Monday, December 29, 2014

Biggest Commercial Real Estate News in Philly 2014

The Philadelphia commercial real estate market continued to experience dynamic changes in 2014, from the biggest deals, to the latest developments and market trends.

Here are the stories that you, our readers, considered to be the most interesting and newsworthy in the Philadelphia market over the past 12 months.

1. Forest City Divests Philadelphia Shopping Center for $92.3M
Cedar Realty Trust Acquires 456,000-SF Quartermaster Plaza

     Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: FCEA, FCEB) has sold the Quartermaster Plaza retail power center at 2200-2370 W. Oregon Ave. in Philadelphia, PA to Cedar Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: CDR) for $92.3 million, or about $202 per square foot.

2. Atlantic City May Need to Find Another Way to Make Money
New Jersey Shore Market Faces Its Fourth Casino Closure This Year

3. Comcast to Build $1.2B Skyscraper in Philadelphia
Massive Project Would Reunite Media Giant With Comcast Center Developer Liberty Property Trust

4. Liberty Closes Second Half of $697.3M Disposition
Greenfield JV Acquires 2.6M SF, 19 Acres for $329.6M

5. Bellevue Park Corp Ctr Bldgs Sold for $61.5M
BPG Real Estate Acquires 306,000 SF in Wilmington

6. Keystone, Mack-Cali Team Up to Buy Philadelphia's Curtis Center for $125M
Walnut Street, Apollo Global Mgmt Sell 886,000-SF Office Bldg

7. Brandywine Completes $248.9M Acquisition in Philadelphia
Parkway Properties Sells Ownership Stake Following Thomas Properties Merger

8. Host Hotels Sells 89% Stake in Ownership of Philadelphia Marriott Downtown for $270M
Oaktree, Clearview JV Take Control of 1,400 Rooms on Market Street

9. KBS Closes on $63M Acquisition of 1000 Continental
Equus Capital Sells 205,000 SF in King of Prussia

10. KBS REIT II Sells I-81 Industrial Portfolio for $105.7M
1.6M SF Trades Hands in Eastern PA

11. COPT Signs PRA Int'l to 150,000 SF in Blue Bell
Tenant Takes Some Space Now, Preleases Under-Development Bldg at Arborcrest Park

12. Philadelphia's Edgewater Apts Sell for $113M
JP Morgan Chase & Co Take 290 Units on Race Street

13. Horsham Seeks Master Developer For Willow Grove Base Redevelopment
Former Base North of Philadelphia Expected to Generate Nearly $1B In Construction Investment

14. Sunoco Pays $23.5M for Redevelopment Project in Newtown Square
Company to Relocate from City Center

15. Brandywine, LCOR Team Up For Center City High-Rise

Wawa gets approval to expand DelCo HQ

Borough Council unanimously approved the proposed expansion of Wawa Corporation’s Red Roof headquarters at a sparsely-attended public hearing last week.

The hearing was the first official business conducted in the newly-renovated Chester Heights municipal office.

Three borough ordinances were amended during Monday’s meeting to allow construction of four buildings on the 26-acre corporate campus. The new structures will include an 11,260-square-foot, two-story storage building, a 1,500-square-foot salt shed, multi-level parking garage, and the Annex 5 office building.

The recent acquisition of the 4.3-acre Robinson property on the east side of the campus will lead to demolition of the existing residence and garage, then construction of the storage building and salt shed. The Robinson property will also be utilized for stormwater management and on-site septic disposal purposes.

The new parking garage will have two underground levels and three above ground. Of the total of 557 parking spaces, 525 will be dedicated to employees, while the rest will be handicapped- or van-accessible. The garage will have multiple access points, including a skywalk connecting to Annex 5.

Sitting atop the parking garage will be a new innovation and design center, which will include a test kitchen. The design center will feature a glass curtain wall to utilize natural sunlight.

The 98,000-square-foot Annex 5 office building will be located directly behind the Red Roof mansion and next to Annex 1 and 2. The height of both Annex 5 and the parking garage/design center will not exceed the height of the Red Roof mansion.

The additional office space will allow 212 Wawa employees, who are now occupying rented space at the old Franklin Mint complex, to join the rest of the Red Roof staff. The influx of employees will bump the number of Red Roof employees from the current 515 to over 700. By the end of build-out in 2024, Wawa expects the total Red Roof headcount to be closer to 900.

According to Wawa’s traffic Engineer Matthew Hammond, the additional workers on site should generate about 150 more vehicles at the Red Roof Drive entrance on Baltimore Pike at peak traffic hours.

To accommodate the additional cars, Wawa is petitioning PennDoT to extend the southbound Route 1 left-turn stacking lane from its current 85-foot length to 225 feet, while re-timing the traffic signal to give employees more time. PennDOT would not need to take any property or additional right-of-way along the pike to make the requested turn-lane extension, Hammond noted.

Prior to the borough’s formal hearing, the Wawa expansion plan was reviewed by the Chester Heights Planning Commission and the Delaware County Planning Department, with both advisory bodies recommending plan approval.

According to Wawa Attorney Joseph Damico, a total of 29 nearby residents were directly notified of the Wawa plan, and no objections were raised.

Of the three residents that attended the hearing, only Wawa neighbor Robert Benz asked questions, expressing concerns over stormwater runoff and potential traffic problems on Baltimore Pike.

