Tuesday, June 30, 2015

No more room at Navy Yard as Liberty breaks ground on new building

Natalie Kostelni, Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal

Liberty Property Trust has been working for about a year on plans for a new building at the South Philadelphia site. Liberty has 1.25 million square feet at the Navy Yard that is fully leased and, at the same time, has 400,000 square feet of prospects that have shown an interest in relocating to the campus overlooking the Delaware River.

With that in mind and signs of an improving real estate market, the Malvern, Pa., real estate investment trust brought in a year ago Bjarke Ingels Group to design a 94,000-square-foot structure overlooking its new Central Green. It wanted the design to be special. “The Navy Yard has always been about experimenting and pushing the envelop when it comes to design and furthering the vision of the Navy Yard as a modern, exciting place,” said Brian Cohen, vice president for Liberty.

When a team of architects from Bjarke Ingels Group walked the Central Green and took at look at the Navy Yard, they felt there was a unique opportunity to design a building that engaged the park in a playful way, Cohen said. The result is a four-story structure that compliments the contours of the circular park and appears as if it’s trying to grasp it. Liberty broke ground Tuesday on the building that it is developing in a joint venture with Synterra Partners. Though it has prospects, Liberty has not signed any tenants to occupy space in the building called 1200 Intrepid Ave.

Though there are inherent risks in moving forward on a speculative building, Liberty (NYSE: LPT) is confident it’s reading the market and the desirability of the Navy Yard right. “We started the building for Iroko as a spec building and got through design and were getting ready to break ground on it when Iroko executed a lease for the whole building,” Cohen said.

That building is 56,412 square feet. Then there was the 80,050-square-foot building Franklin Square Capital Partners now occupies. It was going to be spec, too, but Franklin Square came along and took part of the building. Then, the whole thing. Perhaps, history will repeat itself with 1200 Intrepid Ave. Chances are it will. “Before we started design on the building, we started seeing users and they were asking us what we had available,” Cohen said.

Tenants in the 5,000 to 25,000-square-foot range typically start looking at options six to 12 months before their leases expire, he said. The bigger ones at 25,000 to 100,000 square feet are out 12 to 18 months ahead of the lease expiration.
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/ojaeeve

Monday, June 29, 2015

Polo Run in Yardley sells for more than $43M

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for Philadelphia Business Journal
Relative Properties has picked up another Bucks County apartment complex, plunking down $43.2 million to buy Polo Run in Yardley, Pa.

The property consists of 11 buildings with 248 apartments. Its occupancy was about 90 percent at the time of sale. The seller, TGM Communities of New York.

This is the second buy in that market for Relative Properties. Last fall, it bought Yardley Crossing for about $33 million. That was the first acquisition for the company, which was formed last year by Devin Aronstam. Aronstam had, at one point, worked with Lubert-Adler Partners of Philadelphia, and Paul Aschkenasy of Blank Aschkenasy Properties of West Conshohocken, Pa.
Relative focuses on multifamily real estate and is separate from Blank Aschkenasy, which mostly focuses on retail and office properties.

Bucks Country is an area Relative has been looking for more buys.
“We like the market,” Paul Aschkenasy said. “We think Lower Bucks and Bucks is very strong for multifamily. It has more barriers to entry than many other markets.”

Polo Run was constructed in 1990 and Relative plans to invest an undisclosed amount upgrading the property including the units, common areas, pool area and club house.
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/pdyp9lx

Berkadia’s $80M Financing Seals Historic Sale

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com

Berkadia provided an $80.4 million loan to Castle Rock Equity Group for its acquisition of ICON 1616, a historic, luxury, multifamily property located at 1616 Walnut Street in Philadelphia.

“After an aggressive bidding process, Berkadia leveraged its long-standing relationship with Fannie Mae to provide a highly competitive loan structure and attractive terms,” says Kletsman. “This strong relationship, coupled with our experience closing deals in the Philadelphia area, allowed us to navigate the loan process smoothly with optimal execution.”

The borrower, Castle Rock Equity Group, will use the loan towards the $112 million acquisition of the property. Loan terms include a 4.06 percent interest rate and a 30-year amortization schedule. The financing also incorporated the property’s Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program and Historic Tax Credits.

Built in 1929, ICON 1616’s architecture features many Art Deco elements of the Great Depression era. The 25-story property consists of 206 units and offers residents studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plan options. Community amenities include a sky deck with 360-degree views, a grilling station, herb garden and outdoor living area; a wellness floor featuring a yoga studio; a club level with a kitchen, billiard tables, flat-screen TVs and large screen media room; and a business center with computers, printers and conference rooms.

