, said Tuesday.

Parkway hung on, and over the last two years, a hotel operator - Philadelphia-based Wurzak Hotel Group - emerged. Hilton Worldwide provided the brand, and financing came together. Capital One Bank provided a $25 million construction loan and $10 million in New Market Tax Credits. State and city grants covered the rest.

Of the $60 million cost, $12.8 million was in government incentives, with $4.8 million to be repaid.

Home2Suites is slated to open in summer 2013. City tourism and convention officials hope it heralds the start of other shelved projects to add rooms to support the Convention Center expansion.

"There's nothing like the sweet smell of construction," said State Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.), who championed the expansion in Harrisburg.

The $786 million expansion made the Convention Center the 14th-largest in the country. But a lack of rooms, say convention officials, still puts Philadelphia at a disadvantage when competing for the largest gatherings against other cities, including New York, Boston, and Washington.

Nutter, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association reached a consensus last year that the city needed at least 1,000 more rooms - on top of the nearly 1,000 that have recently been added or about to come online - to bring the city's room inventory to about 12,700.

Projects that were delayed but are now back in the pipeline, according to industry experts, include a 178-room hotel at 401 Race St., known as the Pincus Brothers Building project, and a 90-room Juniper Hotel at Juniper and Chestnut Streets. Both are trying to complete financing.

Other hotels soon to debut include the 136-unit Homewood Suites in University City, which has a May 1 soft opening, and the 268-room Monaco in the former Lafayette Building in Old City, which is slated to open in September.

"The Homewood Suites and Home2Suites projects indicate a possible start to the thaw in financing," said Peter Tyson, vice president of PKF Consulting USA.

Home2Suites is expected to create 123 construction jobs, and 146 permanent jobs when it opens in summer 2013, said Zuritsky, who announced the project in September, alongside his father, Joseph Zuritsky, Parkway's chairman and chief executive.

About 80 percent of the 246 suites are to be 375-square-foot studios, with the rest one-bedroom units. Each will have a kitchen and cater to business and leisure visitors who want to stay from one night to three months or longer.

"It's combining the benefits of an extended stay with our focus on service," said Jake Wurzak, son of Howard Wurzak, chief executive of the Wurzak Hotel Group, which will operate the hotel.

He said the nearly 10,000 square feet of retail space would be devoted to food and beverage venues.

The hotel is expected to be a hit among those who want to stay close to the Convention Center, said Julie Coker, senior vice president at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"It's another option for the convention attendee and really illustrates our walkability as a city," she said.

Judge sides with Brandywine Realty Trust in challenge to Plymouth apartments

"A senior common pleas court judge sided with Brandywine Realty Trust last week when he ruled in favor of the developer, paving the way for a hotly contested apartment complex to be built within the township.

In November of last year, Brandywine filed a lawsuit against the township after council members voted down its zoning application to develop on a 20-acre lot at 134 Plymouth Road, near the intersection of Butler Pike. The developer sought a conditional use permit to build a 389-unit, mid-rise apartment complex, similar to those along the Conshohocken waterfront.

At the behest of dozens of township residents voicing opposition to the proposal, Plymouth council members threw developers a curveball when they voted to quash the apartment complex deal during a regular council meeting in early November.

Senior Judge Kent Albright opined there was no legitimate reason for Plymouth Council to deny the zoning and halt the progress of Brandywine’s plan.

“They came in last year and got a text amendment for an overlay to the office complex on that parcel,” said Council Chairman Sheldon Simpson. “When that council approved the overlay, it gave them a by-right plan. When they came in with the overlay, council denied it and had no right to deny it because they met the qualifications. They filed mandamus, (which) entitled them to legal damages for holding up the project for no reason.

“Every day they don’t build is a day for them to come back to Plymouth with damages. This is a business decision at this point. You can’t stop somebody from developing if they meet the requirements. Unfortunately for the residents, they got something they didn’t want, but our job as council is to look out for the township. By not appealing the judge’s decision, we have protected the township from litigation that could possibly cost us millions of dollars in damages.”