The lack of opposition led Councilman Patrick Patterson to second the first of three motions for conditional approval.

“This information is very thorough, and we’ve all been privy to a lot of this on an ongoing basis here,” Patterson said prior to the vote. “Based on the fact that our planning commission and the county planning commission, and everyone else who has reviewed this professionally, has not found any fault, and in light of the fact that the neighbors and others and the questions presented here tonight were satisfied, I’m happy to provide a second.”

Chester Heights Council Vice President Frederick Wood abstained from all council approval votes, as he is a retired Wawa employee.

$1B in real estate transactions for Center City in 2014

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

he Center City investment market shrugged off any remnants from the recession and pulled out a year in which $1 billion worth of commercial real estate traded.

Twenty-four transactions were logged in the Central Business District compared with 16 totaling $700 million in 2013 and eight in 2012 totaling $96 million. The data excludes a $505 million transaction in which Comcast Corp. bought a majority stake in Comcast Center.

Property owners have decided to seize on the interest in commercial real estate and deals are getting done.
"We're seeing more velocity this year than I've ever seen."

Large institutional investors who historically shied away from Philadelphia are bidding on buildings that come up for sale and have managed to execute transactions.

Another factor in play is where the investment money is originating. Domestic institutions have been unable to compete with the onslaught of international capital flooding primary gateway cities, such as New York and Washington D.C. This has meant they have turned their investment attention to cities such as Philadelphia.

"Philadelphia shines in that second-tier, non-gateway market."
While office properties in the Central Business District are in high demand, all property types are getting investor attention.
Retail space has become a hot commodity and has recorded some of the biggest deals on a per square foot basis. For example, the 19,963-square-foot space at 1801 Walnut St. where Anthropologie occupies space, sold for $1,528 a square foot, and 1705 Walnut St., which totals 6,138 square feet, traded for $815 a square foot.

Some of the top office sales include: 1835 Market St. at $100 million; 1515 Market St. at $85 million; Curtis Center at $125 million; and 3535 Market St. at $140 million. Examples of some multifamily trades include the Sansom at $42 million, Edgewater at $113 million and the Avenue of the Arts at $33 million.
The suburban office market was not as robust as Center City.
Full story:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

GSH Providing Ops and Maintenance at Former Lansdale Ford Plant Refit

by Steve Lubetkin,

GSH Group, Inc., a multi-national facilities and energy management provider throughout the United States, Europe and India, will deliver operations and maintenance services at a 675,000 square foot former Ford Motor Company electronics plant, at 2750 Morris Road in Lansdale, PA owned by Advance Realty and joint-venture partner, The Davis Companies.

Advance and Davis are repurposing the plant into a multi-tenanted, high-technology assembly and warehouse facility.

GSH assisted Advance/Davis during their initial inspection of the facility, prior to the purchase in September 2014, and continues to provide operations and maintenance services within the facility. GSH will also provide support for the upcoming capital improvements within the facility.

“We are excited to take ownership of 2750 Morris Road with The Davis Companies, and with the expertise of GSH’s engineering services, we are looking forward to making this facility the premier location for high technology companies in the region,” says Rick Zack, managing director of property management, Advance Realty.

“We are glad to assist Advance Realty and The Davis Companies in this endeavor, and look forward to continued success as we work with Advance to develop and maintain the facility,” says GSH group regional operations director Steve Wallis.

GSH holds two other contracts for operations and maintenance services with Advance Realty including One Gateway Center in Newark, NJ and Riverview Park in Trenton, NJ.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Top real estate stories of 2014: From Comcast tower to East Market

by Natalie Kostelni staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Each year when I look back at the top real estate stories and try to narrow them down to 10, I struggle. This year, I'm nearly paralyzed with indecision.

It's a good thing.

So many significant things took place in Philadelphia's suburban and Center City real estate scenes over the past year that I came up with 10 big stories with no problem. I had to stop myself at 25 because it was just getting ridiculous. I smiled, though. Philadelphia is achieving so much these days when it comes to real estate. Outside investors are taking a shine to it, cranes jut out of the sky, billion-dollar deals are still rare but are happening, and there's a sense of excitement about the city's future.

The suburbs are holding their own, too, and changing along with demographic and other forces demanding dense, walkable, amenity-filled communities or at the least buildings and campuses.

Three of its prime markets — Conshohocken, Pa., Bala Cynwyd, Pa., and Radnor, Pa. — are seeing rents rise and new construction around the corner. King of Prussia, Pa., is having its own building boom and suburban landlords are readily redefining office space to meet the needs of tenants looking to attract and retain top employees and appease Millennials crowding into the workforce.

Where to begin?

The year started with a bang and, though I didn't know it at the time, it was just a harbinger of what lied ahead.

It was mid-January when Liberty Property Trust and Comcast Corp. announced they would joint venture on a $1.2 billion new skyscraper called the Comcast Center for Innovation and Technology that would be designed by world-renowned architect Lord Norman Foster.

The University of Pennsylvania unveiled plans for the Pennovation Center on 23 acres at the old Marshall Labs site on the Schuylkill River now called South Bank. That, in conjunction with Drexel's Innovation Neighborhood, has the potential to create an innovation cluster that could be an incredible economic engine for the region.