ICON 1616’s ground floor retail tenants include Santander Bank, high-end fashion retailer Theory, and CKO Kickboxing, among others.

Located fewer than two blocks from Philadelphia’s popular Rittenhouse Square, the surrounding area offers residents a variety of fine dining, high-end retail and cultural options.

Philadelphia Ranks 14th on Green Building Adoption Index

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com

With more than 34 percent of its office space regarded as “green,” Philadelphia ranked 14th of 30 markets on the 2015 Green Building Adoption Index.

“Our 2015 study confirmed that green building adoption has been primarily a big building, first-tier city phenomenon. It would appear that many smaller buildings in the majority of large markets still have an opportunity to be ‘best in class’ among their peer set by achieving these certifications.”

Although it slipped from number six in 2014, Philadelphia’s green office space (defined as holding either an EPA ENERGY STAR label, US Green Building Council full-building LEED certification or both), Philadelphia continued to be one of the leading cities in the nation in a number of green categories.

The ratio of square footage to buildings is one of the lowest in the nation, trailing only New Jersey and Manhattan. This suggests that a larger share of smaller or average-sized buildings in Philadelphia are also engaged in the green building movement.

Downtown Philadelphia remains a major force in leading the way towards green buildings, with 27.3% of all downtown buildings holding ENERGY STAR or LEED certification.

USGBC says Philadelphia ranks number five in its top 10 list of the most populous cities with LEED certification. This is in large part due to the encouragement from a zoning code set in August 2012. Local institutions leading the way include the Lincoln Financial Field with energy-efficient technologies, and the new Comcast Center–expected to be the tallest LEED-certified building in the country–with a vegetative roof, erosion control, and a storm-water management system.

Executed in close collaboration with the USGBC and CBRE Research, this is the second release of the annual Green Building Adoption Index. Based on a rigorous methodology, the Index shows the growth of ENERGY STAR- and LEED-certified space for the 30 largest U.S. office markets, both in aggregate and in individual markets, over the previous 10 years.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Your landlord wants to relocate your offices? Now what?

Written by Lynn

So, your landlord has contacted you about relocating your office, out of the blue. What should you do? I’m not going to mince words here: pull out of the lease right away (and call your broker).  Is there a clause within your lease that allows the landlord to relocate you?  If not, you can tell them no.  Or, perhaps you can deal with moving.  In that case, you can agree—but negotiate something you want in exchange!  Make the deal work for you.

If you do have a relocation clause, you need to see what costs the landlord will incur in relocating your office space.  After all, it’s probably not in your budget to pay to move the entire office.  Start by taking inventory of everything that will need to be relocated.

Ask yourself:

Are there any special wall coverings or signs that have to be relocated?
Do you have artwork on the wall that was professionally installed?
What about overhead music, or noise-cancelling systems?
Does your current space have a kitchen with a dishwasher?
Will your furniture fit in the new space?  If you have systems furniture, who is paying to disassemble and re-assemble?
Is the new space next to the cafeteria emitting smells?
Does the suggested location look out over the dumpster?
What about all of your brochures?  Will they need a suite change and therefore need to be replaced?
What about phone lines, date, your server?
It gives me a headache just thinking about all of these things! There’s so much to think about. In short, it’s no small feat to move your office, and you want to make sure you’re not responsible financially for a move you didn’t choose! If you get asked to relocate, put together a detailed list of things the you’d need—things that the landlord would be required to manage and pay for.  After all, you didn’t ask to be moved!
Full story: http://www.compass-commercial.com/blog

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

New spec building set to break ground at Navy Yard

Natalie Kostelni, Reporter- Philadelphia Business Journal

Liberty Property Trust is scheduled to break ground next week on a 94,000-square-foot speculative office building at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Liberty and its joint venture partner, Synterra Partners, are moving forward with the office project even though they have yet to secure any tenants.

The decision speaks to the overwhelming demand for office space at the Navy Yard. It also underscores how, in a short amount of time, the South Philly campus has become as one of Philadelphia’s most desirable office submarkets.

Liberty will unveil the design of the building and hold the ground breaking on Tuesday. At the same time, it will also officially open what is being called Central Green, a 5-acre park designed by James Corner Field Operations.

The marking of those two projects is being billed as a “landmark event” for the Navy Yard.
The new building’s design is expected to be remarkable. A renowned international architectural firm, Bjarke Ingels Group, has designed the structure.

