Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shopping center sells for $10.4M to BET

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal
BET Investments bought a 54,006-square-foot shopping center at Welsh Road and Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia for $10.4 million.
The center, built in 1965, is fully occupied and anchored by Retro Fitness. Korman Properties was the seller. 
“It’s a really good location and a prime piece of real estate for the future,” said Michael Markman, president of BET Investments.
The Horsham, Pa., real estate company typically buys grocery anchored retail properties but this center’s location has 90,000 vehicles passing by it each day and also presents a potential redevelopment opportunity.
Full story:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Victory Brewery Announces Location in Kennett Square, Pa

Victory® Brewing Company (Victory) is pleased to announce that it will extend its craft beer experience in Chester County, signing a lease with Kennett Square Realty and committing to develop an upscale brewpub, with on-premise brewing and a takeout beer component, in Kennett Square, Pa.
“The announcement is a culmination of nearly a year’s worth of planning and effort, and we couldn’t be more excited than we are today to finally confirm for our excited fans, who have been asking, that yes we are in fact headed to Kennett!” said Matthew Krueger, Vice President of Retail Operations.
The nation’s 26th largest craft brewery, Victory’s second brewpub location will occupy all 8,234 square feet of the bottom floor of a four-story, luxury apartment building in Kennett Realty Group’s latest upscale townhome, apartment and retail community,Magnolia Place.  Kennett Realty is owned and operated by the Pia Group, who also own Kaolin Mushroom Farms Inc. and South Mill Mushroom Sales.
“We could not have found a better partner than the Pia family, a group that shared—and are now helping us realize—our vision to bring Victory to Kennett,” Krueger continued, a sentiment echoed by Mike Pia, Jr., developer with the Kennett Realty Group.
“Victory’s mission to provide high quality food, a family-friendly environment, and of course, delicious craft beer, all with a focus on community, ethics and environmental stewardship, made them an ideal partner for this project,” said Pia.  “We’re looking forward to the exceptional experience they’ll bring to the community of Magnolia Place and the greater Kennett Square area.”
Called Victory at Magnolia, the location will accommodate a 250-seat restaurant with space for outdoor dining, and boast a chef inspired menu, featuring some of the company’s signature dishes, including their Hand Tossed Pretzel and Wings of Victory.  The space also will be equipped with a five-barrel brew house to keep new, site-specific brews—along with Victory’s existing lineup of world-class ales and lagers—flowing.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Scrap Multi-Year Office Leases Just Like Three-Year Wireless Plans

This article is about Canadian office space so take it as you want but it is an interesting global trend.
"If you own a cellphone, you know all about the long three-year agreements that most cellphone companies try to have you sign. Just a little while after the CRTC unveiled its new wireless code of conduct for cellphone companies, two of Canada’s three major telecom companies are planning to scrap three-year cellphone contracts. If you are a small business, you may also want to scrap multi-year leases just like three-year wireless plans. The idea of scrapping long-term deals is not a new strategy in the office-space landscape. For many years, office business centres have offered office space for rent as well as office space for lease Toronto on short-term contracts.
Businesses, especially small businesses and growing start-ups, are very reluctant to sign a long-term lease on Toronto office space that they may outgrow before the term of the lease is over. When a business rents or leases office space in an office business centre, that business is able to increase or decrease the amount of space they rent without being on the hook for a space they have either outgrown or no longer require. The company can move into different accommodations within the business centre without having to change its address or phone number. Taking advantage of short-term leases also means lower monthly operational costs and other services which provide you with more time to focus on actually building your business.
One of the questions that is frequently asked about office business centres that offer office space for rent is “who are the typical tenants in these places?”

Business Centre Tenant Profile

  1. Start up and entrepreneurial companies: Office space for rent business centres are most suitable for start-ups and SMEs (small and medium-sized businesses) who are new to the market and do not want to make a long-term financial commitment with a traditional office space lease.
  2. Service-based companies: Service-based companies that are in client interfacing roles such as outside sales, training and development, advertisement agencies, business coaches and consultants, will often rent office space within an office business centre to benefit from the prestigious business address such as The Toronto Star Building at 1 Yonge Street.
  3. Branches offices: Many companies who wish to have a regional presence in various cities or countries will set up an office to explore business opportunities. For the most part they are looking to open their branch office in a facility that does not require a large amount of capitol investment or long-term leases.
  4. Project-based companies: Office business centres that offer office space for rent rather than having to a sign long-term lease, are a convenient option for companies that require an office space for the duration of a specific contract – or short-term project that requires team space that their regular office space cannot accommodate.
  5. Companies relocating: Companies that are in the process of relocating and are looking for a short-term solution until they are able to relocate to their new permanent office space, usually opt to rent office space in serviced business centres that does not require them to purchase office furniture or equipment."