Keystone Property Group bought Mack-Cali Realty Corp.'s suburban Philadelphia office portfolio for $230 million. While that was a big deal and made Keystone a bigger suburban office player, it also underscored a bigger underlying transition in the commercial real estate world: Companies are shedding their pasts and evolving into something new and redefining themselves. Mack-Cali is now focused on multifamily development.  Brandwyine Realty Trust is now an owner of Class A office buildings in urban centers and ventured into transportation-oriented mixed-use development, which veers from its genesis as a suburban office landlord. Liberty Property Trust is putting the finishing touches on transforming itself into an industrial real estate investment trust by selling non-core suburban office buildings.

Lubert-Adler was an investor involved in a $9 billion transaction to buy Safeway Inc. Always looking for the real estate play, Lubert-Adler has done these sort of deals before where it buys a company for the underlying properties it may own. Safeway owns much of its real estate from which it operates its stores and in areas with high-barriers of entry.

Crosspoint at Valley Forge at 530 and 580 Swedesford Road in Wayne, Pa., isn't a huge building at 272,000 square feet but its quick lease up — going from fully vacant to fully leased in a year — spoke volumes about the direction of suburban office buildings. Tenants will gravitate to well-designed, totally renovated office buildings packed with amenities and cool spaces.
Full story:

BET Investments breaks ground on $12M mixed-use project

by Natalie Kostelni, staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal
BET Investments Inc. has broken ground on a $12 million mixed-use development in Dresher, Pa.
Called Dresher Commons, the project involves constructing 40,000 square feet of mostly retail space and 24 townhouses on nine acres at Susquehanna Road and Limekiln Pike. The townhouses will be rentals. A CVS and Chipotle are among the retail tenants that have been lined up. The historic Clime House that sits on the property will be converted into office space.
BET has been working on this project for more than 10 years, said Michael Markman, president of BET Investments. "It has gone through so many different plans," he said.
Full story:

MAUGER AND CO, INC. Buy Two Condo Suites in West Chester, PA

The sale of two office/flex condominium suites situated within the Park Valley Corporate Center located at 1157 Phoenixville Pike in West Chester.
The Sellers were Stephen F. Horstmann and Megan T. Horstmann, and the buyer was
Mauger and Company, Inc. Sale price to purchase the two suites was $1,060,000.

 There were two office/flex condominium suites included in the sale. Unit 106 contained 6,326 SF of
office and production/warehouse space with 2 tailgates, 1 with dock leveler, and Unit 107 with a total of 3,764 SF of office and warehouse space also with 2 tailgates, 1with a ramp. Additional features also include ceiling heights of 18’to 20’, gas heat and
ample parking on site”.

Park Valley Corporate Center is an exceptionally well-located facility at the center of the rapidly growing Route 202 Corridor within minutes of the Route 30 Bypass, Route 100 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Nightingale Properties Adds Fourth Center City Property

by Steve Lubetkin,
New York real estate investment firm Nightingale Properties has added its fourth Center City property with the acquisition from Arden Group of 1635 Market Street, a 19 story, 286,574 sq. ft. building that was originally developed as a regional headquarters for IBM.

Nightingale, founded in 2005 by Elie Schwartz and Simon Singer,  already owns 1835 Market Street, 1700 Market Street, and 1500 Spring Garden Street. The buy makes it one of the largest commercial property owners in the city.

Nightingale’s CEO, Elie Schwartz, has committed to $5 million in major renovations, to begin immediately, including renovating the facade, the main lobby, the concourse, the elevators, including cab, lift systems, and controls, the common corridors, and the bathrooms.

“This is an exciting opportunity for this building. The owner is committed to transforming 1635 Market into a modern, high tech facility. It could potentially house a single tenant on 86,000 sq. ft. across six floors. This building is an ideal location for a wide variety of tenants, especially with its easy access to transit. It is situated right in the heart of downtown and is part of the ongoing makeover of Philadelphia’s CBD.”

Montgomeryville Building Leases 8,000 SF Industrial Lease in

by Steve Lubetkin,

 Ambler-based Integrated Image, Inc. to leased an 8,000-square-foot space at 140 Commerce Drive, Montgomeryville, PA, for its sign manufacturing business.  The owner is K&B Montgomery Real Estate LP in the transaction.

“We’re pleased to have leased this space on behalf of our client and to welcome Integrated Image to Montgomeryville.  The building recently underwent major capital improvements making it a very desirable fit for this rapidly expanding company.”

Located in Montgomeryville Industrial Park in Montgomery County, PA, 140 Commerce Drive is a 20,000-square-foot single-story, modern industrial building featuring 15-foot clear ceiling heights and one loading dock.  The industrial park is located near Route 202, offering easy access to both the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Blue Route.

Industrials Rising in South Jersey as Dermody Expands LogistiCenter

by Steve Lubetikin,

Reno-based Dermody Properties has started construction on a new multi-tenant facility in LogistiCenter Logan, its 7.4-million-square-foot industrial park.

The multi-tenant facility at 1110 Commerce Blvd. will total 171,600 square feet. Construction is expected to be complete in summer 2015. The facility, with 32-feet of clear height, 105 car parking spaces and 39 trailer parking spaces will be suited for e-commerce, food and beverage, and consumer product warehousing and distribution.

“Last spring we updated the master plan for LogistiCenter Logan to offer a wide variety of building sizes and configurations to meet the broad spectrum of industrial demand,” says Gene Preston, partner, Dermody Properties East Region Office. “It is exciting to now be starting construction on the first building in that revised master plan.”

