Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Giant Skyscraper Announced As Part of Cira Centre South

Brandywine Realty Trust and the FMC Corporation have a huge announcement today: FMC will have a new headquarters, and that headquarters will be called FMC Tower at Cira Centre South. The design, like that of the original Cira Centre, will be handled in part by Pelli Clark Pelli. According a press release sent this morning, the building will be the sixth tallest office building in Philadelphia at 650 feet and 47 stories.
It will consist of approximately 830,000 rentable square feet: 575,000 square feet of Class A office space, 10,000 square feet of retail space, and 260 luxury apartment suites with concierge services and market rate rental housing.
Groundbreaking is currently scheduled for mid-2014.
Full story:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mitchell Enterprises Acquires Atlantic City Beachhead

Mitchell Enterprises, a New Jersey-based development firm, recently closed on the acquisition of a 19.5-acre development parcel fronting Atlantic City's famed boardwalk that was once the site of the former Sands Casino Hotel. The site, which currently contains several small retail structures and an 80-room hotel, sold for $30.6 million. 

The seller, Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., is a Las Vegas-based casino operator. Pinnacle acquired The Sands Casino Hotel in 2006 and demolished the 21-story structure in October 2007 with plans to build a $2 billion casino on the site. Plans for future development were halted due to the poor economy. 

Pinnacle has been divesting properties as it seeks regulatory approval and arranging financing for its planned acquisition of Ameristar Casinos. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Pinnacle confirmed it had agreed to dispose of its land holdings in Atlantic City for total consideration of approximately $30.6 million in a transaction that was expected to close by the end of the 2013 third quarter. 

The properties involved in the sale include 118, S New York Ave., 150 S Kentucky Ave., 1714 Atlantic Ave., 1621 Boardwalk, 1723 Boardwalk, 1649 Boardwalk, 1701 Boardwalk and 1637 Boardwalk, along with the 19.5 acres on Atlantic Ave.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Granary Apartments Sold for $120M

fter wrapping up construction earlier this month, Philadelphia-based Pearl Properties sold the nine-story, 229-unit Granary Apartments to Lowe Enterprises, a Los Angeles-based investment management firm. The sale closed on October 25th for an undisclosed price, although local reports put the sale at $120 million. 

The Granary Apartment complex is located in the Logan Square neighborhood at 409 North 20th Street in Center City Philadelphia. In addition to its high-end apartments, the building includes 20,463 square feet of retail space

The acquisition is the first in downtown Philadelphia by Lowe Enterprises, which opened an office in the market last year. The company also owns the Abitare Apts. and other properties in Voorhees, NJ, and manages other local assets on behalf of its investment clients, including Station Square. Its Lowe Enterprises Investors affiliate acquires real estate on behalf of institutional and high net worth clients and partners. 

Pearl Properties, a 15-year-old development and investment firm headed by James Pearlstein and Reed Slogoff, has developed several apartment and retail properties in the Philadelphia market.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wall Street's new housing play (Video)

Liberty Property adapts, thrives

Willard G. Rouse III has been gone a decade, but his handiwork - Liberty Property Trust - continues to thrive.
Liberty Property's ongoing success stands as testament to Rouse's forward thinking, but also the mutability of clever corporations, which often must shift and remake themselves to keep ahead.

As Liberty Property is doing now under the leadership of William P. Hankowsky, who served his apprenticeship as president of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (Full disclosure: Hankowsky is part owner of The Inquirer.)

In a conference call last week to discuss Liberty Property's third quarter (funds from operations available to common shareholders were 57 cents per share, compared with 64 cents a year ago) Hankowsky explained where the company was going and why.

Once known for cutting-edge office parks, such as the Great Valley Corporate Center in Chester County, Liberty Property increasingly sees its future in industrial warehouse space.

"Over the last year or so, we've been thinking very much about Liberty Property's strategy for the next five years," Hankowsky said. "The conclusion is we want to be more industrial and less suburban office."
In fact, Hankowsky said Liberty Property's future was about two-thirds industrial and one-third office.
To that end, the company earlier this month spent $1.47 billion to buy the operating partnership of Cabot Industrial Value Fund III, which brings with it 177 properties and 23 million square feet of industrial space.
Liberty Property also is selling 6 million to 7 million square feet of suburban office and flex properties for $650 million to $750 million, Hankowsky said. The purchase of Cabot and sale of office space will leave Liberty Property with about 60 percent industrial, Hankowsky said.