The firm is known for its innovative and forward thinking design. Among the projects it is working on is Two World Trade Center in New York and Google’s new Mountain View, Calif. campus, which are both futuristic looking and designed to inspire.

Central Green also got the starchitect treatment. Many know the well-regarded work of James Corner, who designed the High Line Park and Fresh Kills Park in New York. He served as chair for 12 years of the department of landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and remains a professor at the school.

Central Green was designed to be a special outdoor space that is as much about being outside as it is about creating a place for the Navy Yard community to gather.
Just as the architecture of the Navy Yard's newly constructed buildings have been used to define the campus culture, this park space is also being used to shape that culture and bring to the forefront how indoor and outdoor spaces have a connection with each other.
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/pwreobp

Rubenstein Adds Three Tenants at One Washington Square in Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com

Rubenstein Partners has signed tenants to three new leases totaling 36,738 square feet at One Washington Square, an 850,000 square-foot class A property located in the heart of the historic section of Center City.

"It's gratifying to see that our vision to enhance One Washington Square and reintroduce the property to the Philadelphia market is paying off," says Craig Zolot of Rubenstein Partners.  "These three new transactions, along with the current high level of leasing interest in the building, confirm the market's recognition of the property's desirability and our completed capital upgrades – as well as the increasing vibrancy of the Independence Mall submarket. We believe there is major momentum in this area and we are confident that One Washington Square will be able to capitalize on it."

The leases include:

A 20,443 square-foot relocation, expansion and extension for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach. This transaction represents a long-term commitment by the company to remain and grow at One Washington Square.

A 12,605 square-foot new lease for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a non-profit group that focuses on free speech and other individual rights at America's colleges and universities.

A 3,690 square-foot new lease for engineering firm AKRF, representing an expansion for the New York City based company into Philadelphia.

Affiliates of Rubenstein acquired the property in late 2013 and launched a rebranding campaign, in addition to a significant capital investment, focused on modernizing the building's systems and upgrading the lobbies and other common areas.

The property overlooks Independence Mall and Washington Square and is steps away from Independence Hall, Federal Courthouses, high-end housing, hotels, restaurants, and historic and cultural sites.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dun & Bradstreet Renews 178,000-SF Lease in Center Valley

Dun & Bradstreet, a provider of business services information, signed a 12-year lease renewal for 178,330 square feet at the Stabler Corporate Center at 3501 Corporate Pkwy. in Center Valley, PA.

The three-story building totals 178,330 square feet in the Stabler Office Park and was delivered in 2006. It is owned by City Office REIT, Inc., which bought the building back in 2013 from GE Commercial Finance Business Property Corp.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Clinical Health Care of NJ Completes 150,000-SF Long Term Lease in Suburban Philadelphia

Clinical Health Care Associates of New Jersey PC, a subsidiary of Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania, has signed a long-term, full-building lease at 1865 Marlton Pike in Cherry Hill, NJ.

The two-story, 150,000-square-foot building sits on 12 acres in the South Camden County submarket of Philadelphia, located on Route 70 E near I-295.

Off-price retail clothing chain Syms Corporation previously occupied the building, utilizing it as retail and showroom space until the company ceased operations in 2012. The property has been vacant since that time.

Finmarc Management, Inc. acquired the asset in September 2013 for $4.75 million, significantly below replacement cost and funded in-part with proceeds from the earlier sale of its Shoppes of Burnt Mills in Silver Spring, MD.

"The Cherry Hill and South New Jersey / Philadelphia marketplaces are extremely attractive to us, as we recognize the tremendous opportunities that exist, as supported by a healthy and growing economic environment," explained Neil S. Markus, principal of Finmarc Management. "It is among the key areas we have targeted to expand our five million square foot portfolio outside of the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area."

Finmarc and the tenant plan to invest more than $50 million in capital improvements to the building in the hopes of transforming it into a premier medical office facility in South Jersey. Plans include the installation of a new roof, new HVAC and electrical systems, full-building build out, necessary site work, a new structured garage and repaving of the existing parking lot, renovations to the building facade, and the addition of new windows as well as upgrading all interior and exterior lighting.

Lower Macungie warehouse work to begin after agreement with Jaindl

By Patrick Lester
Of The Morning Call

The developer that plans to bring the first 3 million square feet of warehouses to Jaindl Land Co. property in Lower Macungie can begin construction before all previously required permits are issued under an agreement the township reached with Jaindl this week.

But township officials and Jaindl emphasized that no occupancy permits would be issued and no truck traffic would be going to and from those warehouses until various road improvements in that area are substantially completed.