LogistiCenter Logan is halfway between New York City and Washington, DC., in the heart of the Northeast transportation corridor. The location has nearby access to Interstate 295, the New Jersey Turnpike, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and Interstate 476. The industrial park is within 15 miles of Delaware River ports in Camden, Philadelphia and Wilmington.

Blue Rock Construction is Dermody Properties’ construction partner, and Colliers International is marketing the property. Great Point Investors LLC is the strategic capital partner on the project.

“We are pleased to be starting construction on another facility in LogistiCenter Logan,” says Douglas A. Kiersey, Jr., president of Dermody Properties. “The demand for industrial properties across New Jersey has been on the rise, and we will continue to provide state-of-the-art facilities in this highly desirable market.”

LogistiCenter Logan is a 1,100-acre industrial park with 11 available lots ranging from 17,000 to 1,000,755 square feet. The center currently has a diverse group of tenants, including Performance Food Group, Mission Produce, Albert’s Organics, Kimberly Clark Corporation, Sears and hh gregg.

Commercial Real Estate Spot Assessments in the Philly Bubs

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Cash-strapped suburban school districts have begun an aggressive campaign of initiating reassessments on everything from hotels and retail centers, such as the King of Prussia Mall, to multifamily properties and the Valley Forge Casino — costing some property owners tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Their target is commercial rather than residential real estate since it has the biggest bang for the buck. Apartment buildings have become a particular favorite as their values have shown some of the biggest gains over the last decade.

In Pennsylvania, school districts have the authority to appeal assessments on properties if they believe they are too low. Hamstrung from raising funds through other means and continuously facing funding cuts, these so-called reverse appeals have become an increasingly common method for districts to get more money into their coffers.

The owners of these properties, especially those of apartment buildings, believe districts are illegally "spot assessing" their real estate and the process goes against Pennsylvania's uniformity clause. This law states that taxes should be "uniform" across all property types and that a property type, such as office, industrial or apartment, can't be singled out or taxed at different levels.

Some of the biggest owners of real estate in the region have banded together to stem the situation. Along with the Pennsylvania Apartment Association, they are pushing legislation that would prohibit districts from having such power.
It's an issue that won't go away any time soon and will likely only get more contentious.
"When you have a loss of revenues, which the school districts have experienced, you have services cut, employees that are let go and at the end of the day the students get hurt," said Robert J. Ianozzi Jr., an attorney who represents several districts in Montgomery County. "You need to replace the lost revenue and school districts avail themselves to their statutory right and apply that to those properties that are under-assessed. What the districts are doing is leveling the playing field. This is about all property owners paying their fair share."

A chilling example
An example of this situation, which sent chills throughout the real estate community, took place in Chester County. An organization called the Chester County School District Managers hired a real estate appraisal firm to review the market values and assessments of all apartment properties from 2004.

Appraisal firms are typically paid a certain percentage of the reassessed value of a property.
The hired firm identified several apartment complexes in the county that it determined where potentially under-assessed. Five of those were in the Downingtown School District. The firm recommended that an assessment appeal be made on one property, the Black Hawk Circle apartments, owned by Westover Cos. of King of Prussia.

Black Hawk consists of two parcels. One that is 6.5 acres with 108 apartments and, at the time, was assessed at $3.17 million. The other parcel totaled 3.5 acres with 93 apartments and was assessed at $2.94 million.

The Chester County Boards of Assessment Appeals, where all of these issues initially go to, increased the fair market value of each parcel by $1 million. That resulted in increased assessments of roughly $53,000 in annual tax revenue for the district.

Westover appealed the reassessment to the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, arguing that the district singled the property out and didn't follow the uniformity clause. Westover won.
The school district then appealed the case to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, which sided with the district in a ruling handed down in March 2013. Westover filed a petition to appeal that result before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case.

That final ruling, which sided with the school district, put commercial property owners on notice that they would be facing an uphill battle when it came to reassessments by school districts....

Full story:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Riverside REtail Sold for $3.1M

A local owner sold the retail building at 2904 Rte 130 in Riverside, NJ to Noble Properties for $3.07 million, or about $286 per square foot.

The 10,719-square-foot restaurant sits on 2.7 acres in Burlington County. The seller has agreed to leaseback the property for a period of 15 years from the new owner.

WRDC Pays $5.6M for Kmart Shopping Ctr in Mechanicsburg

RDC acquired the Kmart Shopping Center at 5600 Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg, PA from Cumberland Partners Kmart Burr Wolff for $5.6 million, or about $53 per square foot.

The 106,500-square-foot retail center was built in 1965 on 22 acres in the Harrisburg ARea West submarket of Cumberland County. It was renovated in 1992 and is anchored by Kmart, though the buyer has listed the entire center for lease, divisible to 10,000 square feet.

Lochwood Pro Ctr Bldg Sold for $2.5M

The Gambone Group sold the Lochwood Professional Center building at 2024 Cressman Rd. in Skippack, PA to MDI Management for $2.5 million, or about $104 per square foot.

The two-story, 24,000-square-foot office building delivered in 2007 in the West Montgomery County submarket of Philadelphia.

Market Street Retail Bldg Sold for $8M

A local investment firm acquired the retail building at 1020-1024 Market St. in Philadelphia, PA from another investor for almost $8 million, or about $127 per square foot.