"We think there'll be generally less demand for office space than there has been historically because of efficiency," Hankowsky said, linking that change to technology. "I don't need file cabinets. I don't need law libraries. I don't need server rooms because I can do it in the cloud, so the number per square feet per employee is going down."

The flip side has been the growth of e-commerce.
"That's a whole phenomenon that requires industrial buildings that have a lot more parking, that run three shifts, run seasonally, just operate in a way that's different than a rack building serving a network of stores," Hankowsky said. "And that's a systemic change in that those buildings are needed and necessary."
For Liberty Property, then: "We see a world where there is enhanced demand for industrial product."


Friday, October 25, 2013

Marquis apartment complex in KoP sold for $70 million

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal
An affiliate of Vantage Properties is buying the Marquis, a now infamous apartment complex in King of Prussia, Pa., for an estimated $70 million, according to several sources familiar with the deal.
The five-building complex on 26.7 acres at 251 W. DeKalb Pike has 641 units. The units are about 36 percent occupied. The building area totals 804,184 square feet.
The property is in a severe state of disrepair, according to former residents and people who have recently toured the property.
It has become a place where police are routinely called for murders, stabbings, fights and other criminal activity. Just last year, a man kidnapped a 10-month-old girl and ended up murdering her and her grandmother. In 2011, a water pump broke on Christmas Day and some of the buildings were declared unfit for habitation. In 2010, a drug gang was reportedly operating out of the property. Over the summer, a teenage girl fell to her death when she climbed out of a window on the eighth floor of one of the buildings.
That is in stark contrast to the Marquis of years gone by. When it was constructed in 1965, the Marquis was considered a Class A property and a well-regarded place to live.
In August 1989, a venture between JEG Associates of Boston bought the property for $32.2 million, according to Montgomery County property records.

Endo to lease out half of its new Malvern HQ

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal
Less than a year after moving into its new headquarters, Endo Health Solutions Inc. has decided it no longer needs all of the space it has and will sublease out half of its complex.
Endo relocated in January from Chadds Ford, Pa., into a newly constructed 300,000-square-foot, two-building complex at Atwater Corporate Center in Malvern, Pa.
The company intends to continue occupying one of the buildings totalling 150,000 square feet. It has enlisted Jones Lang LaSalle to sublease the other 150,000-square-foot building. Each structure stands five stories.
The company has been going through a series of changes throughout this year.
In February, Endo named Rajiv De Silva as its new CEO. He succeeded David Holveck, who retired.
De Silva was previously president of Valeant Pharmaceuticals and a senior executive at Novartis. Once he arrived at Endo, he went to work on building on the company’s strengths to “deliver top line growth while also improving cost management, execution and integration to enable Endo to make the most of its many opportunities and create value for its shareholders.”
That meant taking a look at every aspect of the company’s operations including its new headquarters. As a result, Endo decided to reduce annual operating expenses by $325 million and let got of 15 percent its employees across the company. New leadership was brought in and the company changed in other ways that effected how it uses its office buildings in Malvern.

SugarHouse expansion plans unveiled

After delays from a protracted legal fight among partners and a redesign forced by changing market conditions, SugarHouse Casino is ready to launch its $155 million expansion.
In architectual drawings released to The Inquirer, Greg Carlin, chief executive of SugarHouse, said the expansion would take advantage of the casino's location on the Delaware River.

"We really want to engage the river," Carlin said. "There will be a lot of window space."
The expansion will include a second-floor banquet hall with a wall of windows and a riverside balcony. At ground level, SugarHouse will extend its riverwalk and a bike path along the northern end of the property, located on North Delaware Avenue next to Penn Treaty Park.

While the size of the gaming floor will increase from 58,000 square feet to 85,000 square feet, Carlin said most of the expansion would be used for dining and event space. The project includes a seven-story parking garage.

