Saturday, February 28, 2015

Hazelton Industrial Building Sale to Development Agency

by Steve Lubetkin
A 25,000-square-foot industrial building located at 63A Green Mountain Road in Hazleton, PA, was sold to Greater Hazleton Community Area New Development Organization, Inc.  The seller was D & F Properties, LLC.

The 25,000-square-foot building is located within Humboldt Industrial Park – a 3,000-acre industrial complex just off Interstate 81 (Exit #143) along State Route 924.  Home to 50 industries and 7,000 employees, it is the largest industrial park in the greater Hazleton area. Current tenants include:, The Hershey Company, Aryzta, Graham Packaging, Tootsie Roll Industries, Archer Daniels Midland, AutoZone and American Eagle, among others.

The buyer, known by its acronym, “CAN DO,” is a private, non-profit industrial/economic development corporation serving greater Hazleton in Northeastern PA. The agency’s goal is to foster economic activity in the greater Hazleton Area through acquiring and developing the land and infrastructure needed to attract new industries and new jobs to greater Hazleton.

“We are pleased to have sold a building with such a desirable address to an organization invested in the future growth of Hazleton and the surrounding area,” says Cole.

The 25,000-square-foot warehouse/manufacturing building features 17’ ceiling heights, seven tailgates, one drive-in loading door and a small office area. It is situated on a 25.87-acre lot.

Philadelphia Industrial Deliveries, Construction and Inventory

During the fourth quarter 2014, three Industrial buildings totaling 327,200 square feet were completed in the Philadelphia market area. This compares to four buildings totaling 906,337 square feet that were completed in the third quarter 2014.

There were 16,734,334 square feet of Industrial space under construction at the end of the fourth 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 fourth quarter 2014 were Liberty at Shippensburg - Building 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 1,030,722,790 square feet in 20,377 buildings as of the end of the fourth quarter 2014. The Flex sector consisted of 85,676,583 square feet in 3,312 projects. Within the Industrial market there were 2,650 owner-occupied buildings accounting for 241,093,478 square feet of Industrial space.

This trend is compared to U.S. National Industrial deliveries and construction, which saw 240 buildings totaling 41.79 million square feet complete construction, with an additional 164.7 million square feet of industrial space still under construction at the end of the fourth quarter. South Washington Park Bldg 2, a 227,000-square-foot industrial facility in the Northern New Jersey market, delivered last year, as did the 168,000-square-foot 2150 Opdyke Rd. in Detroit, while 3507 Pasadena Blvd., a 600,000-square-foot facility in the Houston market, was still under way. Total industrial inventory in the U.S. market totaled almost 21.15 billion square feet in more than 623,000 buildings at the end of Q4 2014, including 90,000 flex projects.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

GMA Garnet USA Expand's in Bucks County

by Steve Lubetkin
GMA Garnet USA, a miner and processor of industrial garnets, has renewed and expanded its lease in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex in Fairless Hills, about 22 miles outside Philadelphia.

GMA Garnet USA leased 166,656 square feet in the T3 building at Keystone Industrial Port Complex. GMA Garnet had previously occupied 77,376 square feet at the industrial complex, which is served by a deep water port on the Delaware River, and which has access to Routes 1, 95, 295, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Turnpikes.

GMA Garnet owns and operates the world’s largest industrial garnet mining and processing operation – based in Western Australia. GMA Garnet clients use the mineral for blast cleaning, water-jet cutting of metals and other material, plus other industrial purposes.

GMA ships approximately 10,000 ton parcels of garnet in loose bulk to the Keystone Industrial Port Complex facility for storage. From there the garnet is run through a quality control processing and packaging plant. GMA Garnet also intends to construct a large scale garnet recycling plant at the facility.

According to Barra, GMA Garnet is expanding its business operations throughout the US by opening recycling facilities to clean and repurpose the garnet it supplies to customers. The company brings shiploads of the pink garnet sand – a very hard mineral, and stores the garnet in piles in industrial buildings like the one at the KIPC facility. From there it packages the mineral in 1.75-ton super-sacks or much smaller, 55-pound bags, before shipping.

Barra has represented the company in leasing industrial space in Reserve, LA (near New Orleans) and Stockton, CA, other port-served markets that enable the company to bring its raw product to the U.S., then process and distribute it to customers throughout North America.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Philadelphia Land Sold for $8.4M

Avis Rent-A-Car System LLC sold three-quarters of an acre at 2000 Arch St. in Philadelphia, PA for $8.4 million, or about $11,000 per acre.

The site is currently improved with a 3,000-square-foot retail building. The buyer signed a leaseback deal with the seller for one year, after which the buyer plans to demolish the building.

Orlo Fund Pays $3.3M for Carlisle MOB

Orlo Fund, a Maryland-based real estate investment company, acquired the Carlisle Medical Building I at 2 Jennifer Dr. in Carlisle, PA from Schoolhouse Partners for $3.3 million, or about $185 per square foot.

The 17,800-square-foot medical office building delivered in 2006 on 1.7 acres in the Harrisburg Area West submarket of Cumberland County.