Commissioners, following lengthy discussions between Jaindl representatives and township staff, approved the terms of the agreement last Thursday by a 4-1 vote, with Doug Brown casting the dissenting vote. Brown said he was reluctant to sign off on the agreement since he had seen the final version only a few hours before the meeting.

Under the agreement, Liberty Property Trust of Bethlehem can begin construction on long-planned warehouses on about 225 acres at the Spring Creek Properties development in the area of Spring Creek, Mertztown and Quarry roads while Jaindl pursues various permits from agencies that include state transportation and environmental departments. The project is part of the planned development of 600-plus acres allowed under a land use deal Jaindl struck with the township in 2010 after he proposed a quarry there.

The township, under the agreement reached last week, will get about 64 acres of previously designated preserve land for its greenway earlier than expected. Jaindl also has agreed to provide an easement on his land for a trail that connects to the township's trail system.

"In addition to the benefits that the township is getting out of this arrangement that go beyond the requirements, Mr. [David] Jaindl will post security well in advance with respect to roadway improvements," Jaindl attorney Joseph A. Zator II told commissioners.

Township officials said the most important component of the agreement is that Jaindl reiterated that no truck traffic would be generated at the site until roadway and traffic improvements are completed along the Spring Creek Road corridor.

Neighbors of the property and residents of nearby Macungie and Alburtis previously voiced concerns about the truck traffic the warehouses will generate once they're up and running.

Township Planning Director Sara Pandl said the discussions arose from a holdup in the acquisition of highway occupancy permits from the Department of Transportation for improvements on Spring Creek Road. A majority of those permits, which Jaindl agreed to obtain as part of his subdivision plan, have been secured.

Under the conditions of last year's land development approval for the warehouse project, all permits from agencies such as the state Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection were needed before the plan could be officially recorded at the Lehigh County Courthouse.

Liberty needed the plan recorded in order to obtain building permits from the township.

Because of the length of time it has taken to obtain those outside agency permits, Jaindl had requested that building permits be issued before the plan is recorded and while he continues working toward obtaining all of the necessary permits. Zator said that about 40 permits are needed for the project. Pandl said many of those permits already have been obtained.

She said the township "has worked really hard trying to find a way to allow them to make some progress while protecting the township's interest." Township officials all along have insisted that no truck traffic hit the road in that area until the traffic improvements are completed.

The Liberty warehouse plan was the first approved project on Jaindl land that was previously subdivided into 16 lots. Under an agreement with the township and following a legal battle over zoning changes the township granted for the land, Jaindl was allowed to develop warehouses, businesses and homes on land that was previously designated as an agricultural preservation area. Township commissioners said they agreed to the changes to avert the development of a quarry.

Liberty has not named tenants that will be moving into the warehouses. The company has proposed another 1 million square feet of warehouse space on the Jaindl land, a plan that would include 290 loading dock doors, a maintenance building and fuel island. That proposal, still before township planners, has not yet been approved.

Seven PA Real Estate Projects Get ULI Rouse Awards

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Urban Land Institute Philadelphia named seven Pennsylvania real estate projects, including five in Philadelphia, as winners of its 2015 Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence.

The award recognizes the best real estate projects completed within the last five years in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware.  Nearly 30 submissions were reviewed by a panel of ULI members from across the country.

The winning projects – which represent a variety of project types, including urban mixed-use, historic preservation, adaptive reuse, multipurpose entertainment, and institutional projects – were scored on use of best practices; quality planning and design; elements that build healthy places; environmental sustainability and energy reduction; economic success and market acceptance.

“This year’s winners and finalists represent some of the most innovative real estate developments in the region,” says Christopher M. Hager, P.E., chair of ULI Philadelphia.  “The winners both this year and last year demonstrate how responsible land use has the ability to transform the built environment into something that revitalizes and reshapes our communities.”

The winners are:

3737 Science Center (Philadelphia, PA), a joint venture by the University City Science Center and Wexford Science + Technology, designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects and Strada Architecture.  This $119 million, 13-story, 334,000 square foot facility accommodates clinical, laboratory, research and office programs and was built on a narrow former brownfields site of just over a half-acre. Tenants include Penn Medicine and cutting-edge gene therapy startup Spark Therapeutics, as well as support for STEM/STEAM educational initiatives for low-income secondary school students.