Late Thursday afternoon, Carlin gave a briefing on the casino's construction plans to Gov. Corbett. SugarHouse generates $120 million a year in state and local taxes, which are used to support schools and provide wage-tax relief in Philadelphia.

Stepping onto the riverfront deck of SugarHouse Casino on Thursday afternoon, Corbett had the same reaction as most first-time visitors.

"You have a great view here," said the governor, admiring the sweep of the Delaware River above the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. "This is gorgeous."


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blackstone Prepares to Take Brixmor Public

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA-Blackstone Group is preparing an initial public offering for shopping center owner Brixmor Property Group Inc.
Analysts believe that the IPO could raise up to $905 million for the former Centro Properties, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Blackstone is expected to take Brixmor and perhaps three other real estate companies public over the next year. The company stated last week in a regulatory filing that it expects to offer up to 43 million shares of Bixmor common stock for between $19 and $21 a share.
The deal would be the largest-ever IPO of a retail real-estate company, besting current record holder Simon Property Group, which raised $840 million in a 1993 offering. 

Crownwood Industrial Estates leases 50,000 SF to Jersey Precast Corporation

Jersey Precast Corporation, Hamilton, NJ, a fabricator of customized complex and heavy steel structures for building, marine, and transportation construction projects, has signed a long term lease for 50,000 square feet of crane covered fabricating space at Crownwood Industrial Estates in Bristol Township, PA.  The former Corell Steel facility has been redeveloped into a multi-tenant industrial center by STD Associates, L.P.

 “It was truly a collaborative effort among all the parties to make this happen. An existing 50,000 sq. ft. tenant with large outside storage requirements had to be relocated within the complex and both tenant spaces required improvements. Bob White and Jeff Darwak of the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Bucks were very helpful in bringing this out of state company to Bristol Township and it took several months to put it all together”.

Jeff Darwak stated "We are very pleased that Jersey Precast selected Bucks County to locate its steel fabricating division which will bring 15 skilled manufacturing and 4 technical jobs to the area in addition to 10 new employment positions.  This is yet another success story for the Bucks County Enterprise Zone, and we are proud to have been a partner with Crownwood Industrial Estates in attracting the company to Bucks County."

In other property news, Benningham Steel has expanded and renewed their lease for over 26,500 sq. ft. of crane covered manufacturing space for their steel slitting operation.  Benningham Steel has been a tenant at Crownwood Industrial Estates since 1995. 

De Niro to develop massive project. The New Godfather of Shanghai

—By Craig Giammona, Special to
The Raging Bull is bullish on China.
Robert De Niro and his real estate partners recently signed a deal to develop an 850,000-square-foot retail, hotel and entertainment destination in Shanghai'shistoric Bund district. Known as Project 179, it will feature a boutique hotel, restaurants, shops and, of course, a cultural center and movie theater.
"I am looking forward to helping realize the Bund as one of the premier visitor destinations across the globe," De Niro said in a press release. "By ensuring a design that reflects the vibrant history of Shanghai, Project 179 can serve as a jewel in its crowd: ushering in a bright future while paying homage to its rich and storied past."
Slated to open in 2016, Project 179 will comprise five buildings, four of them currently vacant and a fifth to be built. Its name comes from the Shanghai government's official designation for the block of land—on a stretch of Nanjing Road along the Huangpu River—on which the development will be built, according to a press release.
De Niro, famous for his roles as Travis Bickle ("Taxi Driver"), Jake La Motta ("Raging Bull") and a young Vito Corleone ("Godfather II"), was involved in developing the Greenwich and Bowery hotels in New York.
The developers have not yet chosen an architect for the project, but said the develop will be designed to "reflect classic 1920s Shanghai."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ARCP & Cole Real Estate merge (Video)

Elenaco Ents Sells Sicklerville Retail for $5.5M

Local businessman Charles Foulke has purchased the auto dealership at 3100 Rte 42 in Sicklerville, NJ from Elenaco Enterprises LLC for $5.5 million, or roughly $243 per square foot. 

The 22,656-square-foot, single-story building was constructed on 6.1 acres in Gloucester County. The buyer leased the building prior to the sale and exercised an option to purchase. The dated sale price was established in July of 2011.