Furnace St Industrial Sold for $2.6M

MB Investments purchased the industrial facility at 200 N. Furnace St. in Birdsboro, PA from Birdsboro Industries, Inc. for $2.63 million, or about $138 per square foot.

The 19,019-square-foot building is located in the Birdsboro Industrial Park. It was occupied at the time of sale, leased to multiple tenants.

Rates important for REITs (Video)

Sigma Studios building sold, will be converted to apartments

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

A building that housed Sigma Sound Studios — where such hits as Disco Inferno, Macho Man and When Will I See You Again were recorded — has sold and will be converted into apartments.
The 13,858-square-foot building at 210-214 N. 12th St. in Philadelphia was bought for $1.55 million by an investment partnership going under the name 210 North 12th Street Investments LLC and 212 North 12th Street Investments LLC.

The new owner's plans are still being worked out and the number of apartments hasn't been finalized, Barmash said.

The selling entities involved Sine Partners, Conestoga Bank and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. The property had several offers and closed within 90 days. "It's a busy neighborhood," he said.

The building was constructed in 1930 but its real history started in 1968 when Joe Tarsia opened Sigma Sounds Studios in the space. The studios became famous for consistently churning out a string of hits and albums during the 1970s and 1980s that defined a generation and continues to influence musicians. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff used the studios for their Philadelphia International Records. Sigma Sound Studios was where the "The Sound of Philadelphia" was born.
Fully story:

Kairos Renovating Fort Washington Executive Center

by Steve Lubetkin

Trying to capitalize on a current boom in demand for upgraded space in the western and northwestern Philadelphia suburban market, Kairos Real Estate Partners is renovating its latest acquisition, the Fort Washington Executive Center.

The Center is the home of anchor tenants NutriSystem, AstraZenaca Pharmaceuticals, McNeil and AmeriHealth Administrators. Kairos and Artemis Real Estate Partners acquired the property from CW Capital Asset Management late last year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“There has been a flight to quality that tenants are taking advantage of lower rents to move to better buildings than they historically would have,” Stephen J. Gleason, Kairos Real Estate Partners president, tells exclusively. “Tenants are trading up from B-minus properties to A-minus properties. There is a lot of demand, especially for large blocks of space. In the markets where we operate, from Fort Washington to King of Prussia, there is a dearth of 30,000-foot blocks of space and above. We’re starting to see demand coming in from other submarkets and we’re finally seeing tenants fighting over the few blocks of space that are remaining.”

The nearly 400,000 square-foot class A office buildings, situated on a 40.15-acre site, are located at 600, 601 and 602 Office Center Drive in Fort Washington. The total combined occupancy rate is currently 79% as Kairos inked a long-term lease agreement with Allstate for 25,000 square feet in December. The amenity-rich property includes a full-service café, fitness center, and landscaped central courtyard.

Kairos is comfortable that the office market of the future has a place for suburban office properties.

“We’ve read all the press about the death of the suburbs, and we don’t believe it,” Gleason says. “We definitely feel that well-located properties will continue to be attractive to strong, creditworthy tenants if they have the right amenities that allow them to attract and retain employees.”

Kairos plans to significantly upgrade the Fort Washington properties, much like the firm's recently completed repositioning of Triad at 2200 Renaissance Blvd. in King of Prussia. The Triad venture between Kairos and Artemis included the creation and renovation of the full-service cafe, fitness center, conference center and the dramatic 55' high center atrium.

Fort Washington Executive Center provides many benefits to large corporate users, including: abundant electrical power fed from two separate PECO substations; nine-foot finished ceiling heights; efficient floor plates; and, on-site surface and structured parking at an above-standard ratio of 5.3 spaces per 1,000 square feet of rentable area.

Located just 16 miles northwest of Philadelphia’s CBD, Office Center Drive is conveniently accessible to the area’s two major roadways, as it sits just one mile from the interchange of PA Route 309 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In addition, the property enjoys direct access to the Virginia Drive slip ramp of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, located just 0.2 miles away via Office Center Drive.

198-Unit Multifamily Sells in West Chester, PA

by Steve Lubetkin
TGM Associates sold a 198-unit apartment and town home community in West Chester, PA.
Metropolitan Management Corporation was the buyer.

Halstead is situated on more than 11 acres at 812 Goshen Road near Routes 202 and 322 and the West Chester Pike in the heart of West Chester.  The garden- and townhome-style property consists of six, two-story courtyard buildings containing 48 one-bedroom flats, 109 two-bedroom townhomes and 41 three-bedroom townhomes with flat-style units averaging 770 square feet each and townhome units averaging 1,076 square feet.  Community amenities include a newly-renovated clubhouse, fitness center and bark park.

“Halstead represents the opportunity to continue a proven renovation strategy in one of Philadelphia’s most highly-acclaimed suburban submarkets.  Investors continue to target West Chester due to strong rental growth, low vacancy, high household income, and the increasing number of jobs throughout the area."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NorthMarq Arranges $61.5M Refi for Eastern PA Multifamily Portfolio

NorthMarq Capital has arranged three loans for a combined $61.48 million to refinance three multifamily properties located in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Robert W. Ranieri, senior vice president / managing director with NorthMarq's Greater Westchester NY/CT regional office represented the borrower in securing the 80% cash-out financing on a seven-year loan with 30-year amortization and competitive rates provided through the firm's seller-servicer relationship with Freddie Mac.