Allentown Arena Complex (Allentown, PA), developed by the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority with masterplanning and design by Elkus – Manfredi Architects and Sink Combs Dethlefs,the complex includes a multipurpose arena and entertainment complex with a fully integrated mixed-use commercial development including retail, dining, health and wellness, hotel and commercial office, within a pedestrian-oriented infill site incorporating two historic buildings.  The 5.3-acre site now includes nearly one million square feet for the arena and entertainment complex, Lehigh Valley Health Network offices, Sports Performance facility, PPL Center, and Marriott Renaissance hotel, retail, dining and structured parking.  Building from recommendations in a 2004 ULI Advisory Services Panel, the development has been a catalyst for adjacent new residential and commercial redevelopment and has enhanced the image of Allentown as the commercial, entertainment and cultural center of the Lehigh Valley.

Arbor Heights (Norristown, PA) was developed by Progressive Housing Ventures and designed by Barton Partners – a small project making a large impact.  Twelve stacked townhomes were grouped into two buildings from previously vacant or burned-out structures on approximately one-third acre, blending seamlessly with 100-year-old adjacent structures in this transitioning neighborhood.  The project achieved a density of nearly 35 units per acre and high energy-efficiency through materials and systems.  All homes are sold and attracting new private investment to the neighborhood.  Creative financing included $1.2 million in public grant funds and reduced mortgage requirements.
Chestnut Square (Philadelphia, PA) is a vibrant $100.7 million urban mixed use development transforming the core of Drexel University’s campus.  Developed by American Campus Communities and designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Chestnut Square includes two eight-story buildings with attached 19-story residential tower with luxurious amenities and zero parking on a 0.8 acre piece of “leftover” land.  A creative partnership enabled the developer to achieve the University’s mission while limiting its balance sheet exposure, and the use of efficient building systems and materials is significant.

Fresh Corner Store Showcase Conversions (Philadelphia, PA):  This pilot project by The Food Trust converted five corner stores in challenged neighborhoods with an extremely focused mission of encouraging residents to walk to their corner store to get healthy food in well-designed interiors and improved exteriors by Strada Architecture.  The pilot project delivered major benefits for minimal investment and shows that sustainable and healthy foods can be sold to all demographics.  Converted stores demonstrated sharp increases in sales of fresh produce and low-fat dairy products, and increased community engagement, weekly profits, customer traffic, and improved adjacent property values.

FringeArts (Philadelphia, PA):  This project by the Fringe Arts organization and designed by Wallace, Roberts & Todd transformed a semi-abandoned historic pumping station at the foot of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge into the permanent home for FringeArts, serving as the premier venue for the internationally recognized 18-day Fringe Festival with theater, dance, music and visual art, including 15,500-square-foot performance space with 225-seat black-box theater, rehearsal studio, office space for the organization, gastro-pub La Peg, outdoor plaza and picnic-style outdoor dining.  The preservation and adaptive reuse of the building in its waterfront context celebrates Philadelphia’s industrial legacy.

The View at Montgomery (Philadelphia, PA):  This dramatic new 14-story student housing building adjacent to the Temple University campus was developed by The Goldenberg Group and designed by Wallace, Roberts and Todd on the site of the former Wanamaker public school.  The building has 238 apartments and street-level retail with energizing modern design that attracts pedestrians and activates the streetscape.  Healthy building strategies include sustainable storm water management, and water-efficient landscaping, 30% reduction in water consumption and immersive recycling.  Around-the-clock student amenities include study lounges, computer lounges, top-floor Sky Lounge with floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of downtown Philadelphia, fitness pavilion and two acres of open green space, as well as a street-level restaurant sourcing environmentally-friendly ingredients.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bryn and Dane’s opens in Plymouth Meeting

By Gary Puleo, The Times Herald

The hottest fast food chain to open around here isn’t slinging artery-choking cheeseburgers, but low-calorie, sustainably sourced wraps, salads, plates and smoothies.

And the line at the newly opened Bryn & Dane’s in beautiful Cold Point Village was practically out the door on a recent weekday as customers patiently awaited their turn to place their orders at one of three touch screens.

Savvy entrepreneur Bryn Davis’ potentially multi-million dollar, digitally-intensive concept based on simple, healthy fast foods is making its biggest splash yet in Plymouth Meeting, after racking up huge success in Davis’ native Horsham.

Not bad for a guy who just turned 30 and six years ago was still living at home sharing a room with his then 8-year-old brother Dane.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Groundbreaking: Here’s What to Expect from One Riverside

BY JAMES JENNINGS, Philadelphia Magazine

After a long and winding journey, Carl Dranoff’s latest luxury tower, One Riverside, officially broke ground yesterday. When complete, the Cecil Baker-designed building will rise 22-stories above the ground and feature sweeping views of the Schuylkill River as well as multiple vantage points of both the Center City, and ever-expanding University City skylines.