Shoppes at Silver Spring Sell for $3.8M

GVS Partners LLC purchased the Shoppes at Silver Spring retail building at 6499 Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg, PA from RJH Investments LLC for $3.2 million, or about $113 per square foot. 

The 33,545-square-foot, multi-tenant strip center was constructed in 2007 in Cumberland County.

Covington Group Acquires Industrial Bldg for $2.9M

Covington Group, Inc. has acquired the industrial building at 7 Esterbrook Ln. in Cherry Hill, NJ from Prudential Industrial Properties for $2.895 million, or about $16 per square foot. 

The 181,000-square-foot industrial building was built in 1970 on 12.2 acres. The building contains seven loading docks, three drive-ins, 24-foot ceiling heights and heavy power. Located in Camden County, the property was vacant at the time of the sale and is currently offered for lease.

Blue Comet Express Sells Philadelphia Retail

Northeast Blue Bell, Inc. acquired the Walgreens Pharmacy at 4001 Kensington Ave. in Philadelphia, PA from Blue Comet Express, Inc. for $2.95 million, or about $213 per square foot. 

The property delivered in 1997 and totals 13,833 square feet. There was financing through Woori American Bank with a $950,000 down payment.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grocer to Open New Store in Edgmont

Giant Food Stores of Carlisle, PA plans to open a new store at a former Genuradi’s location in Delaware County.
The store at 4855 West Chester Pike in Edgmont Township will open Nov 6. The store will fill 43,000 square feet that has been vacant since 2010 when Genuardi’s shut down its store. The Giant Food Store at Newtown Square will employ 120 full and part-time workers

Blackstone Profit Rises 3% on Real Estate Gain

Friday, October 18, 2013

Philadelphia's Office Vacancy Decreases to 11.5%

The Philadelphia Office market ended the third quarter 2013 with a vacancy rate of 11.5%. 

The vacancy rate was down over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 193,270 square feet in the third quarter. That compares to positive 786,597 square feet in the second quarter 2013. Vacant sublease space decreased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 1,243,897 square feet. 

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2013 include: Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. moving into 300,000 square feet at Atwater Corporate Center; GlaxoSmithKline moving into 205,000 square feet at Five Crescent Dr; and Drexel University moving into 117,464 square feet at Three Parkway. 

Rental rates ended the third quarter at $21.06, a decrease over the previous quarter. 

A total of three buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 61,700 square feet, with 791,386 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 11.6% from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 23.48 million square feet in the third quarter. Average rental rates increased to $21.75, and 244 office buildings delivered to the market totaling more than 12.2 million square feet.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Retail Bldg Trades for $2.6M

Sadwith Industries, Co. acquired the retail building located at 330 York Rd. in Carlisle, PA from Carlisle GS Branch LLC for $2.64 million, or about $580 per square foot. 

The property that sold is a 4,550-square-foot financial bank branch building located in Cumberland County.

Applied Bank Center Sold for $10.5M

RAA Management LLC acquired the Applied Bank Center office building at 2200 Concord Pike in Wilmington, DE from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP for $10.5 million, or about $54 per square foot. 

The 15-story, 195,495-square-foot, class A office building was originally built in 1980 on 11.6 acres in the North New Castle County submarket. Renovations were finished in 2002.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Camelback Mountain Resort Sells for $69.3M

EPR Properties (NYSE: EPR) has acquired the Camelback Mountain Resort at 1 Camelback Rd. in Tannersville, PA from Spirit Realty Capital, Inc. (NYSE: SRC) for $69.25 million. 

The resort, located in the Pocono Mountains region of northeastern Pennsylvania, consists of 160 acres of skiable terrain and includes a waterpark, outdoor treetop adventure park with mountain coaster and zip line, 40-lane tubing hill and a 48,400-square-foot base lodge. The resort attracts nearly 900,000 visitors annually. 

CBH2O has operated the resort since 2005, and has just committed to a new 20-year lease at the property. Ken Ellis and Art Berry, principals at CBH2O, have reinvested and redeveloped the property with additional attractions to enhance attendance through all seasons. 

"I am very pleased to announce this expansion of our Recreation portfolio with Camelback Mountain Resort. Camelback has been a very popular and successful recreation property for over 50 years and importantly, offers year-round attractions and sustainable year-round cash flows," said David Brain, president and CEO of EPR.