Congress Apartments is a 548-unit property at 1207 E. Congress St. in Allentown, PA that was refinanced at $36.3 million. Quakertown West is a 264-unit property at 491 S. 9th St. in Quakertown, PA that was refinanced at $18.2 million. Antietam Arms is a 148-unit property at 850 Carsonia Ave. in Reading, PA refinanced at $6.98 million.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sold! - Benson Companies Buys 9.8 Acres in Malvern, PA

Precision Realty Group, LLC (PRG) is pleased to announce that it has represented The Benson Companies in the acquisition of approximately 9.5 acres of land located at the intersection Rt. 352 & Rt. 30 in Malvern Pa., East Whiteland Township.  The project consists of two separate parcels (.65 Ac and 8.8 Ac).  Additional Brokers involved in the combined sale of the two parcels are Joe O'Donnell of OMEGA Commercial Real Estate, Inc. as well as Robert Hill and Dave Vitali of Retail Sites, LLC

The Benson Companies has obtained final land development approvals from East Whiteland Township for sixty (60) town homes and will also be renovating the historic house on the Property which will serve as their new corporate headquarters location.  Steve Jeffries and Shaun Lyons of PRG represented The Benson Companies in the transaction.

Southern Land Company Purchases Property at 1900 Walnut Street

by Steve Lubetkin
Southern Land Company, a Nashville, TN, real estate company, has acquired the last undeveloped parcel of land on Rittenhouse Square. The L-shaped property is comprised of 1907-1914 Walnut Street and 1906-1920 Sansom Street.

“This is a premier property in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Philadelphia,” says Tim Downey, CEO of Southern Land Company. “This is a great example of the type of project in which our company excels. In this case the property is in the heart of a desirable area where we plan to invest a great amount of energy and resources, working closely with the city and neighborhood groups.”

The company says it will meet with various stakeholders and neighborhood associations to plan the project, which it says will likely be a mix of residential and retail.

This is Southern’s second project in Philadelphia. The company is currently developing 3601 Market Street, a 28-story apartment building with 363 units in University City. That project will begin preleasing in the spring and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015.

“Philadelphia is a city where we see a great deal of long-term viability for projects,” says Downey. “It is a high barrier-to-entry market rich with American history, world-renowned cultural institutions, and top rated restaurants, all within walking distance of Center City. This project, like all of our projects, is one where we won’t just invest in properties, but also the people, lifestyles and communities they inspire. We are thrilled to be a part of Philadelphia.”

Philadelphia Retail Deliveries, Construction and Inventory

During the fourth quarter 2014, six buildings totaling 33,257 square feet were completed in the Philadelphia retail market. Over the past four quarters, a total of 487,458 square feet of retail space has been built.

There were 762,131 square feet of retail space under construction at the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

Some of the notable 2014 deliveries include: 3400 Hartzdale Dr, a 100,000-square-foot facility that delivered in second quarter 2014 and is now 100% occupied, and 4300 Broadway, a 68,000-square-foot building that delivered in third quarter 2014 and is now 100% occupied.

Total retail inventory in the Philadelphia market area amounted to 503,062,643 square feet in 41,601 buildings and 2,561 centers as of the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

This trend is compared to U.S. National Retail deliveries and construction, which saw 561 buildings totaling 14.66 million square feet complete construction, with an additional 49.4 million square feet of retail space still under construction at the end of the fourth quarter. 10973 Summerlin Centre Dr., a 1.6 million-square-foot retail facility in the Las Vegas market, delivered this quarter, as did the 880,000-square-foot Mall at University Town Center in Tampa / St. Petersburg. Total retail inventory in the U.S. market totaled almost 12.58 billion square feet in almost 1.1 million retail buildings at the end of Q4 2014, including 97,000 shopping centers.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bellmawr Laundry Relocates from Philly back to NJ

by Steve Lubetkin,
Bellmawr Laundry is relocating from Philadelphia to the New Jersey town whose name it bears. The laundry’s purchased  a 74,000-square-foot industrial building at 281 Benigno Boulevard in Bellmawr, NJ. The seller was Korman Commercial Properties, Inc. Bellmawr Laundry will use the facility as a commercial laundry plant.

 “With its close proximity to a myriad of highways, this facility is a perfect location for both its commercial laundry business and its employees.”

Located within Korman’s Interstate Business Park, 281 Benigno Boulevard is conveniently located within minutes of center city Philadelphia, the North-South Freeway (Route 42), Exit 3 of the New Jersey Turnpike, Interstate 295, and the Black Horse Pike (Route 168).  The building features 24' ceilings, ESFR sprinkler system, 2500 amp electric service, 12 tailgate doors and has access to rail service.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bala Cynwyd Retail Bldg Sold for $3.7M

Ruffin Tech Center LTD acquired the retail building at 119 W. City Ave. in Bala Cynwyd, PA from Rock Creek Property for $3.67 million, or about $315 per square foot. 