The One Riverside project will be Dranoff’s fourth foray into residential development along the Schuylkill River. Previous developments include Locust Point, Locust on the Park and the Left Bank, which is on the University City side of the river at 3131 Walnut Street.

The project, expected to reach completion Summer 2017, will ultimately feature 82 luxury condos.


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

HOK, Design Firm, Opens New Office in Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm, is opening a new office in Center City Philadelphia.

Located in One Logan Square, HOK’s office is focusing on the planning and design of projects in the region’s healthcare, higher education, science and technology, aviation and transportation, sports, hospitality, corporate, and commercial mixed-use markets.

“We are thrilled to welcome HOK, a design leader in so many building types worldwide and one of the profession’s most-respected firms, to Philadelphia’s business community,” says Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “This is yet another example of a high-profile company choosing Philadelphia because its leaders recognize that it’s a wonderful city in which to live, work and to build a business.”

“Establishing an office in Philadelphia is part of our strategic plan for moving closer to clients in the Northeast Corridor and being integrated into the communities we serve,” said Carl Galioto, FAIA, HOK’s managing principal for the Northeast region. “Our expertise-based practice and culture align perfectly with this market. We have long admired Philadelphia’s rich urban environment and for having so much dynamic activity in education, science and business. With well-established Philadelphia design professionals such as Stephen Beacham joining us, we are pleased to be part of this fabric.”

HOK’s new office is located on the 15th floor of the One Logan Square building in Philadelphia’s Central Business District. The reception area, meeting spaces and spacious design studio overlook Logan Circle, the Barnes Foundation building, the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Franklin Institute.

HOK has designed the space to promote design excellence, innovation, sustainability and collaboration. With a focus on creating a healthy and productive workplace, the team expects the office to achieve LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Award-winning local artist Isaiah Zagar, whose signature glass mosaic murals appear throughout the streets of Philadelphia,has linked HOK’s new workplace to the city by creating a 150-square-foot mosaic in the office’s reception area.

HOK’s Philadelphia office will provide services on current projects including the Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building on Pennsylvania State University’s University Park campus in State College,Pa., and ongoing design services for Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden in Camden, NJ. Previous projects in the region have included the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro Replacement Hospital in Plainsboro, NJ, the New Jersey Public Health, Environmental and Agricultural Laboratory in West Trenton, NJ, Metro Bank Park Renovation in Harrisburg, PA, and The Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, PA.    

The opening of the Philadelphia office continues HOK’s recent growth. In January, the firm finalized the acquisition of 360 Architecture, adding 200 employees and new offices in Kansas City and Columbus, OH, while enabling HOK to launch a global Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice.

HUB Meeting and Conference Center Opening in West Conshohocken

We first got wind of this project a year ago when we saw a zoning notice for a signage request at the Four Falls building along Route 23 and just recently we saw a job posting for a position at a unnamed new meeting and conference center opening in West Conshohocken. What we have learned is that The Hub, which has three meeting and conference venues in Center City, is planning to open a new venue within the Four Falls building by late August of 2015.

The Hub’s social media manager shared this information with us:

The Hub Conshohocken at the Four Falls building will be 7,850 square feet of meeting space, combined with about 3,000 square feet of additional event space in the building’s atrium and outdoor patio spaces. We’ll exercise our usual attention to sustainable practices and are really looking forward to contributing to Conshohocken.
Full story: http://morethanthecurve.com/meeting-and-conference-center-opening-in-west-conshohocken/

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Armoa'z Leases 23,000 SF at Main Line

Aroma’z Mercer Carpet & Home Improvement signed a lease for 22,500 square feet at the freestanding retail building at 1418 Route 130 N in Cinnaminson, NJ.

Built in 1970, the 22,500-square-foot retail building is a part of the 100,000-square-foot Main Line Shopping Center, located on nine acres in teh North Burlington County submarket. The new tenant will join Rite Aid, Bottom Dollar and Hudson City Savings Bank in the center.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2801 Grant in NE Philadelphia Office/Flex Sells

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com

This is a 61,000-square-foot multi-purpose office building located at 2801 Grant Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sold to Iron Stone Strategic Capital Partners.

The the seller was Tom Rosenefeld of Pennsylvania 2801 Grant, LLC.