The historic retail building delivered in 1900 and totals 63,182 square feet in the Market Street East submarket of Philadelphia County.

Tague Lumber Acquires Pipersville Industrial for $3.2M

A local owner sold the industrial building at 6100 Easton Rd. in Pipersville, PA to Tague Lumber for $3.15 million, or $90 per square foot.
The 35,000-square-foot industrial building was constructed in 1939 and renovated in 1984. It sits on a nine-acre site in the Bucks County Industrial submarket of Philadelphia.

TriGate Closes on $53M Acquisition of National Retail Portfolio

TriGate Capital LLC has acquired a national portfolio of retail properties spread across five states for an aggregate purchase price of $53 million, or an average $86 per square foot, from Project Development Services, Inc. (PDSI)

The seven-property, 619,161-square-foot portfolio was 84.7% leased at the time of sale to 76 tenants. Almost 20% of the portfolio is occupied by grocery stores, with other anchor tenants including Rite Aid, Tractor Supply, and Stein Mart.

Included in the sale is:
Lower Makefield, a 74,953-square-foot shopping center in Yardley, PA;
Ephrata Commons, a 54,810-square-foot shopping center in Ephrata, PA;
Harbison Center, an 187,975-square-foot retail development in Columbia, SC;
Deans Bridge, a 53,016-square-foot shopping center in Augusta, GA;
Regency Square, a 49,155-square-foot retail center in St. Charles, MO;
Independence Corners, a 72,956-square-foot center in Independence, MO;
Gateway Village, a 126,286-square-foot shopping center in Glendale, AZ.

This was an all-cash deal, though the buyer secured a loan from Bank of America in the amount of $39 million that it will apply towards planned improvements and lease-up efforts at the shopping centers, which were reportedly acquired as a value-add play for TriGate.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lennox Apts Sold for $8.8M

Wexford Property Management sold the 156-unit Lennox Apartments at 232-242 W. Walnut Ln. in Philadelphia, PA for $8.75 million, or about $56,000 per unit, to a private owner.

The 88,600-square-foot multifamily property is comprised of one-bedroom units across three buildigns. The property was originally built in 1930. Prior to the sale the property did undergo a $1.5 million renovation with upgraded kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing and electric.

J.G. Petrucci Opens Manayunk Luxury Apartments

by Steve Lubetkin,
.G. Petrucci Company Inc. has expanded its multi-family portfolio with the completion of The Station at Manayunk, a first-class 149-unit LEED certified luxury apartment community located at 1 Parker Avenue in Manayunk, Pennsylvania. The Station at Manayunk is J.G. Petrucci Company Inc.’s fifth luxury apartment complex and by the end of 2017 that number will rise to eight.

The Station at Manayunk features stylish and sophisticated one and two bedrooms apartments. The pet-friendly apartment community includes a complete 24-hour fitness center, outdoor and garage parking, full-size washer and dryer in each unit, personal balconies, and energy efficient stainless steel appliances with granite countertops.

“The Station at Manayunk embodies our live, work and play approach to luxury apartment living in a major metropolitan. We are very proud of how well the project is being received in the community,” says Greg Rogerson, principal of J.G. Petrucci Company Inc

Monday, December 15, 2014

Conshohocken Office Construction (Video)

Stockton College Acquires Showboat for $18M

by John Jordan
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey has purchased the former casino Showboat Atlantic City here for $18 million.

The deal, which closed on Dec. 12, begins the property’s “transformation into an island campus designed to spur economic and community development and help prepare Atlantic City’s workforce for the jobs of the future,” the college stated in its press announcement released on Friday.

“Stockton is committed to southern New Jersey’s continued social and economic development,” says college president Herman Saatkamp. “Our roots officially began at the former Mayflower Hotel in Atlantic City, and as our campus has expanded, so has our mission to provide higher education, research and community partnerships that enhance the region and state."

Stockton purchased the 1.73 million-square-foot property from Caesars Entertainment with funds from the college’s Investment Fund. No state-appropriated funds were used in the purchase and no new debt was issued.

"Stockton's acquisition of the Showboat exemplifies the efforts of the governor and legislative leadership to bolster Atlantic City's non-gaming offerings. The diversification of activities available in AC stands to benefit all of the city's stakeholders," says Gary Loveman, chairman and CEO of Caesars Entertainment.

The transition from a casino-hotel to a college campus and hotel will take far less time in terms of design, approvals and renovation than would new construction, benefiting Atlantic City and Stockton, president Saatkamp noted.

The property, which sits on more than 26 acres on the Boardwalk, will likely continue to operate as a hotel, with 479 rooms in Tower 1 available for guests, along with retail and restaurant amenities.

The former gaming floor will be used for academic, administrative and community purposes. This would include approximately 20 mixed-use classrooms, 10 lecture facilities, music, dance and choral instruction rooms, an experimental theatre and dance studio. The plans include community access to conference spaces, meeting rooms and workforce development areas.

The hotel operation may be operated by Dolce Hotels and Resorts, which operates Stockton Seaview and another 22 properties throughout North America and Europe, the college stated.

53,733 SF Boothwyn Office Property Sells

by Steve Lubetkin,

Neltson Edison LP has acquired 5 Chelsea Parkway, a 53,733 square foot property on 10.5 acres in Boothwyn, PA. The seller was PX Properties LC.