The 11,647-square-foot retail property delivered in 1966 in Montgomery County, and was formerly home to a Wine & Spirits Superstore.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How REITs Work (Video)

Urban Outfitters to Relocate South Carolina Warehouse to 1M Sq Lancaster, PA Location

Urban Outfitters, Inc. (Nasdaq:URBN), a leading lifestyle specialty retail company operating under the Anthropologie, Bhldn, Free People, Terrain and Urban Outfitters brands, today announced plans to relocate its Trenton, South Carolina Ecommerce Fulfillment Center to Gap, Pennsylvania.

Construction of the new one million square foot fulfillment center in Gap, PA, is on schedule to be complete by July 2015. The new, highly automated facility will significantly increase the Company's fulfillment capacity, supporting strong direct-to-consumer growth for many years to come. The location of the facility, adjacent to the existing URBN Retail Distribution Center, will create increased efficiencies across the URBN supply chain and noticeably improve order delivery time, enabling next day delivery into the important Northeast region.

"Our Trenton workforce has provided key support for our exceptional Direct and Wholesale growth over the past nine years. We thank them and hope many will decide to stay with the Company as we move to Gap, PA," said Richard A. Hayne, Chief Executive Officer.  "As online sales continue to surge, our new facility places us in closer proximity to a large percentage of our Direct customers and allows us to service them faster and more efficiently," finished Mr. Hayne.

Urban Outfitters, Inc. is an innovative specialty retail company which offers a variety of lifestyle merchandise to highly defined customer niches through 238 Urban Outfitters stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe, catalogs and websites; 204 Anthropologie Group stores in the United States, Canada and Europe, catalogs and websites; 102 Free People stores in the United States and Canada, catalogs and websites; Free People wholesale, which sells its product to approximately 1,600 specialty stores and select department stores worldwide; and 2 Terrain garden centers and a website, as of January 31, 2015.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Third Comcast skyscraper possibly in the works as Center City block bought piece-by-piece

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Liberty Property Trust has been quietly assembling a series of properties at 19th and Arch streets in Center City for what many speculate could be the site of the third skyscraper for Comcast Corp.
Liberty is pursuing what could eventually amount to a block bound by 19th, Arch, Cherry and 20th streets. The location is cater-corner to where Liberty (NYSE: LPT) is developing the Comcast Innovation & Technology Center and is a stone's throw from the Comcast Center. Another tower in that area would establish an expanded urban campus for the cable giant and continue to push the city's Central Business District deeper into Logan Square.

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has already taken the entire 1.3-million-square-foot innovation center that's currently under construction and executives have said in the past that they anticipate the company continuing to grow and add employees. Comcast said it's not currently planning for a third building. "We're focused on building the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center," said John Demming, Comcast spokesman.

Liberty, which declined to comment, made its most recent purchase Dec. 1 when it acquired 120-22 N. 19th St., a small two-story building occupied by the Support Center for Child Advocates. The site is on the corner of 19th and Cherry and the building is 8,700 square feet.

"It was time," said Frank Cervone, executive director of the child advocacy center of the sale.
The organization bought the building in 2001 for $742,000 and totally gutted and renovated it. Since then it has experienced a significant increase in its caseload, Cervone said. When it moved in, it had 21 employees and now has 34 and what once were conference rooms have been converted into offices. Things have gotten tight.

"We literally have desks in the center of the hallway," he said.
With its building sold, the organization is in the process of looking for about 15,000 square feet of new space, and is expected to move out of the building it sold to Liberty by next summer.
Liberty has also made overtures to buy the building that houses the Russell Byers Charter School at 1911-13 Arch St. The building totals 55,000 square feet.

"We've had very preliminary talks," said Laurada Byers, co-founder of the school. Byers said she didn't have any timeframe or additional information on a potential sale.
Liberty has been buying other sites on the block and, according to city property records, closed on the sales of two more properties last July. They were: 102-18 N. 19th St., which is a parking lot totaling 22,660 square feet; and 100 N. 19th St., which is also a parking area totaling 1,751 square feet.
In December of 2013, Liberty paid $5.75 million for another parcel on the block at 1919-23 Arch St. That site totals 21,600 square feet.

Full story:

Philadelphia Office Deliveries, Construction and Inventory

During the fourth quarter 2014, two Office buildings totaling 343,850 square feet were completed in the Philadelphia market area. This compares to two buildings totaling 218,836 square feet that were completed in the third quarter 2014.

There were 2,966,000 square feet of office space under construction at the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

Some of the notable 2014 deliveries include: 3737 Market St, a 340,000-square-foot facility that delivered in fourth quarter 2014 and is now 83% occupied, and Two City Center, a 296,025-square-foot building that delivered in second quarter 2014 and is now 96% occupied.

The largest projects underway at the end of fourth quarter 2014 were Comcast Innovation & Technology Center, a 1,336,682-square-foot building with 100% of its space pre-leased, and FMC Tower / Walnut Street Tower, an 830,000-square-foot facility that is 65% pre-leased.