Township Manager Karen Weiss said the township has already spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and damages.

“The township spent $14,368 in legal fees defending the denial of that conditional use, since February — and climbing,” she said, once March and April are taken into account. She said the cost for the legal challenge will likely rise to $17,000 when all is said and done.

“Nobody wants more traffic, but when the project is built and fully occupied, the township will receive additional tax revenue. They will pay earned income tax to Plymouth Township. In the end, that’s why they prevailed in court, because they had the right to do it.”

The next steps, said Weiss, will be Brandywine’s submission of a land development plan, which will undergo a rigorous review process. It will need approvals from the Montgomery County Planning Commission and the township planning commission, and will conduct a series of traffic and economic impact studies.

“They are hoping to catch up for the lost time from the last few months,” she said.

Weiss called the project “very sustainable.” The development is rife with “green” initiatives, including plans for LED lights throughout the building, reserving 53 percent of the four-story property for open space, and using a parking garage to alleviate the appearance of open, vacant lots.

Attorneys for Brandywine did not return calls seeking comment at press time."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Philadelphia's Office Vacancy Decreases to 11.4%

"The Philadelphia Office market ended the first quarter 2012 with a vacancy rate of 11.4%.

The vacancy rate was down over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 509,930 square feet in the first quarter. Vacant sublease space decreased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 1,405,357 square feet.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2012 include: PJM Interconnection moving into 105,861 square feet at 2750 Monroe Blvd and Music Choice moving into 30,071 square feet at 650 Dresher Rd.

Rental rates ended the first quarter at $20.95, a decrease over the previous quarter.

A total of four buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 147,264 square feet, with 1,844,127 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 12.2% from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 14.79 million square feet in the first quarter."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blatstein proposes ‘spectacular’ casino project on Broad Street

by Natlie Kostelni
"Developer Bart Blatstein has expanded his holdings along North Broad Street and plans a $500 million mixed-use project that would include a casino, a hotel and other ancillary uses.

Blatstein is going to seek the casino license that Foxwoods once held.

Blatstein’s Tower Investments Inc. would construct the project starting at the intersection of Callowhill and Broad streets and fanning out to 17th Street from there (see illustration). The proposed casino would be 117,000 square feet and include what Blatstein called a “destination entertainment center” with theaters, shopping, sporting events, concerts, and spa services. By comparison, the SugarHouse casino is 130,000 square feet and is expanding by another 106,000 square feet.

Blatstein’s would sit in a building west of 400 N. Broad St. A 200-room hotel would be housed in 400 N. Broad and two parking garages, one with 1,200 spaces and another with 820 spaces, would be constructed. Each would have commercial space.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to do something spectacular,” Blatstein said. “It will be a game changer for North Broad Street and Philadelphia and add a dimension to downtown Philadelphia that doesn’t exist. It will attract conventions and have a ripple effect on economic development and real estate.”

The project has the potential to throw off $1 billion in additional economic development activity and create hundreds of jobs, according to a study conducted by Econsult Corp. It also has the ability to continue the momentum that has started in the redevelopment along North Broad and the neighborhoods flanking it. The move by Blatstein comes as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected last week an appeal of the revocation of Foxwoods’ license, and state legislation is pending that would no longer have the license designated for Philadelphia and would instead be opened up to a statewide competition.

The state Gaming Control Board revoked Foxwoods’ $50 million license in December 2010 after Philadelphia Entertainment & Development Partners LP had continually delayed moving forward with a casino project in South Philadelphia. The investment group included developer Ron Rubin, Ed Snider of Comcast-Spectacor and Lewis Katz, an entrepreneur from New Jersey. The partners appealed that decision to Commonwealth Court, which upheld the gaming board’s decision to revoke the license. The investors then appealed to the state Supreme Court, which declined to hear the appeal.

Blatstein hasn’t notified the gaming commission that he seeks the license and doesn’t have a time frame for when he might move forward with the project.