Situated on seven acres, 2801 Grant Avenue is a 61,000-square-foot multi-purpose office/flex building just off Roosevelt Boulevard near Interstate 95.  The building features approximately 26,000 square feet of office space and 35,000 square feet of warehouse space with eight tailgates. Iron Stone’s proposed plan is to convert the entire building into office space.

The Center for Autism currently occupies 12,500 square feet of office space within 2801 Grant Avenue, and plans to expand by another 20,000 square feet.  Currently, CFA is the sole tenant in the building.

“CFA’s long-term lease and desire to expand made the property an attractive opportunity for investors,” says Charokopos.  “We are pleased to have sold 2801 Grant Avenue to a reputable real estate investment group that will guide The Center for Autism in growing its Northeast Philadelphia location.”

Iron Stone Strategic Capital Partners is a group of investment companies with a niche focus on opportunistic real estate and related assets in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Iron Stone and its affiliates have developed or redeveloped approximately two million square feet of commercial space in the Philadelphia region.


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Former Boyd Theatre to become TargetExpress store

Alison Burdo Digital Producer- Philadelphia Business Journal

Local fans of Target will soon be able to shop in a shrunk down version of the discount department store as the Minneapolis-based company is set to open a TargetExpress in the former Boyd Theatre.
The same day Target Corp. announced it is selling its store pharmacies and clinics to CVSHealth, a company spokeswoman confirmed the smaller shop would be coming to Philadelphia.

The Minneapolis-based company will open a TargetExpress store at 19th and Chestnut Streets in July 2016, offering fresh groceries, cellphone supplies, beauty items, and other goods in a retail building near the 1920s-era movie palace's facade, company spokeswoman Erika Winkels said Monday.
More TargetExpress stores may follow, with the company said to be eyeing at least one other Center City location.

Last week, the Historical Commission approved several of the developer's redesign proposals for the site, paving the way for a more modern looking retail space complete with a glass facade. Pearl Properties, at that same meeting, was told to rethink its plans for a neighboring 3-story retail building.
[The TargetExpress] store will be 21,000 square feet over two floors, about 16 percent as big as a typical Target store, Winkels said. The 19th and Chestnut location places it in the Raymond Pace Alexander building, a historic two-story structure that would be enlarged through construction of an adjacent three-story retail building, according to the most recent plans.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace Trades

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Stanbery Development has sold its Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace, a 110,365 square foot lifestyle center in Harrisburg, PA, to Clarion Partners.

“The Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace is a unique, one-of-a-kind center that captures the market for lifestyle shopping in the greater Harrisburg MSA. Given its prominent location and its exposure to Central Pennsylvania at I-81 and I-83, two of the busiest interstates in Pennsylvania, the shopping center will continue to capture best of class tenants among the specialty fashion/restaurant sectors.”

Built in 2004, The Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace has such major tenants as Banana Republic, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, White House Black Market, Chico’s, and Williams-Sonoma. It was 94 percent occupied at the time of the sale and has recently added significant tenants to broaden its appeal, including J. Crew Factory, Athleta, Hand and Stone Massage & Facial Spa, and Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wells Fargo Monthly Economic Outlook – May 2015 (Video)


What are factors that impact the value in a sale lease back transaction? (Video)


Endurance Real Estate Group Sells 420 and 440-488 Drew Court in King of Prussia, PA

An affiliate of Endurance Real Estate Group, LLC of Bala Cynwyd, PA and its joint venture equity
partner, Thackeray Partners of Dallas, TX, are pleased to announce the sale of 420 and 440-488 Drew
Court, two class A warehouse/flex buildings totaling 146,906 square feet, situated on 8.53 acres of land (the “Property”). The Property, situated in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania within two miles of the largest interchange of major roadways in Pennsylvania, was sold to a private REIT.

The Endurance/Thackeray JV acquired the Property in December of 2011. It was developed in 1975 and features all the amenities required by contemporary distribution/flex tenants including 20-22’ ceiling heights, 24 loading doors, wet sprinkler system, and approximately 30,000 SF of office space (20%). It is currently 100% occupied, and has averaged 95% occupancy for the past 10 years.
With convenient access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76/I-476), Routes 202 & 422, and the I-95
corridor, the Property is located in the core of the King of Prussia, a major hub for business and industry within the Philadelphia region. This location provides access to over 33% of the United States population and 50% of Canadian consumers within an 8-hour truck commute. In addition to one of the largest retail malls in the country and the largest suburban office market in the Philadelphia metropolitan region, King of Prussia is home to many distribution and manufacturing operations, and is a strong, coveted location for functional flex industrial product such as Drew Court.