Total office inventory in the Philadelphia market area amounted to 405,122,371 square feet in 21,069 buildings as of the end of the fourth quarter 2014. The Class-A office sector consisted of 129,738,709 square feet in 967 projects. Within the Office market there were 980 owner-occupied buildings accounting for 37,342,438 square feet of office space.

This trend is compared to U.S. National Office deliveries and construction, which saw 194 buildings totaling 15.92 million square feet complete construction, with an additional 117.7 million square feet of office space still under construction at the end of the fourth quarter. One Franklin Park, a 267,751-square-foot facility delivered in the Nashville market, as did the 1 million-square-foot ExxonMobil Campus - Ph. I in the Houston market, while the 366,858-square-foot North Hills Tower II in the Raleigh/Durham market is still underway. Total office inventory in the U.S. market totaled almost 10.47 billion square feet in more than 503,600 buildings at the end of Q4 2014, including some 22,000 owner-occupied buildings accounting for 937 million square feet.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Crowdfunding stadium re-dos. Will it work? (Video)

I could see Philly sports fans all over this.

Endurance Acquires Industrials In Naaman's Creek Business Center

by Steve Lubetkin,

Bala Cynwyd-based Endurance Real Estate Group says its affiliate has acquired Naaman’s Creek Business Center, a five-building flex portfolio in Upper Chichester Township, PA, for $9.75 million, or about $51.12 per square foot for the 190,729 square feet complex.

“With our advantageous going-in basis and capital to invest in tenant improvements and base building improvements we feel confident in our ability to stabilize this well-maintained, institutional-quality set of buildings with intrinsic appeal to users due to their curb appeal, location, and flexible tenant suite sizes and configurations,” says Benjamin Cohen, president of Endurance. “This Portfolio was historically very well leased up through the late 2000s, and will certainly benefit from a reset basis and the hands-on asset management plan to be implemented under our new ownership.”

The buildings, which range in size from 25,000 square feet up to 60,000 square feet, are situated in the larger Naaman’s Creek Center, a 125 acre business park totaling 750,000 square feet with high curb appeal and a campus-like atmosphere. The portfolio fronts Route 322, providing easy access to Interstate 95 and the Philadelphia International Airport to the east (15 minutes) as well as Interstate 476, which presents a direct connection from Interstate 95 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The purchase price was well below replacement cost, and gives the new ownership group flexibility to invest in attracting new tenants to boost occupancy above the current 50 percent  level.

The buildings were constructed from the late 1990s through the early 2000s and feature all- masonry façades, 19’ clear ceiling heights, and flexible configurations to accommodate a multitude of tenant requirements.

Despite having lost multiple tenants in the last few years, the Portfolio has been institutionally maintained and will benefit from fresh capital to be invested in procuring tenants.  Before the recession, the buildings were 96 percent occupied, and occupancy in the Naaman’s Creek Center is over 90 percent. Existing users within the business park include Apria Healthcare, Patterson Dental, Pentec Health, Huff Paper Company, Office Basics and Flowserve Corporation.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Prologis to Acquire 3.2M-SF Retail, Logistics Portfolio

Prologis, Inc.  has agreed to acquire a portfolio of logistics and retail assets from Morris Realty Associates LLC in an off-market transaction for about $820 million.

The 100% occupied portfolio of eight operating and development properties totals 3.2 million square feet. Included in the portfolio are 13 retail properties totaling 2.2 million square feet, which Prologis will market for sale.

The deal includes almost three-quarters of the over 2.8 million square feet of retail space developed or acquired by Morris in 13 shopping centers across Florida and the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

"Portfolios of this size, location and quality are extremely rare," said Nick Kittredge, president, Prologis East region, adding the transaction advances a long-standing relationship with Morris will add high-quality product to our portfolio in northern New Jersey.

A list of the properties acquired by Prologis was not immediately available, but Morris Cos's holding include Ashbridge Square, a 378,685-square-foot power center in Downington, PA; and Concourse Center, a 132,970-square-foot shopping center in Jupiter, FL; and Aviation Plaza, a 400,000-square-foot power center in Linden, NJ.

Morris will contribute the industrial and retail portfolios in exchange for common operating partnership units and a new class of common limited partnership units. The transaction is expected to close in late April 2015.

The Morris Cos., founded in 1971 by Joseph D. Morris, has built over 30 million square feet of industrial warehouse facilities in the Northeast.

Riverwalk apartment complex in Conshohocken sells at a loss

by Natalie Kostelni Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Riverwalk at Millennium, a four-building, 375-unit complex at 309 Washington St. in Conshohocken, Pa., has been bought by a partnership involving a local real estate company.
Scully Co. of Jenkintown, Pa., teamed up with Long Wharf Real Estate Partners, a New York investment firm, to buy the property. They acquired Riverwalk reportedly for more than $80 million but on the lower end of that figure, according to some estimates.

The seller, an affiliate of J.P. Morgan, took a haircut. The financial firm bought the apartment property in 2005 for $87.5 million, which was a big number at the time.

Riverwalk was apparently a tougher sell than anticipated. Put up for sale last summer, there are about 1,500 apartment units under construction not far from the complex giving it ample and newer competition. It also sits in a floodplain.