“It will be determined by the casino commission,” he said.
If he doesn’t get it?
“I won’t think in terms of not getting it,” Blaststein said. “I’m in it to win.”
Blatstein doesn’t have any investors lined up yet, but he said he could also finance the project himself as he has with some of his other developments.
“I personally guarantee this amazing project,” he said.
Full story:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Big Plans for Conshohocken Ridge Corporate Center was invited to a networking breakfast earlier this week by the Montgomery County Economic Development Corp. The event was held at the Conshohocken Ridge Corporate Center that was acquired by the Exeter Property Group earlier in the year. The center, located at the corner Colwell Lane and Ridge, has five buildings offering over 195,000 square feet of office space. The buildings were formally known as the Plymouth Corporate Center, but Exeter Property Group re-branded the complex it when they secured the property. The property is in Plymouth, but has a Conshohocken address.
Over 50 commercial real estate agents, brokers, etc., and other business people attended the function, which was held in Building A. As you can see it is in the process of being revamped. If you are familiar with the area, the American Heart Association had office space in Building A before moving to Center City. The second picture is a rendering of the exterior of Building A.

Exeter Property Group is hoping to replace the VIST Bank location with a restaurant. They said they were currently speaking with a couple different restaurants, but nothing is finalized.
So stay tuned for hopefully a bunch of new businesses making their home within the Conshohocken zip code.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Die-Chem Concentrate Acquires Industrial Portfolio for $6.1M

"Die-Chem Concentrate, Inc. purchased the two-building industrial facility at 505 and 509 Fishing Creek Rd. in Lewisberry, PA from Ei Dupont De Nemours & Co. for $6 million, or about $29 per square foot.
The buildings total 208,441 square feet and were constructed in 1966 in the York County submarket of Philadelphia."

L’Oreal Leases 193,000 SF Industrial Bldg in Manchester, PA

"L’Oreal USA signed a 12-year lease for 193,160 square feet in the industrial facility at 75 Steamboat Blvd. in Manchester, PA.

The 193,160-square-foot building was constructed in 2003 and was the former location for Harley Davidson. The building is located in the Brickyard Industrial Park in the York County Industrial submarket. "

M & M Logistics Inks 373,000-SF Warehouse Lease

"M & M Logistics leased 373,382 square feet of warehouse space located at 1100 N. Sherman St. in York, PA.
Located in The Center Point Business Park, the 373,382-square-foot industrial building sits on more than 25 acres on Route 30, 1.5 miles east of I-83 Exit 9. This industrial building is comprised of warehouse space, 25,000 square feet of built-out office space, and 40,000 square feet of freezer/cooler space.

The building has an enclosed loading area and 6-inch reinforced concrete floors. Features of the property include heavy power, 60 loading docks with levelators, cooler, freezer, high ceilings, ESFR sprinkler system and a large lot that can accommodate parking for 41 trailers."

How to Succeed in Commercial Real Estate (Video)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Main Line Health renews at Southpoint

Main Line Health signed a long-term lease at Southpoint II in Berwyn, Pa., where it consolidated its information technology department into one building.

The deal had the health system consolidating from multiple spaces in two buildings onto an entire floor in one building at 1180 W. Swedesford Road. The building is owned by Brandywine Realty Trust …

Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, a division of Main Line Hospitals Inc., took 6,139 square feet of medical office space at 1060 Andrew Drive in West Chester, Pa.

GEICO and Wells Fargo renewed leases 919 N. Market St. in Wilmington, Del. Wells Fargo, which has been a tenant at 919 N. Market since 2002, took 6,251 square feet. GEICO, which has been a tenant at the building since 1999, renewed for 3,497 square feet.
Corporate Financial Services renewed its space on 2,615 square feet on the sixth floor of One Penn Center, 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd. in Philadelphia.