Neltson Edison purchased the building as an investment with long term leases in place.  Access Information Management occupies 47,233 square feet, and Priority Express Courier leases 6,500 square feet.

“There is a strong demand in the market for modern industrial buildings in the 25,000 to 60,000 square-foot size range. The 10.5 acre site also allows for future expansion of the building”.

The building has direct access to Route 322 and Chichester Avenue and is minutes from Route 452 and Interstate 95.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wharton Buys Lancaster Shopping Center for $35M

by Steve Lubetkin

Eatontown, NJ-based Wharton Realty Group has acquired Manor Shopping Center, 1204 Millersville Pike, Lancaster, PA, from The Real Estate Equity Company (“TREECO”), Englewood, NJ, for $34.99 million.

Manor Shopping Center is a 248,567 square-foot community shopping center, originally developed in the 1950s, co-anchored by a 61,450 square foot Regal Cinemas and a 52,000 square foot WeisMarkets. WeisMarkets has been at the property since its construction in 1959. The center was 93 percent occupied at the time of the sale with additional retail tenants, including Big Lots, Guitar Center, AdvanceAutoParts, CVSPharmacy, PAWine& Spirits, and RubyTuesday.

“Lancaster is a prosperous, growing market with low unemployment attracting out of state capital,” says Nathanson. “The maturity of the shopping center supporting long term viable occupancy, combined with Regal’s recent investment in a complete state of the art renovation to the interior of its theatre, proved very attractive in the marketplace.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

MM Partners to invest $60 million in Brewerytown

by Natalie Ksotelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal
Over the next two years, MM Partners plans to invest roughly $60 million in Brewerytown, a Philadelphia neighborhood where it has already invested more than $45 million in just over a decade.
The focus of MM Partners has been across five blocks in the heart of Brewerytown where it has already amassed more than 50 residential, retail and mixed-use properties and created a critical mass that is helping to reshape and revitalize the neighborhood.

Some of the projects MM Partners is working on include:

The Braverman Building, which is currently under construction at Girard Avenue and Taney St. and is expected to be completed next spring. The project involves 16 residential units and two retail spaces.

Girard27 is a new development at 27th Street and Girard Avenue and will include 15,000 square feet of retail, 68 apartments, 60 parking spaces, and 10 townhouses. MM Partners is joint venturing with ADCO American Development on the project and expects to break ground in the spring.

The Hat Shop at 2841-43 W. Girard Ave., an existing building, will have four apartments and five retail spaces.

A.F. Bernot Dye Works, a 75,000-square-foot building at 1626-44 Fairmount Ave. will be converted into 18 loft apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail. It is under construction and scheduled to be completed next spring.

Full story:

ProLogis CEO on the Industrial Real Estate Market (Video)

Crowdfunding real estate (Video)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Glassboro Industrial Sold for $2.7M

A private investor acquired the industrial property at 600 Ellis St. in Glassboro, NJ from Archer Daniels Midland Company for $2.7 million, or about $25 per square foot. 

The 107,364-square-foot building delivered on 39.3 acres in the Gloucester County Industrial submarket.

ClientLink Leases 65,000 SF at Montgomeryville Industrial Ctr

ClientLink, a direct marketing and fulfillment company, leased 65,219 square feet at 220 Commerce Dr. Montgomeryville, PA.

The tenant will occupy the entire warehouse building previously occupied by Affiliate Computer Services, Inc. Located in the East Montgomery County Industrial submarket, it is part of the Montgomeryville Industrial Center located approximately 20 miles north of Philadelphia.

Salvation Army Pays $2.7M for Turnersville Retail Bldg

The Salvation Army acquired the retail building at 3840 Route 42 in Turnersville, NJ from Stelaur LLC for $2.7 million, or about $115 per square foot. 

The single-story, 23,458-square-foot, freestanding building delivered in 1969 on 3.3 acres in the Gloucester County submarket.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

U.S. jobs channeling real estate growth (Video)

Liscio’s Bakery Acquires 107K SF Manufacturing Facility from ADM

by Steve Lubetkin
Liscio’s Bakery, encouraged by $13.5 million in Grow New Jersey tax incentives, is nearly tripling its manufacturing facilities in Glassboro with the acquisition of a 107,364-square-foot industrial building formerly owned by Archer Daniels Midland at 600 Ellis Street in Glassboro, NJ.

“We are pleased to welcome Liscio’s Bakery to this outstanding facility in Glassboro. Moreover, we are thrilled that through our commitment to keeping business in New Jersey, and the outstanding incentives programs offered by our administration, that Liscio’s will continue to call New Jersey home and bring new jobs to our state.”

The transaction nearly triples the size of Liscio’s current manufacturing facility on Delsea Drive in Glassboro.  While considering a move to Philadelphia, the company received $13.5 million in “Grow New Jersey” tax incentives from the New Jersey Economic Development Agency.

Liscio’s Bakery also operates three retail stores – one in Glassboro and two in Washington Township, NJ. The new facility will primarily serve as its bread and roll manufacturing facility.  The company currently employs 176 workers and plans to add another 71 jobs at this location.