Riverwalk made headlines in 2008 when a fire erupted at the complex. The blaze started at a building under construction across from Riverwalk where workers had been using acetylene torches, which ended up igniting some wood and sparking the blaze.

Full story:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Investor Sells Retail Portfolio for $6.4M

A private investor sold four retail properties at the corner of N. Easton Rd. and Keswick Ave. in Glenside, PA to another investor for $6.42 million, or about $103 per square foot.

The deal totals 62,500 square feet constructed in 1920, and range between 1,294 square feet to 28,874 square feet each.

Barrett Asphalt Sells Industrial Bldg, Land for $6M

Barrett Asphalt LLC sold the industrial land and building at 14 N. Steel Rd. E in Morrisville, PA to a private investor for $6 million.

The deal totals 105 acres of land and a 10,118-square-foot industrial building constructed in 2004.

Panelists at RealShare Philadelphia See as Attractive Opportunity for CRE

by Steve Lubetkin

Panelists at the ALM Media RealShare Philadelphia conference held Wednesday at the historic Union League Club in Center City Philadelphia say the City of Brotherly Love may be better positioned than New York City for growth in its commercial real estate markets, and commented on the relative ease of doing business in the city.

“My observation from spending an awful lot of time in Philadelphia in the last year is that this may be the best city I’ve ever been to. It is amazing that I can get from one side of town to the other in under ten minutes,” says William “Billy” Procida, founder of Procida Funding & Advisors, a Capital Markets Update panelist and sponsor of the RealShare event, who has become an enthusiastic booster of the Philadelphia market. “We did a deal in Philadelphia and got it done in three days. If I had done it in New York it would have cost a million dollars in legal fees and would have taken a month to close.”

In January, as reported, Procida Funding provided $16.2 million for renovations at the Thaddeus Stevens School, which developer Eric Blumenfeld is turning into a luxury rental complex called the Mural Arts Lofts Building. Philadelphia has a rich history of elaborate mural art painted on the sides of vintage buildings. The artwork, including the side of Blumenfeld’s building, is part of a popular series of city tours.

William "Billy" Procida of Procida Funding, a panelist at RealShare Philadelphia 2015 will provide comprehensive coverage of the conference panels over the next week. Here are some early highlights.

“Tenants are looking for efficient floor plates that meet today’s demands,” says Chip Walters, chief investment officer, Keystone Property Group, who participated in the Industry Leaders Panel. “Gone are the file rooms of yesterday. Folks want to have communal space where people can be creative and work together.”

“In the last year to two years, no matter where I go, I run into someone who has bought something in Philadelphia or is looking for something to buy with the intent of developing,” says Christopher Terlizzi, senior vice president and regional manager, First Niagara Bank, a past president of the local Urban Land Institute organization. “That’s a distinct difference from what we’ve seen in the past where Philadelphia has generally been overlooked as a market without much growth potential. Those folks who are coming to Philadelphia are not misreading the market.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Retail Space and Effect of Cheap Gas (Video)

Tilted Kilt Pub Signs 15yr Lease in Easton

by Steve Lubetkin,
The Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery signed a 15-year lease at 80 Kunkle Drive in Easton, PA. The building is just off the 25th Street exit of Route 22 in Easton, PA.

The site was a former Don Pablo’s restaurant which was sold to an investment group for $1.05 million in 2013. The Celtic-themed sports pub opened in late December after a six-month renovation. This is the second Tilted Kilt restaurant in the Lehigh Valley. The Tilted Kilt chain has more than 90 locations in the United States and Canada.

Hai Street Opens Second Philadelphia Location In University City

by Steve Lubetkin
 Hai Street Kitchen and Co.’s leased its newest Philadelphia location, a University City store located at 125 S. 40th Street. The fresh, Japanese-casual restaurant opened its first location at 32 S. 18th Street (between Market and Chestnut) in 2014.

“Hai Street has been very successful in Philadelphia, having been recognized by Zagat as one of the hottest new restaurants in Philadelphia. Venturing into University City makes perfect sense. Between the growing employment base and the Penn and Drexel campus, there is a built-in natural customer base there, and we expect they will do very well.”

“This expansion is just the beginning. The company is actively seeking new locations to continue to bring their unique style to a greater reach in the city. We look forward to continuing this relationship and I know the people of Philadelphia are looking forward to new locations, as well.”

The University City location offers extended hours and will be open from 11am to 10pm, seven days a week.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Concord Engineering Opens New Operating Center in Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin,
Concord Engineering has opened a Philadelphia Operating Center office at 3020 Market Street, to be staffed with a combination of existing employees from its Voorhees, NJ office and new hires from the Philadelphia area. The firm will expand its facility, power plant and substation design, as well as energy consulting/advisory services for supply contracts in the new office.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be more accessible to our Philadelphia clients, and we are excited to showcase our wide reach of services and solutions,” says Concord CEO Michael Fischette. “As a resident of Philadelphia, I’m excited to put down roots in my home town. We are here to stay.”

Owned by Brandywine Realty Trust, the renovation of the six-story former bank building for class A offices is a key element in linking the bustling transportation hub of 30th Street Station to University City.