 At 121 S. Broad St. in Center City, Robert Mozenter, a lawyer, and Laurence Spector, a certified public accountant, renewed 2,076 square feet on the 17th floor of the 22-story building. In another renewal at 121 S. Broad, Joseph Santaguida, a lawyer, extended his lease on 1,627 square feet on the second floor of the building.
Trappe Strip Center, a 10,664-square-foot center at 430 W. Main St. in Collegeville, Pa.,sold for $1.62 million, or $151 per square foot. The property was fully occupied at the time of the sale. The buyer and seller weren’t disclosed.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's Next for Big Box Stores? (Video)

Sheraton Valley Forge set to open in the fall

A $20 million hotel is planned for King of Prussia, Pa.

The Sheraton Valley Forge, which will open in the fall, will have 180 guest rooms and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, including 11,000-square-foot ballroom and 16 “breakout” rooms. It will also have a restaurant, lounge, enclosed pool house and fitness center.

The hotel, at 480 N. Gulph Road in King of Prussia, Pa., is on the site of the former Sheraton Hotel Park Ridge.

It is owned by Philadelphia-based Wurzak Hotel Group. Its portfolio includes the Hilton Philadelphia and Homewood Suites Philadelphia, both of which are on City Avenue, and the Westin Mount Laurel (N.J.).

The Wurzak Hotel Group is also a partner in the planned hotel at 1200 Arch St. in Philadelphia, the Hilton Home2Suites, which will have its official ground breaking on April 17.

EastGroup CEO on REITs Outlook (Video)

Fast Money Portfolio: Zuckerman on Real Estate (Video)

Liberty Property Trust sells 49 properties

by Natalie Kostelni

"Liberty Property Trust has wrapped up a $195 million sale of 49 properties totaling 2.5 million square feet in a transaction that continues the company’s refocus on industrial space.

As the company unloads these properties, it is also diminishing its exposure to the suburban office market.

In the last 10 months the Malvern, Pa., real estate investment trust said it completely exited the suburban office market in Milwaukee, Richmond, Va.; and Greensboro, N.C., and significantly decreased its office presence in New Jersey. In South Jersey, the company sold: 701A Route 73 South, a 93,766-square-foot office building in Marlton; 701C Route 73 South, a 27,802-square-foot office building in Marlton; 3000 Atrium Way, a 108,416-square-foot office building in Mount Laurel; and 2000 Crawford Way, a 74,013-square-foot flex building in Mount Laurel."
Full Story:

Geico, Wells Fargo Stay at 919 Market Street, Wilmington, DE

"Keystone Property Group, a leading developer, manager and investor office and industrial properties, has signed two lease agreements at its 18-story, 221,686-square-foot, class A office building at 919 N. Market St. in Wilmington, DE.

Wells Fargo, a tenant in the building since 2002, signed an extension for its 6,251 square feet. Additioinally, GEICO, a tenant in the building since 1999, extended its lease duration for 3,497 square feet.

"We engaged both GEICO and Wells Fargo in discussions to renew their lease agreements at 919 North Market prior to closing on our purchase of the building and were able to secure the deals and finalize both agreements shortly after closing," said Bill Glazer, president of Keystone Property Group. "We look forward to executing on our strategic improvement program at the building and attracting additional leasing activity for the property’s available space."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Crayola To Move Into Bethlehem Warehouse

That's a lot of crayons.

"Crayola will close distribution centers in Hanover Township, Bethlehem Township and Fredericksburg, Lebanon County, move its warehouse operations next year into a new 800,000-square-foot warehouse at Majestic Bethlehem Center.

Ground breaking at the site developed by Majestic Realty is expected this spring. The crayon maker will become the first tenant for the former Bethlehem Steel land in a move intended to optimize logistics and warehouse operations under one roof, expand operations near the company's manufacturing and office operations and improve product flow, company officials said.

Crayola, owned by Hallmark Cards Inc., is headquartered in Forks Township, PA. The company has a Lehigh Valley workforce of more than 1,000 and will occupy the distribution center next March in a long term lease through 2023."