Monthly Economic Outlook -- October 2013 (Video)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Crowdfunding Comes to Manayunk

A recently launched crowdfunding campaign will give Pennsylvania residents the chance to invest in real estate while challenging the traditional financing model.

"It is a whole new generation of development," said Daniel Miller, cofounder of Washington-based Fundrise L.L.C., an online platform that allows individuals to invest as little as $100 in real estate development.

With the assistance of Fundrise, developer Shift Capital is hoping to raise $500,000 of the $3 million it needs to rehab the 7,500-square-foot future Manayunk home of the Transfer Station, which will offer retail, office, and event space for paying members to share.
"This type of project would appear very risky from the bank's perspective," said economist Sam Chandan, who teaches real estate at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Though demand for coworking space is growing in other cities, projects of this size, especially those that lack strong credit-quality tenants, are unlikely to receive bank financing, Chandan said.

The banking industry's hesitancy to lend money for smaller projects - even those with substantial community support - presents a challenge to developers, who may need to use more creative methods to obtain capital.
A large investor may not recognize this as an opportunity, but community members who pass the long-vacant industrial building might, said Ethan Mollik, a Wharton professor who specializes in crowdfunding.

For Transfer Station cofounder Simon Rogers, the value goes beyond dollars. "This is a by-the-people, for-the-people project," he said.
More than 500 people already have expressed interest in reserving space at Transfer Station's temporary Manayunk location at 4120 Main St., which will open in a few weeks, Rogers said.

Even if community members recognize the building's potential, they should still heed caution, observers say.
"An investor, in many ways, has the same concerns as the bank," said Jay Goldstein, president of Philadelphia-based Valley Green Bank. "What kind of reward are they looking for? Is it purely financial? Is there some sort of intrinsic value?"

The return on investment has yet to be finalized for the 114 Green Lane development, but typically Fundrise projects yield 8 percent to 12 percent, said Miller, who got his M.B.A. from Wharton in 2010.

Mollik suggested researching the reputation of the people managing the project and their level of capital investment, but he added that crowdfunding helps lower the risk of a potential scam.

"You are using the wisdom of the crowd," he said. "If something is fishy, one of them will flag it."
Mollik's research shows that less than 1 percent of the money pledged to fully funded Kickstarter projects is not delivered.

 "We think this is the most efficient and powerful way for people to invest and shape their community," Miller said.
Fundrise also plans to raise funds to rehab a Brewerytown retail property and convert a Mount Airy building into a bed-and-breakfast.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Buzzing about FMC's new office space

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal

Ten years ago on Christmas Eve, when most people were likely making last-minute gift purchases at the mall,Brandywine Realty Trust announced that it had lined up three firms to kick off the construction of Cira Centre.
Two Center City law firms jumped over the Schuylkill River and a hedge fund crossed over City Avenue to be the first tenants to sign onto the 28-story, 728,000-square-foot office building.
While a couple of suburban tenants took space in the building, most of it was filled by other downtown firms who saw the attraction of the building’s Keystone Opportunity Zone too alluring. The KOZ designation gives tenants who move into the space breaks on state and local taxes. At the time, Brandywine came under fire for luring several downtown, tax-paying firms to Cira Centre.
Could that be happening again?
The latest round of speculation in the real estate community has FMC Corp., which is currently housed at Mellon Bank Center at 1735 Market St., fixed on becoming a tenant at Cira South and giving Brandywine the ability to move forward with that building. The chemical company has been in the market for 220,000 square feet of space.
Brandywine already has the University of Pennsylvania committing to about 150,000 square feet of the proposed building, which, when I last saw the plans, was about 35 stories and between 400,000 and 600,000 square feet. The real estate company wanted to pre-lease a certain amount of space before proceeding with construction of the building, which has a KOZ that runs until 2025.
Ken Gedaka, a spokesman at FMC, said no final decision have been made but maybe soon.
“We’re working on it and we’re getting close,” he said. “I know the rumor mill in the brokerage community is buzzing.”
Indeed it is.
The company has narrowed its search to Pennsylvania and “Philadelphia is a very good possibility,” Gedaka said. “We’re excited about what we’re going to be doing.”