Concord has a number of projects underway in Philadelphia and the tri-state area, including those at the University of Pennsylvania, FMC Tower, Cira Centre South and Holtec International.

Two-Story Office Building Sold for $1.45 Million In Glen Mills, PA

by Steve Lubetkin,
1788 Wilmington Pike in Glen Mills, PA was sold for $1.45 million. GHS Summit, LLC purchased the office building from Crawford Leasing, LLC.

“1788 Wilmington Pike is a two-story, 14,500 +/- square foot office building in a highly desirable location. The building meets the buyer’s needs as both a site for their business and an attractive investment property.  The property is just south of the new 29.5 acre development where a 140,000 square foot Wegmans store and 40,000 square feet of additional retail space are currently under construction. The new owner has plans to use a portion of the building for medical use.”

REIT Market Starts Year Off Right (Video)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Philadelphia Industrial Vacancy Decreases to 8.1%

The Philadelphia Industrial market ended the fourth quarter 2014 with a vacancy rate of 8.1%.

The vacancy rate was down over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 2,191,632 square feet in the fourth quarter. That compares to positive 2,934,441 square feet in the third quarter 2014. Vacant sublease space increased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 877,167 square feet.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2014 include: Walmart Distribution moving into 1,200,000 square feet at 2785 Commerce Center Blvd, Ocean Spray moving into 980,000 square feet at West Hills Business Center - Building A, and Kane Warehousing, Inc. moving into 955,935 square feet at Distribution Center 6 (Kane is Able).

Rental rates ended the fourth quarter at $4.51, an increase over the previous quarter.

A total of three buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 327,200 square feet, with 16,734,334 square feet still under construction at the end of the quarter.

This trend is compared to the U.S. National Industrial vacancy rate, which decreased to 7.2% from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 81.04 million square feet in the fourth quarter. Average rental rates increased to $5.50, and 240 buildings delivered to the market totaling almost 41.8 million square feet.

Liberty Property Trust’s SE PA Region Leases 750,000+ SF

Liberty Property Trust today announced that it signed more than 70 lease agreements in the second half of 2014, representing more than 750,000 square feet of activity in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

“Momentum was strong in the second half of 2014. Our leasing team has been working overtime
managing increased prospect activity and the execution of large leases in the Horsham, King of Prussia and Malvern submarkets,” said Tony Nichols, vice president and city manager of Liberty’s Southeastern Pennsylvania portfolio. “We are looking forward to continued activity in southeast Pennsylvania through 2015. A major influencer is that tenants are really beginning to feel the positive benefits derived from the widening of Route 202 at Route 29, and the slip ramps for the PA-Turnpike around the Malvern based Great Valley Corporate Center.”

Notable leases completed in the second half of 2014 include:

  • TNS US, LLC signed a new lease for 39,480 square feet at 700 Dresher Road in Horsham. Michael Sweeney represented Liberty.
  • MobilexUSA renewed a lease for 25,098 square feet at 101-111 Rock Road in Horsham. Michael Sweeney represented Liberty.
  •  LRA Worldwide, Inc. signed a new lease for 16,508 square feet at 5 Walnut Grove Drive in Horsham.Michael Sweeney represented Liberty.
  •  At 220-240 Gibraltar Road in Horsham, Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC signed a new lease for 16,491 square feet at 220 Gibraltar Road, Horsham.
  •  Severn Trent Services, Inc. signed a new lease for 14,874 square feet, 
  •  A new lease was signed for 151 South Warner Road, a 89,914 square foot office building in King of Prussia.
  • United States Liability Insurance expanded their footprint at 1170 Devon Park Drive with a new lease for 34,872 square feet in King of Prussia.
  •  Fresenius Vascular Care signed a new lease for 23,119 square feet at 40 Valley Stream Parkway in Malvern. Catherine Bianco represented Liberty.
  •  Wedderspoon Organic USA, LLC signed a new lease for 8,050 square feet at 77-123 Great Valley Parkway in Malvern. Liberty was represented by Michele Countis.

Stag Pays $34.4M for Fully Leased Bldg in NJ

STAG Industrial Management LLC has acquired the industrial building at 6 Campus Dr. in Burlington, NJ from Generation Brands LLC for $34.4 million, or about $68 per square foot.

The 503,490-square-foot facility sits on 21 acres in the Burlington Industrial submarket of Philadelphia. Built in 2005, it features abundant loading, 32-foot clear heights, and column spacing at 60x40 feet.

The asset was fully occupied at the time of sale by Sea Gull Lighting, with more than eight years remaining on its lease.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Invest in Real Estate to get US Citizenship? (Video)

Crowdfunding real estate (Video)

LPT Sells Horsham Business Ctr Bldg for $10.1M

Merion Realty Partners acquired two office buildings at 255-355 Business Center Dr. in Horsham, PA from Liberty Property Trust for $10.13 million, or approximately $131 per square foot.

The deal totals 77,115 square feet across Buildings 11 and 12 in the Horsham Business Center. The facilities were both constructed in 1987.