600 Ellis Street is a 107,364-square-foot single-story industrial building located in Glassboro, just off Route 55.  ADM previously used the building for its cocoa manufacturing business, until closing its operations in 2009. The building, situated on a 40-acre lot, features 28’ clear ceilings, five tailgates, two drive-in doors, ample parking and a fenced yard

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mack Cali buys 3 Acres in Conshohocken

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

O'Neill Properties Group has sold a development parcel in Conshohocken, Pa., to Mack-Cali Realty Corp.
The 3.1-acre parcel at 51 Washington St. is approved for 310 apartments. The site is located on the western side of the Fayette Street bridge or to the left while heading into Conshohocken. The property fronts the Schuylkill River.
Mack-Cali's affiliate, Roseland, intends to begin construction of a multifamily complex on the site during the first quarter of next year, said Ilene Jablonski, a company spokeswoman. Jablonski declined to disclose the purchase price until the company does so through Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The Edison, N.J., company bought the site because it fits within its strategy to take positions in markets that have high barriers of entry and are served by mass transit.

Full story:

Stradley Ronon Renews at One Commerce Square

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Stradley Ronon, a Philadelphia law firm, has decided to remain in One Commerce Square where it has been since 1988.
The firm leased 92,000 square feet of space that covers four floors in the building at 2005 Market St. in Center City. It will undertake a major renovation of the space and has retained Gensler to lead that effort.

The firm shaved some square feet off of its current space. It is now in about 100,000 square feet. The firm started its search early even though its lease at One Commerce didn't expire until 2017.
Joe McManus and Morgan Murray of CBRE Inc. were the brokers who represented the law firm. Brandywine Realty Trust is the landlord.

"We conducted a thorough assessment of the Center City real estate market and decided to remain in Commerce Square because of its convenient location for employees and clients, top-notch amenities and Brandywine's substantial capital investment in the Commerce Square project," said Stradley Ronon Chairman William R. Sasso in a statement. "Our redesign project takes into account the significant role of technology and collaboration in today's workplace, and will provide us with a modern, efficient space for our lawyers, staff and clients."
Full story:

Subaru Confirms Location for New HQ in Camden, NJ

Subaru of America Inc. confirmed that it has identified an all-new development in Camden, NJ, as its preferred location for a new corporate headquarters. The site, which is four miles from the company's current location at 2235 Marlton Pike W in Cherry Hill, NJ, is adjacent to the Campbell Gateway District and is currently owned by Campbell Soup Co.

Subaru of America expects to house more than 500 employees and contractors in the new 250,000-square-foot facility, will be double the size of its current building.

Subaru of America's application is now subject to New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) approval. Final decision is expected by April 2015 and Subaru would expect to complete the project by early 2017.

PREIT Completes Sale of Whitehall Mall in Allentown, PA

by Steve Lubetkin
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust has sold several properties including its 50% interest in Whitehall Mall in Allentown, PA, with an aggregate transaction value of $25 million.

PREIT said the asset sales are part of its strategic disposition program. PREIT started selling assets in 2012 and has sold 15 assets to date, generating total proceeds of approximately $420 million, the firm says in a statement.

"We remain on track in executing our ongoing disposition program and today's announcement demonstrates the progress we are making," says Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT. "Our selective disposition program has enabled us to generate proceeds to upgrade our core, high-quality properties, while maintaining solid operational performance and a strong balance sheet. Today, PREIT boasts a premier portfolio, supported by a healthy and flexible balance sheet, strategically positioning the Company for long-term success and continued value creation."

Whitehall Mall is located in the Lehigh Valley, previously owned in a joint venture with Washington Prime Group subsequent to its spin-off from Simon Property Group.  The other properties sold were outparcels adjacent to PREIT’s Magnolia and Francis Scott Key Malls.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hatzel & Buehler Extends Lease for 8,430 SF at Ten Penn Center

Hatzel & Buehler, the nation’s oldest electrical construction company, has renewed and expanded its lease for approximately 8,430 square feet at Ten Penn Center, 1801 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Hatzel & Buehler will continue to occupy the second floor of the 27-story building at the northwest corner of 18th and Market Streets. Terms were not disclosed.

The oldest electrical contracting company in America established by two electricians who worked with Thomas Edison, Hatzel & Buehler employs 700 IBEW electricians and is signatory to 21 local unions in Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Accesso Acquires 1515 Market St. For $85 Million

by Steve Lubetkin
Accesso Partners LLC has acquired 1515 Market St., a 20-story, half-million square-foot office tower in downtown Philadelphia that houses Temple University’s Center City campus, for $85 million.

Renovated in 2007, the class A property is being sold by a joint venture between Winthrop Realty Trust of Boston and Stockton Real Estate Advisors of Philadelphia. The property is 87% leased.

“We’re delighted to be entering the Philadelphia market with the acquisition of one of the city’s premier office buildings,” says Ariel Bentata, co-founder and managing partner, investments for Hallendale Beach, FL-based Accesso Partners, formerly known as Beacon Investment Properties.

“Education, healthcare and professional services are strong industries in Philadelphia and 1515 Market is represented in each sector,” says Bentata. “Temple University, the 128,000 square-foot anchor tenant, recently extended the lease on its Center City campus through 2022.”

Other tenants include Heffler, Radetich & Saitta, CPAs, the law firms of Sweeney & Sheehan, Simon & Simon and Rocco Law, LLC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The building includes 15,189 square feet of ground floor retail space anchored by Citizens Bank and First Trust Bank.