NorthMarq Arranges $30M Refi for Buck County Portfolio

NorthMarq arranged a $30 million refinancing of a portfolio of office and industrial properties located in Buck County. High Street Equity owns the 11 buildings, which total 607,889 square feet in Langhorne and Trevose, PA. 

Financing was based on a five-year term and 25-year amortization schedule with flexible repayment options, allowable partial releases, and no additional escrows or structuring. James Murphy, managing director of NorthMarq's Boston regional office, arranged the financing through the firm's relationship with correspondent life insurance company lender AVIVA.

Large Logan Square project approved

PHILADELPHIA Development in the fast-changing area around Logan Square will pick up momentum after Wednesday's final zoning approval of a $140 million project featuring a new Whole Foods market and 293 high-end apartments.
Rodin Square, named after developer Neal Rodin, is coincidentally located a block north of the Rodin Museum. It will replace the current Best Western hotel.

The project will take up almost all of the block between 21st and 22d Streets to the east and west, Spring Garden Street to the north, and Pennsylvania Avenue and Hamilton Street to the south.
Rodin, chairman of International Financial Co. L.L.C., said he expected to break ground in January or February. Construction could take two years, he added.

Whole Foods would move its existing market at 20th and Callowhill Streets to the new site. The store will be almost twice the size, with 55,000 square feet of retail space and a 5,000-square-foot cafe.

The three-acre Rodin Square is just the latest high-profile project for the cultural district along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Recent construction includes the new home of the Barnes Foundation and the Sister Cities Park on the Parkway, and the Granary apartments on Callowhill Street.

Meanwhile, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has begun work on a temple at 17th and Vine Streets. Across the street, the city is seeking a developer to convert the Family Court building into a luxury hotel.

Community groups in Logan Square and Spring Garden had raised concerns about the impact of Rodin Square on traffic. But they signed off on the project after Council President Darrell L. Clarke convened a meeting Sept. 30 of city officials to discuss congestion.
Ed Panek, chairman of the zoning committee for the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, said traffic around the Wawa market at 21st and Hamilton Streets was "horrendous."

He told the zoning board that the meeting called by Clarke was "a very good start" for addressing long-simmering complaints. It included representatives from the Council president's staff, city planners, police, SEPTA, and the city Streets Department.
Neighborhood groups signed a development agreement Tuesday with Rodin.

He said the development would include a two-lane driveway, stretching from 21st to 22d Streets, that would be used by delivery trucks and customers.

"This takes everything off the streets," Rodin said.

He said that in addition to Whole Foods, the project would include retail space fronting Spring Garden Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Designed by MV+A Architects of Bethesda, Md., Rodin Square will have nine stories of apartments, a five-story parking structure for residents, and belowground parking for customers of Whole Foods.

In a terrace above Whole Foods, the complex will have open space and residential amenities, including an outdoor pool.
James Voelzke, a partner of MV+A, said the design was meant to be "respectful of what's on either side of us."
The structures are set back from surrounding streets.

The retailing will energize Pennsylvania Avenue with street-level activity, Voelzke said. "There is currently no reason for tourists to venture north."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NVR Leases 15,000 SF at Laurel Oak Corp Ctr

NVR, Inc. has leased 15,324 square feet of 1020 Laurel Oak Rd. in Voorhees, NJ, bringing the building to 97 percent leased. Several tenants were repositioned in the building to create the contiguous space for NVR. 

The three-story, 56,499-square-foot office building is located at the intersection of Haddonfield Berlin Rd. and Laurel Oaks Rd., with convenient access to Routes 73 and 295.

BET Investments Pays $18.3M for Bucks Crossing

BET Investments, Inc., a Philadelphia-based property investment firm, acquired the Bucks Crossing Shopping Center at 95-205 E. Street Rd. in Feasterville Trevose, PA from Korman Commercial Properties, Inc. for $18.25 million, or about $139 per square foot. 

This 131,035-square-foot retail center was delivered in 1967. It was 94 percent occupied at the time of the sale, including anchor tenants Petco and Acme Market and a free-standing Wachovia Bank branch.