Feldman Properties Closing NYC HQ for Chadds Ford, PA Location

"Feldman Mall Properties, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: FMLP) reported Friday that the Company will close its offices at 1065 Avenue of the Americas in New York and that the Company's headquarters will now be located at 2 Ponds Edge Drive, Chadds Ford, PA,

The Company's new mailing address is P.O. Box 1478, Chadds Ford, PA 19317. The Company will continue to use as its website.

Furthermore, the exclusivity period for the proposed private placement of securities by the Company, announced on February 6, 2012, has been extended to Wednesday, April 11, 2012, in order to allow the parties further time to complete negotiation of a definitive agreement. There have been no other changes to the terms and conditions of the transaction.

According to its website, the Company's portfolio, including non-owned anchor tenants, consists of two regional malls aggregating approximately 2.4 million square feet. The two malls are located in Illinois and Ohio."

Accupac Enters Sale-Leaseback for 110,000 SF Mainland, PA Industrial Building

"AIC Ventures has closed on a sale leaseback transaction of a 110,000 square foot industrial building in Mainland, PA with Accupac, Inc.

AIC Ventures simultaneously entered into a long-term lease with the company, a manufacturer, filler and packager of consumer commodity, over-the-counter and prescription products.

Financials were not immediately available. Accupac's mailing address is 1501 Industrial Blvd. in Mainland, PA."

Monday, April 2, 2012

REIT Buying Lehigh Valley, PA Industrial Assets in $137.3M Portfolio Trade

"Subsidiaries of Industrial Income Trust Inc. (IIT) have agreed to pay $137.3 million for a 100 percent fee interest in 11 industrial buildings totaling 3.5 million square feet on 201.3 acres in Plainfeld, IN and Lehigh Valley, PA.
The The IN/PA Industrial Portfolio is 93 percent leased to 23 tenants. IIT estimates the purchase price cap rate at 6.7 percent.

The Sellers are:
• KPJV Ruppsville Road LP (PA)
• KPJV 861 Nestle Way LP (PA)
• KPJV 7566 Morris Court LP (PA)
• KPJV 7520 Morris Court LP (PA)
• KPJV 595 South Perry Road LP (IN)
• KPJV 909 Whitaker Road LP (IN)
• KPJV 849 Whitaker Road LP (IN)
• KPJV 923 Whitaker Road LP (IN)
• KPJV 558 Airtech Parkway LP, (IN) and
• KPJV 5252 Decatur Boulevard LP. (IN)

In 2003, Keystone Property Trust formed a joint venture with the Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust Company as Trustee for the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust. Keystone contributed a $90 million portfolio of properties primarily located in Indianapolis, but also including properties in Allentown, Pennsylvania and one in Central New Jersey, to the venture, which was known as BIT.

Keystone's contribution consisted of eight industrial properties totaling approximately 2.0 million square feet. Among the properties contributed, Keystone reported that it had contributed the two buildings on Morris Court in Allentown, PA, which total about 265,000 square feet, into the joint venture. In its Annual Report, Keystone listed the three properties on Whitaker Road, which total about 885,000 square feet, as part of its BIT JV.

Currently, two tenants in the IN/PA Industrial Portfolio individually lease more than 10 percent of the rentable area of the entire portfolio:

Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. leases 823,000 square feet, or approximately 23 percent of the portfolio's rentable area, under a lease that expires in June 2013 with no options to extend. The annual base rent under the lease is currently approximately $3.6 million and is subject to a rent escalation of approximately 2.0% in July 2012.

Belkin International, Inc., a consumer electronic devices company, leases 798,000 square feet, or approximately 23% of the portfolio's rentable area, under a lease that expires in November 2019 with two options to extend the lease for a period of five years each. The annual base rent under the lease is currently approximately $2.7 million and is subject to rent escalations of approximately 4.5% in November 2014 and an additional 5.7% in November 2017.

The $137.3 million purchase price is exclusive of transfer taxes, due diligence expenses, and other closing costs."