The Importance of an Office Layout

by Jill Leviticus, Demand Media

The layout of your office is an important, although often overlooked, factor that affects the way your employees perform their jobs. Before you begin an office redesign, think about the types of tasks employees perform in the space. A good office design is not only functional, but provides comfortable work areas for your staff.


An effective office layout groups people together based on the functions they perform. For instance, it might make sense to group employees who process invoices close to your accounting and purchasing departments, so that these employees can consult with each other as needed. Grouping employees who do the same or related work will help to ensure that documents and papers will be shared and handled in a timely and efficient manner. If you plan to redesign your office layout, make a list of key tasks employees perform, such as speaking to customers on the telephone, handling the mail, or producing invoices. The list will serve as a convenient reference when you begin planning the new layout.

Efficient Workspace

An effective office layout provides employees with the space and tools they need to complete assigned tasks. Work surfaces should be large enough to accommodate files, papers and other documents. The use of comfortable chairs and adequate lighting may reduce muscle aches and eyestrain, which can hurt productivity. If possible, place employee workstations near frequently used office equipment, such as copiers, postage machines and printers. The Integrated Publishing website notes that supervisors may be more likely to spot problems if their workstations are placed at the back of the group they manage.

Private Spaces versus Open Plan

Many office designs employ open layouts. In an open office, employees work at communal tables or at low-walled workstations that allow them to view and interact with coworkers. A 2011 survey by Teknion Corporation found that 77 percent of companies surveyed favored an open, collaborative workspace. However, it’s important to consider whether your employees will benefit from an open plan before you redesign your office. If your employees perform the type of work that requires intense concentration or privacy, traditional offices or cubicles might be a better option.

Communal Spaces

The inclusion of communal spaces in your office layout provides staff with places to meet and collaborate. Depending on the needs of your group, communal space may include tables in an open environment, conference rooms or other types of group spaces. Place communal spaces near employee work areas and provide enough room to meet the needs of the various groups and departments that will use them. Informal communal spaces provide areas in which employees can take breaks and recharge. Break rooms and coffee areas should be large enough to accommodate several employees at one time. Locate informal communal spaces away from work areas to prevent noise from disrupting busy employees.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Big real estate swap in Conshohocken

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal

Brandywine Realty Trust and Oliver Tyrone Pulver have swapped their respective interests in two office buildings in Conshohocken, Pa.
Brandywine said it exchanged its 35 percent interest in Two Tower Bridge, a four-story, 83,000-square-foot office building, for Pulver’s 37 percent interest in Six Tower Bridge, a five-story, 116,000-square-foot office property.
As a result of this transaction, Brandywine said in a statement that it achieved several things. It eliminated two equity interests with a $13.1 million book value; achieved sole consolidated ownership of Six Tower, which is 73.2 percent occupied; took a $7.8 million gain on its investment in Six Tower based on its $24.5 million fair market value at the time of the deal; and gained $3.7 million on the exchange of its interest in Two Tower based on its $3.6 million fair market value.
Analysts from Cantor Fitzgerald Equity Research who track real estate investment trusts noted that Brandywine has an interest in 19 joint ventures totaling $179 million. This may leave Brandywine exposed to partners that “may have objectives that differ from Brandywine, which could affect the overall strategy of the individual joint venture assets,” and, in general, leave it exposed, the report said.
It couldn’t be determined what drove the swap. Officials from Brandywine and Oliver Tyrone Pulver couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
It appears from Pulver’s website that Brandywine continues to carry an interest in Seven Tower Bridge, a 14-story 260,000-square-foot building that has yet to be constructed.
In an unrelated transaction, Brandywine paid $20.8 million for the 1.8-acre parcel on where Three Logan Square stands in Center City.