1.4M square feet of N.J. industrial space acquired by Liberty Property Trust

Pennsylvania-based Liberty Property Trust announced Tuesday it has acquired approximately 23 million square feet of industrial space across several U.S. markets. Liberty purchased the assets via the acquisition of the operating partnership of Cabot Industrial Value Fund III for $1.475 billion.
Financial details of the New Jersey portion of the portfolio were not broken down in a press release from the company.
According to the announcement, Liberty added 177 properties in 24 markets. The acquisition was funded through a combination of sources including proceeds of $834.1 million from an offering of 24,150,000 common shares, proceeds from the offering of $450 million of 4.40% senior notes due 2024 and the assumption of $230 million in mortgage debt.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Billionaire Land Grab (Video)

Top 100 Land owners own 33M Acres. Up 18% since 2008. This Equals 2% of all US land mass.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Why US commercial real estate is booming (Video)

Axalta: Why two offices is better than one

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal
Axalta Coating Systems, which was formerly DuPont Performance Coatings, has taken an unusual route and split its global and North American headquarters. It just located both to Pennsylvania from Delaware — but in separate locations.
“We wanted to have distinct regional operations and a distinct corporate headquarters,” said Matt Winokur, company spokesman. “We wanted to give the North American business its own location and identity.”
The company decided to place its global headquarters in 30,000 square feet in Commerce Square in Center City. It wanted those operations to be in an urban setting so it could easily access transportation such as trains and the airport.
The company moved its North American headquarters to 55,000 square feet off Applied Card Way in Glen Mills, Pa. The site is closer to where most employees live and from where they have been commuting for years, Winokur said. The two offices are about 25 miles apart.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Prologis CEO on U.S. Shutdown, Market Outlook (Video)

Does the math still work on buying rental properties? (Video)

WalMart Leases 1.2 Million SF in Bethlehem

Wal-Mart, a nationwide and world-renowned retailer, signed a long-term lease for 1.2 million square feet in the Lehigh Industrial Park VII distribution building at 2785 Commerce Center Blvd. in Bethlehem, PA. 

This online fulfillment center, the company's largest fulfillment center in the United States to date, will employ 350 people while delivering orders in a timelier manner at a reduced cost. The facility will also house electronics, toys, apparel, fitness/sporting goods, and other products that will be available for shipment. Walmart will also serve as the property manager for their new facility. 

The 1.2 million-square-foot building was constructed in 2012 on 86.2 acres in the Lehigh Valley Industrial submarket of Northampton County. It features 142 loading docks, 32-foot clear heights, 4,000-amp heavy power, and seven-inch floors able to support 4,000 pounds per square foot.

Cooper Center Sold for $10.5M

Cooper Park Associates, LP acquired six multi-tenant office and flex properties known as Cooper Center and Cooper Center West in Pennsauken, NJ. The Bloom Organization sold the properties for $10.5 million, or about $75 per square foot. 

Totaling 136,940 square feet, the buildings were constructed in the mid 1970's. At the time of closing the asset was reportedly 94 percent leased.

Agree Realty Pays $10.6M for Retail Bldg

Agree Realty Corporation acquired the BJ's Wholesale Club building at 1785 Airport Rd. in Allentown, PA from DDR Corp. for $10.6 million, or about $94 per square foot. 

The retail building was delivered in 1991, and totals 112,230 square feet on 11.4 acres. BJ's Wholesale Club is the sole occupant of the property, with a lease expiring at the end of 2016.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Jersey's Industrial Building Sector Beats Back Sandy