Mearns Road Bldg Trades Hands

A private owner acquired the industrial building at 1601 Mearns Rd. in Warminster, PA for $2.19 million, or about $42 per square foot, from Alpha Systems.

The 52,400-square-foot manufacturing building was constructed in 1996 in the Bucks County Industrial submarket of Philadelphia.

Phillips & Phillips Sells Silver Crest Bldg for $2.8M

Community Action Committee of Lehigh Valley, Inc. purchased the industrial facility at 6969 Silver Crest Rd. in Nazareth, PA from Phillips & Phillips for $2.77 million, or about $45 per square foot.

The 62,040-square-foot building was constructed in 1993 and is located in the Lehigh Valley Industrial submarket of Northampton County.

Oldcastle Precast Sells Morrisville Industrial

CAM Real Estate Partners LP purchased the industrial facility at 1381 S. Pennsylvania Ave. in Morrisville, PA from Oldcastle Precast, Inc. for $2.7 million, or about $25 per square foot.

The 109,586-square-foot building was constructed in 1967, and was occupied by Old Castle Precast at the time of the sale.

LPT Pays $5.4M on Cherry Street

The Suppor tCenter of Child Advocates sold its office building at 1900 Cherry St. in Philadelphia, PA to Liberty Property Trust for $5.35 million, or about $594 per square foot.

The two-story, 9,000-square-foot building is located in the Market Street West submarket of Philadelphia County.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Center City apartment tower comes up for sale, seeks big sale price of $160M

by Natalie Kostelni Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

One of the newest apartment buildings in Center City — 2116 Chestnut St. — is up for sale.
Construction of the 34-story tower was completed in 2013 and 94 percent of its 321 apartments are occupied. Average rents on the apartments run $3.08 a square foot. The property includes 9,150 square feet of retail space.
While it was built for around $100 million, one estimate has the seller seeking as much as $160 million for the property. 
The John Buck Co. of Chicago and National Real Estate Advisors partnered in developing the project. It sits on a site where the Sidney Hillman Medical Center had once operated.

Pulse of real estate: Richard LeFrak (Video)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

DavidBartonGym Muscles Into 1435 Walnut Street

by Steve Lubetkin,

DavidBartonGym locations feature unique design, lighting, energizing music and motivational trainers. In addition to high-end equipment and studio spaces for personal training and intimate group classes, its new location at the base of The Drexel Building—a five-story, historic bank building on the corner of 15th and Walnut Streets in Center City that features high ceilings, intricate designs and oversized windows—will include an indoor cycling studio by Cyc Fitness.

“DavidBartonGym sets itself apart from other health clubs with a distinctive ambiance that combines local culture, history and the energy of each neighborhood. Real estate is critical to the brand’s identity and The Drexel Building’s architecture and location at the center of Philadelphia’s retail, residential, and hospitality districts, is an ideal fit for its steady expansion.”

“We are thrilled to make our entry into a new city and help Philadelphia #LookBetterNaked,” says Howard Brodsky, chief executive officer of DavidBartonGym. “Following the opening of our newest New York flagship location at the famed Limelight and our upcoming expansion into Boston, Philadelphia was a natural choice for our next gym. Our locations are inspired by the culture of the city and provide members with an energetic and encouraging escape that helps them achieve their fitness goals.”

Monday, February 2, 2015

Philadelphia Retail Vacancy Increases to 5.9%

The Philadelphia retail market did not experience much change in market conditions in the fourth quarter 2014.

The vacancy rate went from 5.8% in the previous quarter to 5.9% in the current quarter. Net absorption was negative 74,123 square feet, and vacant sublease space increased by 21,583 square feet. In third quarter 2014, net absorption was positive 108,503 square feet.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2014 include: Walmart moving into 100,000 square feet at 3400 Hartzdale Dr; ShopRite moving into 90,000 square feet at Wishing Well Plaza; and Giant Food moving into 66,472 square feet at Ephrata Marketplace.

Quoted rental rates increased from third quarter 2014 levels, ending at $14.02 per square foot per year.

A total of 6 retail buildings with 33,257 square feet of retail space were delivered to the market in the quarter, with 762,131 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 6.1% from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 34.91 million square feet in the fourth quarter. Average rental rates increased to $14.90, and 561 retail buildings delivered, totaling almost 14.7 million square feet.

Former Trump Tower Waterfront Project Site for Sale on Delaware Ave

by John Jordan

The Delaware River waterfront development site dubbed Pier 35 ½ that was to be home to a high-rise Trump Tower is on the market for sale.

The vacant property is for sale and has set a deadline of March 2 for bids on the 2.13-acre site at 709-717 N. Penn St. The property is zone CMX-3—Community Commercial Mixed Use District, which makes the site suitable for a variety of uses, most notably: multifamily, retail, office, medical or hotel.

Recent highest and best use analysis suggests multi-family development with supporting commercial is optimal for this site.

The property is being sold by US Bank and other investors who had wanted to finance the proposed 45-story Trump Tower development. The project was approved by the city but never built, a victim of the recession.

The site is eligible for the BRT 10-year real estate tax abatement that exempts owners from paying taxes on the value of the improvements for the duration of the 10-year term.