Hope rides on a new Coatesville train station

Boarded up, with peeling paint and an empty platform, the shuttered train station at the end of Third Street is a portrait of urban blight, emblematic of so much of downtown Coatesville.
But local and state officials are pinning their hopes of getting a citywide revitalization on track with an $18 million-plus spruce-up of this underused Amtrak station.
Amtrak trains still stop at the Coatesville station - albeit without ticket sales or baggage services. Just under 15,000 people caught a ride there in 2011.
By comparison, Amtrak's Parkesburg station, also in Chester County, had 48,951 riders that year, and that was the second-lowest on the Keystone Corridor line, which runs from Philadelphia to Harrisburg.
The revitalization project at the Coatesville station is part of a corridor-wide improvement project. Improvements vary from station to station. In Coatesville, they mean a new station and a focus on new streetscapes and development on and around Third Street.
Officials at the Chester County Economic Development Council hope the project encourages businesses to move into the area and spur development around the station. They gave mapped out areas with development potential and hope to tie in the train station's development with other planned projects in Coatesville, such as a velodrome and events center just off Lincoln Highway and a Lincoln University branch campus.
"It's not just a train station," said Joe Viscuso, a vice president of Pennoni Associates, the developer selected last week for the new station. "The idea is to revitalize Coatesville. There are a lot of moving parts."
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Amtrak have allocated about $18 million toward the project, and the county has set aside about $700,000.

Spec Industrial Rises In Bethlehem Park

Work has begun on a speculative industrial building here, a joint venture by Trammell Crow Company and Clarion Partners. A 677,088-square-foot Class A building is scheduled to be completed by next spring.
The warehouse is going up on a 40-acre site within Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII, a master-planned business park off Interstate 78. Once home to Bethlehem Steel, the park is now a designated Local Economic Revitalization Zone. That means new construction projects are eligible for up to ten years of municipal, school and county tax relief. The Park is also home to the Bethlehem Intermodal Terminal.
The new building at 2485 Commerce Center Boulevard will have 32-foot clear height ceilings, 190-foot-deep truck courts, ESFR sprinkler systems, state-of-the-art logistical infrastructure and abundant parking, according to the developers.
“We believe that the Lehigh Valley is one of the most sought-after industrial markets in the entire country and this location within the Valley is exceptional,” said Andrew Mele of Trammell Crow Company’s Northeast Metro business unit. “We are pleased to be delivering this project at a time when supply is limited and demand is strong.”
“We believe the project will play an important role in driving additional business and job growth in the city of Bethlehem,” said Dayton Conklin of Clarion.

IBC extends lease on HQ in Center City

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal
Independence Blue Cross has extended its lease at 1901 Market St. in Center City where it maintains its headquarters.
The insurance company occupies the entire 45-story, 800,695-square-foot building. IBC has been in the building for the last 25 years and its lease was expected to come due in 2023. It extended the lease until 2033.
The building is owned by Piedmont Office Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: PDN). It bought the property in 2003 for $174 million. Piedmont is based just outside of Atlanta.
Full story:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Philadelphia's Retail Vacancy Stays at 6.4%

The Philadelphia retail market did not experience much change in market conditions in the second quarter 2013. 

The vacancy rate stayed the same as the previous quarter at 6.4%. Net absorption was positive 131,211 square feet, and vacant sublease space decreased by 33,585 square feet. In first quarter 2013, net absorption was positive 135,507 square feet. 

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2013 include: Burlington Coat Factory moving into 69,655 square feet at 100 S 69th St; ShopRite moving into 65,000 square feet at Four Seasons Plaza - Building 1; and Giant Food moving into 60,000 square feet at 116 Township Line Rd. 

Quoted rental rates decreased from first quarter 2013 levels, ending at $13.75 per square foot per year. 

A total of 6 retail buildings with 106,291 square feet of retail space were delivered to the market in the quarter, with 829,727 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 6.7% from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 23.11 million square feet in the second quarter. Average rental rates increased to $14.50 this quarter, and 593 retail buildings delivered to the market totaling almost 9.6 million square feet.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Industrial Bldg Sold for $4.9M

151 Partners LLC acquired the industrial building at 151 Benigno Blvd. in Bellmawr, NJ from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers for $4.94 million, or about $13 per square foot. 