When superstorm Sandy hit parts of New Jersey, it sparked concerns about future investor demand for commercial real estate in the waterlogged region.
Nearly a year later, only some of those fears have materialized. Sales growth for office, retail and apartment properties overall in New Jersey has slowed somewhat, according to Real Capital Analytics, a real-estate research firm. But in Northern New Jersey, which includes areas less affected by the storm, sales of industrial properties are on pace to hit a record high this year.
Northern New Jersey also is outperforming the national industrial market. Nationwide, the volume of industrial sales valued at $2.5 million or higher are on pace to hit about $37 billion this year. That is still shy of the annual peak of $60.8 million set in 2007, according to Real Capital Analytics. Total sales volume of industrial properties 100,000 square feet or larger hit $1.02 billion as of the middle of September. That is a 64% increase from $623 million in all of 2012, and surpasses the previous record of $922 million in northern New Jersey industrial transactions in 2006.
"Everyone wants to know if Sandy impacted buildings but at the end of the day there's still a need to be close to [New York City]," said Kyle Schmidt, a broker who specializes in industrial sales with Cushman & Wakefield. Mr. Schmidt said that while investors prefer buildings outside of flood plains, when necessary they are willing to pay the higher insurance premiums to have access to one of the nation's biggest industrial markets. Even properties in the Meadowlands, a marshy area prone to flooding, are prized by many investors because of the area's proximity to Manhattan.
Among the most noteworthy deals is the recent sale of a 887,000-square-foot warehouse in Cranbury, N.J., about 45 miles southwest of New York City, purchased for $98 million by the California Public Employees' Retirement System. The property fetched 20% more than what Exeter Property Group paid two years ago, and it was one of the largest single-property warehouse deals in the region since the financial crisis. Calpers, the giant pension fund, declined to comment.
To be sure, the flurry of deals in northern New Jersey is partly fueled by a rising pack of large institutional investors that are bulking up on warehouses. Blackstone Group LP has made a series of large acquisitions since the downturn to become one of the largest U.S. owners of warehouses and distribution centers.
More recently, Brookfield Asset Management has agreed to acquire Industrial Developments International Inc. Calpers is expected to invest several billion dollars in the next three to five years on industrial properties, according to Martin Standiford, a senior vice president of acquisitions with adviser Bentall Kennedy. The firm represented Calpers in the purchase of the Cranbury property.
With the deal flow recovering faster than some areas' rents and occupancies, analysts and investors are on the lookout for overheating. Exeter Property Group, which sold the Cranbury building, say it would cheer rising prices because its strategy is to buy properties in need of improvement and then sell. "A run up in prices is good for us on the exit," said Ward Fitzgerald, Exeter's chief executive.
While industrial properties are among the least glamorous sectors in commercial real estate, the returns tend to be higher than what office buildings or apartments offer. Some analysts say the improving economy means a greater need for warehouse space for consumer goods and housing-construction materials.

Northern New Jersey is one of Calpers' target markets, according to Mr. Standiford. He said the property's long-term tenant along with its unusually high ceilings and solar panels made it an attractive investment. In addition, it isn't in the flood plain and the building wasn't affected by Sandy. "That's the acid test," Mr. Standiford said. Hopefully you only have one of those storms every 20 years or so."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Get a piece of the Empire State Building (Video)

PREIT Divests Two Shopping Centers for $87.3M

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: PEI) has sold two retail power centers in conjunction with its strategic plan to dispose of non-core properties in the hopes of strengthening its balance sheet by reducing debt. 

In two separate transactions, the REIT sold Christiana Center in Newark, DE and the Commons at Magnolia in Florence, SC for an aggregate sales price of $87.3 million, representing a blended CAP rate of 6.8% and net gains totaling nearly $45.4 million. 

The Kroenke Group acquired Christiana Center at 100-900 Center Blvd. in Newark, DE for $75 million, or about $245 per square foot. 

The 306,140-square-foot retail center was built in 1978 on 72 acres in the South New Castle County submarket of Philadelphia. The asset is anchored by a free-standing Costco, Dick's Sporting Goods, HHGregg, Michael's, Pier1, and Petco. 

In connection with this sale, the buyer assumed the $49.2 million mortgage secured by the center. 
In a separate transaction, Chase Properties Ltd. acquired The Commons at Magnolia, located at 2791-2895 David H McLeod Blvd. in Florence, SC for $12.3 million, or about $119 per square foot. 

The 103,683-square-foot shopping center was built in 1991 on 7.9 acres in Florence County. It is anchored by Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart and Rack Room Shoes. 

PREIT intends to use the proceeds from these two sales to make further reductions in debt and for general corporate purposes. The group has already reduced its debt by $359 million in 2013, primarily through the disposition of non-core assets and the successful offering of common equity, according to Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT.