Wednesday, June 26, 2013

PHMC Relocating to Centre Square

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) signed a lease totaling 120,207 square feet at Centre Square, located at 1500 Market St. in Philadelphia, PA. The tenant will be relocating in April 2014 from 260 S. Broad in Philadelphia where it currently occupies 63,000 square feet. 

PHMC will be occupying 89,072 square feet in the East Tower and 31,135 square feet in the West Tower. Centre Square is comprised of two office towers totaling 1.85 million square feet on an entire city block at 15th and Market Street in the heart of Center City. The properties feature an atrium, glass ceiling galleria and are Energy Star rated for operating efficiency.

Ruby Tuesdays in Bethlehem Sells for $2.7M

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. sold the 4,803-square-foot retail building at 2102 Emrick Blvd. in Bethlehem, PA to Raleigh Associates, Inc. for $2,662,000, or about $550 per square foot. 

The restaurant is fully occupied by Ruby Tuesday. The tenant is leasing back the property for 15 years on an absolute triple-net lease with 10-percent increases every five years.

Tory Burch Sublets 526,000 SF in South Brunswick

Tory Burch, a women’s clothing and accessories designer, signed a sublease for the entire 526,400-square-foot industrial building at 115 Interstate Blvd. in South Brunswick, NJ. 

The single-story distribution building in the Turnpike Crossing OPUS was built in 2001 and was leased by The Children’s Place in 2004. The building has an office build-out of 3 percent, and sits on 40 acres of land in the Exit 8A Industrial submarket in Middlesex County. The property has 102 loading docks with drive-in bays and 3,000-amp heavy power.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cramer Recommends Investing in REITs (Video)

King of Prussia is a hotbed of development activity

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal
King of Prussia is undergoing a building boom. A dozen projects in a range of sizes are in the works along the Route 202 Corridor and other parts of Upper Merion, according to a tally by the King of Prussia District. Here’s a list of some active developments.
• Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is constructing a 120,000-square-foot specialty care center at the Village at Valley Forge on North Gulph Road.
• CarMax Auto Super Store is building a 17,060-square-foot showroom at 181 S. Gulph Road.
• Shake Shack will open up in a converted former Wachovia bank branch at 253 Mall Blvd.
• Franklin Maps Car Wash is under construction at 333 S. Henderson Road.
• Valley Forge Shopping Center is getting a facade renovation and 165,335 square foot Target at 224 W. DeKalb Pike.
• The Container Store is building a 24,000-square-foot retail outlet in front of the Court at King of Prussia Mall.
• Super Wawa, totaling 4,800 square feet, and Chick-fil-A totaling 6,000 square feet, are being built on Route 202 between Henderson Road at Town Center Road.
• Porcelanosa is building a 7,150-square-foot showroom at Route 202 and Long Road.
• The Village Mart Laundromat, a new laundry facility, is under construction at 520 Shoemaker Road.
• An old Chili’s restaurant was razed and a new eatery will occupy the site at 739 W. DeKalb Pike.
• A Burger King was torn down for a new version of the restaurant called Wired Your Way Cafe at 568 W. DeKalb Pike.
• Courtside Square at 150 Allendale Road is undergoing facade renovations.
• Beginning next year, Simon Property Group will start a 140,000-square-foot expansion of the King of Prussia Mall.

Monday, June 24, 2013

To buy or Rent Office Space-Which is Better?

By Jim Osgood
Business owners face an important decision when determining whether the purchase or rental of office space is best.  When making this determination, a number of things need to be taken into consideration in order to make precisely the right choice.

One of the biggest factors to consider is the amount of cash that can be put out up front. Entrepreneurs must usually put out more money in the beginning whenever they are buying office space rather than leasing it. That’s because they must generally pay for appraisals and building inspections in addition to providing a down payment. Since young businesses could be struggling to come up with operating cash, many of them elect to rent office space until they have become better established.

A disadvantage to renting rather than buying is that it is easier to develop a long-term budget when buying. That’s because monthly mortgage payments tend to stay the same over the life of the loan, whereas rental costs can increase from time to time. Rent is typically based on current changes in the market, so the amount of fluctuation in a given area should be considered carefully when choosing whether to rent or buy.

Renting gives business owners greater flexibility when it comes to moving their establishment. Those who purchase office space could find themselves being unable to relocate until they are able to sell their current building. When buying commercial property, it’s important to think about the future needs of a company. That way, business owners can make sure there is ample room for expansion at their current location so that moving the establishment later is less likely to be necessary.

US Commercial Real Estate to Grow (Video)

Bestwork Industries buys in Cherry Hill Business Park

Bestwork buys a 50,000 SF building in the Cherry Hill Business Park at 1940 Olney Ave in Cherry Hill, Camden County, NJ. Bestwork Industries is the new owner, a company that provides employment for sight impaired individuals. The location of the property was very important because of the nature of how the employees get to work on public transportation, or van pooled vehicles. Mertz and Ting worked closely with the Board of Bestwork to provide critical market information to ensure the financing needed to acquire the building. They were able to acquire 50.000 SF of the 65,000 SF building.

Bestwork’s existing location at 801 Clements Bridge Road in Runnemede, Camden County is up for sale. This 25,000 SF building is well suited for office, retail or manufacturing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

C&D Tech Sells 248,000-SF Industrial Bldg

C&D Technologies, Inc. sold two industrial buildings at 82 E. Main St. in Leola, PA to Dart Container Corporation for $3.2 million, or approximately $13 per square foot. 

The front and rear buildings total 247,720 square feet on 17 acres in the Lancaster County Industrial submarket. The 199,020-square-foot front building was originally constructed in 1955 and renovated in 1999, and the 48,700-square-foot rear building was constructed in 2001. In total the property offers nine exterior loading docks, 8 interior loading docks, one drive-in, 17-foot to 27-foot clear heights, and rail access on Norfolk Southern. 

C & D Charter Power Systems, Inc. leased back 40,000 square feet from the buyer for an undisclosed term.

Exton Industrial Sells for $2.5M

The Chester County Food Bank acquired the industrial building at 650 Pennsylvania Dr. in Exton, PA from private investors for $2,544,000, or about $71 per square foot. 

The 36,000-square-foot manufacturing building was built in 1991 on 3.75 acres in the Chester County Industrial submarket. It has 6,000 square feet of built-out office space, 21-foot clear heights, four loading docks and one drive-in. 

Bloomsburg Retail Sells for $2.5M

Gold PA LLC acquired the retail building at 11 Ricky Ave. in Bloomsburg, PA from Ruby Tuesday, Inc. for $2.58 million, or about $522 per square foot. 

The single-story, 4,940-square-foot restaurant building was constructed in 2005 in the I-81 Corridor of Philadelphia's Columbia County. The 1.8-acre lot offers 123 parking spaces.

Community Aid Leases 73,500 SF at Plaza Shopping Ctr

Community Aid, Inc. signed a lease to occupy 73,500 square feet at the Plaza Shopping Center located at 1060 N. Susquehanna Trail in Selinsgrove, PA. 

The 141,106-square-foot shopping center was constructed in 1954 and sits on 15 acres in Snyder County. The shopping center features two loading docks and 200 parking spaces.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Post Bros. Sell Philly's Copley Manor Complex

Post Brothers has sold the 92-unitCopley Manor apartment complex here in the West Mount Airy section of the city for approximately $6.3 million.
The property was sold by the locally-based real estate company to an unnamed New York City-based buyer who is making his first investment in the city, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The sale calculated out to $68,000 a unit.
Post Brothers bought Copley Manor in 2007 for $2.9 million and invested $1.75 million in upgrades. 

76ers Look to Build Practice Facility at Navy Yard

The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to eventually build a new practice facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Corporate Center.
The professional basketball team is currently soliciting proposals from architects to design a new 55,000-square-foot facility on a vacant 3.3-acre parcel, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The team currently practices on the campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The 76ers last year opened administrative offices at the Navy Yard, which is about a mile from where the team plays its home games at the Wells Fargo Center
Full story:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Epicor Leases 43,000 SF at Horizon Corp Ctr

Epicor, an enterprise resource planning and business software company, signed a 12-year lease for 42,940 square feet in the office building at 3800 Horizon Blvd. in Feasterville Trevose, PA.

Constructed in 2009, the five-story building totals 214,700 square feet in the Horizon Corporate Center office park and was awarded LEED Silver Certification in 2010 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Epicor's lease includes the entire second floor, and move in is currently scheduled for November 2013.

BreadPartners Signs Long Term Lease in Cinnaminson

BreadPartners, Inc. will relocate from its Westhampton location to occupy the entire 50,000-square-foot industrial build ing at 2800 Cindel Dr. in Cinnaminson, NJ.

The building was constructed in 1998 on 7.8 acres in the Cindel Business Park, convenient to major highways and transportation routes. It features eight loading docks, one drive-in bay and 30-foot clear heights.

Hartz Mountain Sells 250,000-SF Investment in Secaucus

Gaia Real Estate Holdings LLC, along with equity partners Phoenix Insurance and Menora Mivtachim Insurance, has closed on its acquisition of Atrium 2 in the Harmon Meadow business park, located at 200 Plaza Dr. in Secaucus, NJ, from Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc.

The four-story, 249,863-square-foot office building was constructed in 1984 on three acres in the Meadowlands submarket of Hudson County, part of the 4.4 million-square-foot, mixed-use Harmon Meadow, which provides access to more than one million square feet of retail, restaurants, a hotel, a 14-screen movie theater, and an LA Fitness club. The building was renovated in 2008 with new base building systems, lobby, and renovated facade. It features more than 1,200 covered parking spaces, an atrium, and attached skywalk.

The LEED-certified asset is fully leased to Ernst & Young, a global assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services firm, for its regional headquarters and global training facility. The site is just six miles from the firm's world headquarters at 5 Times Square in New York City.

"This acquisition reflects Gaia’s strategy to buy office buildings in the first ring around New York City," noted Gaia Managing Partners Amir Yerushalmi and Danny Fishman in a release. "The building allows NYC-headquartered companies to have a workforce close to the city with much lower costs."

"The 200 Plaza Drive acquisition provides Gaia with a well located and quality corporate headquarters office building with excellent amenities and access to Midtown Manhattan. Gaia should do well with this new high-quality investment."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Select Top Three Philadelphia Retail Leases Signed in Q1 2013

The select top retail lease signed during the first quarter of 2013 in the Philadelphia market was at 1309 Blue Valley Dr. in the Lehigh Northampton submarket. Lehigh Hospital signed a lease for 50,000 square feet there. 

EZ Bargain signed a 25,000-square-foot lease renewal at 5212 Market St. in West Philadelphia. Walnut Street Equities represented the landlord in a direct deal. 

Office Max leased 24,300 square feet at Union Square Shopping Center in the Harrisburg Area East submarket. LMS Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord in this direct deal. 

This trend is compared to the U.S. National Retail largest lease signings occurring in 2013, which include the 170,838-square-foot lease signed by Sam’s Club at Mansfield Town Center in the Dallas/Ft. Worth market; the 164,290-square-foot renewal signed by Dillard’s at Orlando Fashion Square in the Orlando market; and the 145,000-square-foot lease signed by Bass Pro Shops at Almaden Ranch in the South Bay/San Jose market.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Howard Lutnick on Fed & Real Estate (Video)

Norristown "the next hot, popping thing"

Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer

 A Latin phrase adorns Norristown's official seal. Fervet opus - "the work boils."
And it once did. Norristown's mighty industrial base and status as the seat of Montgomery County government helped muscle the area to prosperity.
That was decades ago. As nearby county seats faced many of the same challenges and evolved into communities bubbling with energy, Norristown flailed.

"Everybody wants to see the county seat improve," said Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie S. Richards. "We're one of the wealthiest counties in the commonwealth, and [residents] want to see a county seat that resembles that."

Municipal Council President Gary H. Simpson promises better days are coming: "Norristown is the next hot and popping thing."
For that to happen, Norristown will have to overcome some daunting demographics.
Compared with the region's other county seats - Doylestown (Bucks), West Chester (Chester), and Media (Delaware) - Norristown has the lowest median household income, the greatest percentage of residents below the poverty line, and the smallest percentage of residents with a high school diploma or college degree, according to 2010 census figures.

Much of Norristown's poverty is concentrated in its relatively large African American and Latino communities. About 55 percent of the county's subsidized housing vouchers are used in Norristown, officials said.

"Being the county seat, we probably hold the vast majority of all the social services" in the county, Simpson said. As a result, "everyone for whatever need they have tend to show up on our doorstep."
Norristown - the county seat since 1784 - once was a hub of factories producing hosiery, knitting machines, shirts, and other goods. Customers filled Main Street businesses.

That bustle ended in the 1960s with the opening of the Plymouth Meeting and King of Prussia malls.
Drained of shoppers, Main Street today is a hodgepodge of small restaurants, nonprofit agencies, law offices, mom-and-pop markets, and shops that cash checks, buy gold, and sell cellphone plans.
It has suffered, too, from the access to nearby office parks.

"A lot of businesses that were associated with county government functions have moved out to the suburbs - lawyers, doctors, accountancy firms," said Jeffrey Doshna, who is familiar with Norristown's plight as an instructor in the Department of Community and Regional Planning at Temple University-Ambler.
Many investors and outsiders avoid Norristown because of its image, fueled partly by crime.
Though there was a spurt of fatal shootings last year, Simpson said he thought outsiders looked at Norristown's large African American and Latino communities and slapped them with a high-crime label.
Official corruption also tainted the town's reputation.
In 2006, ex-Mayor Ted LeBlanc and former Municipal Administrator Anthony Biondi were found guilty on various corruption charges.

Then there are the projects that tried but tumbled.
A county-funded effort to redevelop the Logan Square shopping center recently fizzled out when the developer declared bankruptcy.

A previous county commission agreed to an unusual financing arrangement that left Montgomery County on the hook for its $25 million investment in the project. Why did commissioners take on such a large financial risk? Because Norristown was in a desperate situation, some of those officials said.
No one else will help.

"I've tried to get grants for years to promote revitalization of Norristown. Everyone writes a support letter, but no one writes a check," said Jeffrey Featherstone, director of Temple-Ambler's Center for Sustainable Communities.

Bucks, Chester, and Delaware Counties - whose seats of government are smaller boroughs than Norristown surrounded generally by more affluent communities - offer lessons on county-seat revival.
Media was still trying to find its niche in the late 1970s and early '80s, after the Granite Run and Springfield Malls siphoned customers from downtown, Mayor Bob McMahon said. The crime rate was high then compared with today - at its worst, there were as many as 200 burglaries a year, for instance, in the late 1970s. Now, that number is in single digits.

First, McMahon said, the community improved public safety. Next, it attracted the businesses most likely to be used by courthouse workers, lawyers, and residents seeking county services.
In the 1990s, a few key businesses - Trader Joe's, Iron Hill Brewery &Restaurant, Fellini Cafe - were wooed to set up shop. Downtown Media now has about 20 restaurants and a nightlife.
Like Norristown, Doylestown struggled years ago. It was a borough people wanted to drive through - not stop in - when Route 611 was the best way for trucks and others to go from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Ottsville in Upper Bucks.

Full story:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thor's Sitt on U.S. Commercial Real Estate Market (Video)

Real Estate Titan on the Markets (Video)

Mack-Cali Sells Suburban Properties for $19.3M

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation sold the Sentry Park West office properties at 1787 Sentry Pky in Blue Bell, PA to Keystone Property Group for approximately $19.3 million, or about $102 per square foot. 

Designated as 16 and 18 Sentry Park West, the two office buildings are set within a landscaped suburban office park located two miles from Exit 25 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Blue Route. 

Mack-Cali Corporation and Keystone Property Group handled the sale in-house.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Liberty sells Mt Laurel building at $40/sq ft

Liberty Property Trust, Radnor, has sold 8000 Commerce Parkway, a Mount Laurel that provides "flexible" space (office or warehouse), to the locally-based Monterey LLC property group. 

Monterey agreed to pay $2.167 million, or $40/sq ft for the 54,185 sq ft property. Given the weak market demand for all but the highest-end suburban commercial properties, Liberty has lately been selling suburban office and "flex" space and buying warehouses.