The single-story, 390,000-square-foot distribution building was built in 1970 on 22.3 acres in the Camden County Industrial submarket in Bellmawr Borough.

Deptford Plaza Sold for $8.2M

Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. acquired the Deptford Plaza at 1729-1745 Deptford Center Rd. in Woodbury, NJ from FNC Realty Corp. for $8.26 million, or about $115 per square foot. 

The two retail buildings total 71,849 square feet on 8.3 acres in the Gloucester County submarket of Philadelphia.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trammell, Clarion Begin Spec Warehouse in Lehigh Valley

Joint-venture partners Trammell Crow Co. and Clarion Partners have broken ground on a 677,088-square-foot speculative industrial building in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. 

The building on a 40-acre infill site at 2485 Commerce Center Blvd. within Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII, a master-planned business park less than two miles from Interstate 78 in Bethlehem, is scheduled for completion next spring. 

The industrial park, formerly home to Bethlehem Steel, is designated as a Local Economic Revitalization Zone (LERTA), providing municipal, school and county tax relief on new construction for up to 10 years. 

The building will feature 32-foot clear height, 190-foot-deep truck courts and ESFR sprinkler systems. 

The Lehigh Valley is one of the most sought-after industrial markets in the entire country, with strong demand and limited supply, said Andrew Mele, senior vice president with Trammell Crow’s northeast regional office.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Philadelphia's Office Vacancy Decreases to 11.6%

The Philadelphia Office market ended the second quarter 2013 with a vacancy rate of 11.6%. 

The vacancy rate was down over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 780,268 square feet in the second quarter. That compares to negative 133,015 square feet in the first quarter 2013. Vacant sublease space increased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 1,355,431 square feet. 

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2013 include: GlaxoSmithKline moving into 205,000 square feet at Five Crescent Dr; Drexel University moving into 117,464 square feet at Three Parkway; and Philadelphia Parking Authority moving into 83,252 square feet at Mellon Independence Center. 

Rental rates ended the second quarter at $21.05, an increase over the previous quarter. 

A total of three buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 23,100 square feet, with 790,192 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 11.7% from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 21.27 million square feet in the second quarter. Average rental rates increased to $21.60, and 219 buildings delivered to the market totaling more than 10.25 million square feet.

Chestnut Place Acquired by Alterra Property Group

SSH Real Estate sold the 143,344-square-foot office building at 42 S. 15th St. in Philadelphia, PA to Alterra Property Group LLC for $17.5 million, or approximately $122 per square foot. 

Chestnut Place is a 17-story office building in the heart of Philadelphia, just steps from City Hall, with excellent access to public transportation, the Avenue of the Arts and many of Philadelphia's four-star restaurants, retail shops and cultural attractions. Alterra Property Group plans to convert the facility into an apartment building.

Center Valley Office Bldg Trades for $28.4M

Second City Capital Partners acquired the office property at 3501 Corporate Pky. in Center Valley, PA from GE Commercial Finance Business Property Corp. for $28.4 million, or about $159 per square foot. 

The three-story, 178,330-square-foot office building was constructed as a build-to-suit for Dunn & Bradstreet in 2006 on 14.9 acres in Lehigh County. The building is part of the Stabler Corporate Center, and is 100 percent occupied by Dunn & Bradstreet on a triple-net lease that expires November 2016.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mack-Cali Realty Corp. is Significantly Cutting its PA Holdings

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal 

Mack-Cali Realty Corp. is significantly cutting its holdings in the Philadelphia office market and entered an agreement to sell a portfolio totaling 1.66 million square feet for $233 million to Keystone Property Group.
Mack Cali  said that the transaction consisted of $201 million in cash and the remainder in other funding.
It's the largest real estate transaction so far this year in the Philadelphia region and catapults Keystone Property’s presence in Philadelphia’s suburban office market. Keystone is a private company based in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. and run by Bill Glazer. Mack-Cali of Edison, N.J., had already sold Moorestown Corporate Center in Moorestown, N.J, and 16 and 18 Sentry Park West in Blue Bell, Pa., to Keystone.
The buildings sold in the current deal are:
  • 150 Monument Road, Bala Cynwyd
  • 1000-1235 Westlakes Drive, Westlakes Office Park, Berwyn, Pa.
  • 4 & 5 Sentry Park, Blue Bell
  • 100-300 Stevens Drive, Airport Business Center, Lester, Pa.
  • 1000 Madison Ave., Lower Providence, Pa.
  • Rose Tree Corporate Center I and II at 1400 N. Providence Road, Media, Pa.
  • One Plymouth Meeting, 502 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

The transaction also includes a parcel of undeveloped land that can accommodate 162,000 square feet of new buildings. They are at the Airport Business Center, Rose Tree Corporate Center, and Westlakes Office Park.
As part of the deal, Mack-Cali will continue to receive management fees from the office property. It will also retain a property at 150 Monument Road in in Bala Cynwyd for a future multifamily development. The company has shifted its focus mixed-use and multifamily projects.
Keystone has until Aug. 19 to conduct due diligence and the deal could close late this year.
 Full story:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Friedrich, Dixon on Commercial Real Estate

Colwick Business Center Sells for $6.9M

C-III Realty Services, a special servicer for the asset, sold the three-building office portfolio at 53-57 Haddonfield Rd. in Cherry Hill, NJ to Endurance Real Estate Group LLC for $6.9 million, or about $40 per square foot. 

The Colwick Business Center is made up of three single-story buildings. 53 Haddonfield Rd. is a 73,772-square-foot office building, 55 Haddonfield Rd. is a 61,225-square-foot building, and 57 Haddonfield Rd. is a 36,218-square-foot office building. The portfolio totals in 171,215 square feet sitting on more than 16 acres. The multi-tenant buildings were at 53.7-percent occupancy at the time of sale.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

PA tightens 89-11 transfer-tax loophole

A bipartisan effort led by state Sen. Jim Ferlo has sought to further close any possibility of major investors in real estate avoiding the real estate transfer tax.
While the 89-11 loophole was officially eliminated at the end of 2012, Ferlo touted a new provision that was added to the state tax code.
In a prepared statement, Ferlo said:
“I have been trying for several years to close the so-called 89-11 loophole which allowed companies to structure real estate transactions in two parts in order to avoid paying taxes on the sale. This year’s tax code clarified some definitions under the law and detailed the types of contractual relationship that trigger the collection of this tax. This effort levels the tax playing field.”
The 89-11 loophole got its name from a state law that enabled an investor to acquire 89 percent of the interest in the company that owns a property, then buy the remaining 11 percent of the company within three years. The deed-transfer tax only applies when 90 percent or more of the investment is transferred within three years.
Yet now the law has been changed to require investors who seek to buy real estate-owning holding companies in order to acquire real estate without a deed transfer to pay the tax anyway. According to Ferlo's office, a real estate company "must comprise 90 percent or more of the fair market value of the holding company's assets to trigger the tax."
According to Ferlo’s announcement, the Department of Revenue projects that the state’s 1 percent tax will raise $4.3 million in fiscal year 2013-2014 and $11.5 million in 2014-2015.
But the stakes may be even higher for local municipalities and school districts dealing with smaller budgets in which the sale of major properties can represent a significant budget gain or loss. And the closing of the loophole looks like it may be too little too late in terms of missing several major sales that already happened last year in Pittsburgh.
For the city of Pittsburgh, the realty transfer tax totals 4 percent, with 2 percent for the city and 1 percent for Pittsburgh Public Schools, along with the state’s 1 percent take.
And 2012 marked one of the biggest years in recent memory for blockbuster real estate transactions, with more than $340 million in known sales taking place using the 89-11 loophole for such major properties as EQT Plaza, K&L Gates Center, Del Monte Center and Washington Plaza, among others.
While the sales of the other buildings have become public in one way or another, the sale of the K&L Gates Center building has yet to be fully confirmed.
I did a back-of-the-napkin tabulation of the tax value of four of the major 89-11 sales of 2012 -- including two buildings on the North Shore (combined sales value: $83.8 million), Washington Plaza ($48.05 million), and the four apartment complexes Nationwide Realty Investors Ltd. sold to Morgan Properties (total projected sales value as part of a larger portfolio deal: $125.71 million) -- and came up with a potential realty transfer tax of $10 million in 2012 to be divided by the city, school district and state. That excludes the $91.2 million sale of EQT Plaza, which would've yielded $3.64 million in realty transfer taxes, as well as K&L Gates, the sales price of which remains unconfirmed.
A few years ago, city controller Michael Lamb told me the city typically generated between $11 million and $15 million each year in realty transfer taxes.
Ferlo praised the staff of Republican state senators Joe Scarnati, who serves the 25th district, Jake Corman, and Democratic colleague Vince Hughes, whose seventh district is in west Philadelphia.