“The city’s newly completed $70 million investment that re-invigorated Dilworth Park across the street is a game-changer for downtown Philadelphia and the biggest beneficiary of any building would be 1515 Market,” he says. “Plus, the SEPTA subway station is directly below the building and can be accessed through the lobby.”

Philadelphia Industrial Deliveries, Construction and Inventory

During the third quarter 2014, four industrial buildings totaling 906,337 square feet were completed in the Philadelphia market area. This compares to 10 buildings totaling 3,377,992 square feet that were completed in the second quarter 2014.

There were 12,035,258 square feet of Industrial space under construction at the end of the third quarter 2014.

Some of the notable 2014 deliveries include: West Hills Business Center - Building A, a 980,000-square-foot facility that delivered in second quarter 2014 and is now 100% occupied, and Berks Park 78 - Dollar General, a 906,919-square-foot building that delivered in second quarter 2014 and is now 100% occupied.

The largest projects underway at the end of third quarter 2014 were Liberty at Shippensburg - Bldg B, a 1,700,000-square-foot building with 100% of its space pre-leased, and Majestic Bethlehem Center - Site 2, a 1,644,450-square-foot facility that is 100% pre-leased.

Total Industrial inventory in the Philadelphia market area amounted to 1,027,459,201 square feet in 20,288 buildings as of the end of the third quarter 2014. The Flex sector consisted of 85,700,596 square feet in 3,302 projects. Within the Industrial market there were 2,646 owner-occupied buildings accounting for 241,022,503 square feet of Industrial space.

This trend is compared to U.S. National Industrial deliveries and construction, which saw 206 buildings totaling 30.84 million square feet complete construction, with an additional 148.9 million square feet of industrial space still under construction at the end of the third quarter. 6100 Garfield Ave is a 620,000-square-foot facility that delivered this quarter in the Los Angeles market, while the 1.7 million-square-foot RidgePort Logistics Center in the Chicago market is still under way. Total industrial inventory in the U.S. market totaled almost 21.08 billion square feet in more than 621,000 industrial buildings at the end of Q3 2014, including almost 71,200 owner-occupied properties.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Exton Corporate Center Announces Three New Tenants

by Steve Lubetkin
Willner Properties has signed three new tenant leases at the Exton Corporate Center located at 102 Pickering Way in Exton, PA with Lee Johnson & Associates, Supreme Lending and Trinity Consultants. The class-A, 80,000 square foot, five-story building recently completed the first phase of interior and exterior renovation.

Lee Johnson & Associates relocated from a neighboring property into 1,126 square feet. Supreme Lending, a national mortgage banker and brokerage based in Dallas, TX. Established its Philadelphia-area presence by leasing 1,950 square feet. Finally, the Exton, PA office of Trinity Consultants is the first entry into the Philadelphia market for the national environmental and business-consulting group, with a 2,199 square-foot lease.

“We are very excited to count these three high quality companies among our diverse tenants and look forward to marketing the remaining available space at Exton Corporate Center to a wide range of professional service industries,” says Craig R. Bradley, vice president of Willner Properties. “Exton Corporate Center offers class “A” corporate office space for immediate occupancy in the market’s premier location and at below market rates,” says Mr. Bradley.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

PNC Bank Branch in West Chester Sold for $4.1M

A private investor acquired the newly-constructed retail bank branch at 1599 W. Chester Pike in West Cheter, PA from Pintzuk Brown Realty and Pineville Station West Chester, Inc. for $4.06 million, or about $1,000 per square foot.

The single-story, 4,020-square-foot retail property was built in 2014 on 1.6 acres in the West Chester submarket of Chester County. The asset is fully occupied by PNC Bank, holding a 20-year, triple-net ground lease on the property. PNC invested heavily in this location, a relo for an existing branch with $95 million in deposits. It is LEED certified and features a triple drive-thru in affluent West Goshen Township.

Jemstone Group Pays $3.2M for Cherry Hill Retail

The Jemstone Group LLC purchased the retail building at 220-226 Haddonfield Rd. in Cherry Hill, NJ from ARC Properties for $3.1 million, or approximately $131 per square foot.

The two-story, 24,000-square-foot storefront building is located on 1.6 acres in the North Camden County submarket of Philadelphia.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Real Estate Is an Important Part of Retail: Sadove (Video)

Trio Investments Sells Lancaster Office

Archive Warehouse LLC acquired its office building at 2150 Noll Dr. in Lancaster, PA from Trio Investments LLC for $3 million, or aobut $236 per square foot.

The 12,000-square-foot, single-story office building was never on the market, but the seller received an offer from its tenant that was, in their opinion, "too good to pass by."

Langhorne Portfolio Trades for $7.3M

A family partnership acquired the office and retail property at 1939 E. Lincoln Hwy and 210 S. Woodbourne Rd. in Langhorne, PA from McCafferty Ford of Langhorne for $7.25 million. 

The deal totals 37,831 square feet and includes a retail property constructed in 1940 and a 3,770-square-foot office building constructed in 1850 in the Lower Bucks County submarket of Philadelphia.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Allentown Office Sold for $2.8M

Basin Property Development LP acquired the office buildign at 265 Lehigh St. in Allentown, PA from Lexington Realty Trust for $2.8 million, or about $39 per square foot.
Lehigh Street 265 is a 71,055-square-foot office building constructed in 1975 on 11 acres in the Lehigh / Northampton submarket of Philadelphia.