Keystone in Moorestown: Refreshing Office Space

Keystone Property Group is sprucing and renovating three buildings at Moorestown Corporate Center it acquired late last year to enhance their appeal in a well-situated office submarket.
“This is what we do,” Keystone’s Scott Paymer, who directs projects in the mid-Atlantic region tells “We find tired buildings and we make the necessary improvements to meet the market demand.”
The buildings have great architectural “bones,” superior highway access, and the cachet of a Moorestown address, Paymer says; “They were just extraordinarily tired.”
The 223,000-square-foot office center was 61% occupied at the time of purchase, he said. One of the structures is fully occupied by a single tenant. There is 33,100 square feet available at another building, 224 Strawbridge Dr., and two full floors of 26,400 square feet each available at 232 Strawbridge.
“There aren’t that many large blocks of space available in this market, and 232 Srawbridge alone provides the opportunity for a tenant to have 50,000 square feet,” Paymer points out, “plus a lot of parking.”
The first move Keystone made was to repave the parking lot, which he notes is a key ingredient to the curb appeal of office property. The company plans to install new landscaping and monument signage throughout the campus as well.
Inside, the three-story-tall atrium lobbies will get new finishes, lighting, furniture – and “functionality,” says Paymer. The existing lobbies with their glass curtain walls were “dramatic,” but dated, he says. Also, they were empty. All lobbies will now be equipped with wi-fi.
Bricked-off enclaves will provide quick conference or work areas.
The corporate center is situated about a half hour outside Center City Philadelphia andPhiladelphia International Airport. It is close to East Gate Square and Monmouth Mall shopping centers, numerous restaurants, and first-class hotels.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Albert Organics Distribution Center Sells for $11.8M

Dermody Properties and Stonemount Financial Group sold the fully leased 70,000-square-foot distribution facility located at 1155 Commerce Blvd. in Logan Township, N.J., to Gramercy Capital Corp. for $11.8 million, or approximately $170 per square foot. 

Dermody Properties began construction on the 70,000-square-foot facility in the fourth quarter of 2012 and completed the new facility in April of 2013. Building amenities include refrigerated storage, 15 loading docks and 1 drive-in door. 

Albert's Organics, a distributor of organically grown fresh produce, occupies the distribution center.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Townsend Walgreens Sells for $3.5M

Townsend Crossing LLC sold the Walgreens at 5999 Summit Bridge Rd. in Townsend, DE to AHRS Properties LLC for $3.5 million, or about $350 per square foot. 

The single-story, 9,999-square-foot retail building was constructed on 1.7 acres in the South New Castle County submarket of Philadelphia. The asset is fully occupied by Walgreens on a triple-net lease.

Copley Manor Sold for $6.3M

Longford Associates LLC acquired the Copley Manor apartment building at 121-123 W. Tulpehocken St. in Philadelphia, PA from Advanced Realty Partners for $6.3 million, or about $68,000 per unit. 

The four-story, 52,700-square-foot, 92-unit multifamily property was built in 1929 in the Northwest Philadelphia submarket. The 55 studios and 37 one-bedroom apartments carry asking rents between $595 and $945 per month.

Philadelphia Retail Bldg Sold for $3M

Frankford and Cottman Avenues LLC sold the retail building at 7245-7257 Frankford Ave. in Philadelphia, PA to Insalaco Development Group for $2.95 million, or about $173 per square foot. 

The single-story, 17,088-square-foot storefront was built in 1969 in the Northeast Philadelphia submarket.

Select Capital Acquires LogistiCourt at Derry

Select Capital Commercial Properties acquired the LogistiCourt at Derry Street building located at 7917 Derry St. in Harrisburg, PA from Dermody Properties, Inc. for $7.13 million, or about $71 per square foot. 

This single-story, 100,000-square-foot warehouse was built in 2008 on 10.8 acres in Dauphin County's Harrisburg Area East Industrial submarket.

Carter Validus REIT Pays $4.3M for Wilkes-Barre General Hospital

Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT, Inc. acquired the medical office building at 239 S. Mountain Blvd. in Mountain Top, PA from Greystone Brokerage for $4.38 million, or about $274 per square foot. 

The single-story, 15,996-square-foot building was constructed in 2012 in the I-81 Corridor submarket of Luzerne County.

Three Franklin Plaza Trades for $29M

Liberty Property Trust sold the 226,890-square-foot office building at 1600 Vine St. in Philadelphia, PA to DeMedici Corporation for $29 million, or approximately $128 per square foot. 

The eight-story office building will be the location for the first charter high school in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School, a String Theory High School for the Arts and Sciences, will open in 2013. DeMedici Corporation plans to upgrade the property to create a theater, performing arts studios, science labs, TV and motion-capture studios, and an automotive engineering lab. 

Centrally located three blocks from SEPTA’s Suburban Station, Three Franklin Plaza offers immediate access to I-95, I-76, and I-676. Within easy walking distance are five transit options and countless Center City restaurants, hotels and amenities.

DiPaolo Properties Sells Country View Manors

Bar Properties LLC purchased the 75-unit Country View Manors multifamily community at 76 University Dr. in Dunmore, PA from DiPaolo Properties, Inc. for $6.44 million, or about $86,000 per unit. The buyer purchased furniture and equipment from the seller for $312,500, which was not included in sale price. 

The 96,000-square-foot apartment property consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom units in 16 buildings. It was constructed in 1986 and renovated in 2007. The community is located in the Philadelphia I-81 Corridor submarket, and was 100 percent occupied at the time of sale.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blackstone's Real Estate Strategy (Video)

REIT Pays $16.6M for Lehigh Valley Crossings

A private REIT acquired the industrial building at 2834 Schoeneck Rd. in Macangie, PA from Endurance Real Estate Group LLC and Thackeray Partners for $16.55 million, or about $61 per square feet. 

The 270,000-square-foot distribution warehouse facility sits on 30 acres, which includes nine acres that could house a future stand-alone, 80,000-square-foot building or to expand the current building an additional 100,000 square feet.

The building was delivered in 1997 and features 31 loading docks and one drive-in bay, 32-foot clear heights, 200 parking spaces, ESFR sprinkler and 20,000 square feet of built-out office space. The asset is fully occupied by the Lehigh Group.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mosler on Hudson Yards, Commmerical Real Estate in NY

New York is great barometer for commercial real estate

CardioNet Moving to Malvern

CardioNet, Inc. has signed a long-term sublease for 46,972 square feet at 1000 N. Cedar Hollow Rd. in Malvern, PA. The tenant will utilize the space for corporate offices and a service center. 

The two-story, 80,922-square-foot office building was constructed in 1968 on 33 acres in the Exton / Whitelands submarket of Philadelphia, part of the Great Valley Commerce Center located just off Rte 202 in close proximity to the Malvern and Paoli train stations. The property was most recently renovated in 2009.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Former GSK building bought for $29M

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal An affiliate of the Philadelphia Performing 

An affiliate of the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School has finalized the purchase of Three Franklin Plaza in Center City for $29 million.

The eight-story 226,890-square-foot office building at 1600 Vine St. had been occupied by GlaxoSmithKline before the pharmaceutical company relocated to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Liberty Property Trust  was the seller.
DeMedici II Corp., which oversees the charter school, bought the building by using a portion of a $55.5 million bond that was underwritten by George K. Baum & Co., an underwriter of educational-related bond issues. Santilli & Thomson served as the charter school’s financial consultant and Sand & Saidel was its legal consultant. Binswanger arranged the real estate transaction.
Liberty Property Trust constructed Three Franklin in 1999 for GlaxoSmithKline. The Malvern, Pa., real estate investment trust was prepared to spend millions repositioning the vacant building for multi-tenants when the charter school offered to buy it. Plans now call for the school to spend between $10 million and $12 million on upgrades to convert spaces dedicated to performing arts such as a theater, performing arts studios, science labs, television and motion-capture studies, and an automotive engineering lab.

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