During its holding period, Endurance as the operating partner successfully expanded a major tenant,
Pinnacle Textile Industries, on two separate occasions, as well as extended their lease term and
successfully retained other tenants during its ownership period. “Upon acquisition we were successful in implementing a base-building renovation program which was a key factor in maintaining 100%
occupancy during our holding period. The access to the property with the recent creation of the
Henderson Road slip ramp off of I-76 was further improved. Due to the stability of the rent roll, in-fill nature of the asset, and lack of industrial product for sale it was an optimal time to sell and a successful investment for our joint venture.” said Benjamin Cohen, President of Endurance.
The sale of the Property comes on the heels of Endurance/Thackeray’s recent purchase of Naaman’s
Creek Business Center, a five (5) building flex portfolio totaling 190,729 SF in Upper Chichester
Township, Delaware County, which is actively being marketed for lease.

Endurance Real Estate Group, LLC (www.endurance-re.com), founded by Benjamin Cohen and Bill
White in 2002, is a Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based real estate owner/developer focused on income and value creation opportunities in the Mid- Atlantic region with a concentration in regional and bulk
warehouse/distribution assets. Endurance’s current portfolio consists of 4.0 MSF of
warehouse/distribution, flex, and office assets. Since its formation, the company has acquired
approximately $400 million of assets totaling 7.5 MSF and disposed of nearly 3.0 MSF with a value of $200 million. Affiliates of Endurance have closed on three separate transactions in 2015 totaling almost 835,000 SF of warehouse, distribution and flex space.

Thackeray Partners was formed in January of 2005 by Mary Hager and Tony Dona to acquire and invest in a diversified portfolio of U.S. real estate investments through private equity funds. To date, Thackeray has closed or committed to transactions totaling over $3 billion, representing equity placements of over $747 million.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

TGM Associates Sells Apt. Building in Yardley

TGM Associates sold the 248-unit Polo Run Apartments complex in Yardley, PA, to Relative Properties. The details of the sale were undisclosed at time of publication.

The 200,942-square-foot apartment community consists of one- and two- bedroom units in 14 buildings. It was built in 1989 in Bucks County just north of Philadelphia and 28 miles from downtown, and was 92% occupied at the time of the sale.

Philadelphia Retail Improving

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com

Steady improvement in the jobs picture is leading to increases in retail spending and a corresponding expansion trend among retailers in the geography, according to second quarter Retail Research Market Overview.

“High-end grocers Whole Foods and Wegmans are expanding in the wealthier suburbs,” the report says. “Meanwhile, several other smaller retailers including discount stores and quick-serve restaurants are also growing their footprints. In the wake of Bottom Dollar’s exit from the market earlier this year, Aldi purchased all 46 locations in the Philadelphia area and has plans to open 20 of them as Aldi stores.”

Developers are likely to speed up the completion of their retail projects to accommodate the rising demand, the report says. Builders are more confident that projects will get leased, and are beginning some before completing the leasing process, according to the report.

“The Fed recently indicated that it may raise its short-term lending benchmark as early as June, though September is the most likely target as the central bank awaits further tightening in the labor market and stronger wage growth. Against the pros­pect of an inevitable rise in interest rates, investors remain highly motivated to purchase retail assets and debt providers continue to compete for market share while also maintaining underwriting discipline.”

Competition for retail properties in the Philadelphia market is intense because of limited inventories.

“Demand for retail properties in the Philadelphia metro is rising as steadily improving operations and higher yields at­tract increasing investor attention from buyers around the country,” the report says. “Compressed cap rates in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas are encouraging not only institutional investors, but also private buyers from outside the region to search for assets in the metro.”

Other highlights of the report:

Shopping center vacancy rates averaged 9.3 percent in the first quarter, down 20 basis points from the previous year. Power centers notched a similar decline, to 6.1 percent, but mall vacancy rates increased 70 basis points, to 5.4 percent.
Southern New Jersey vacancy rates remained higher, about 100 basis points above the previous low, at 8.6 percent, but rising demand has led to improvement over the last year.
Net absorption will approach two millions square feet, helping average vacancy rates to decline to about 6.3 percent.
Rents were up 1.6 percent to $16.11 per square foot at the end of the first quarter. Rents in South Jersey fell 3.5 percent, to $12.30 per square foot.
Storefront locations in Center City Philadelphia averaged sales of $400 per square foot. Newly built drugstores can average $500 per square foot, and national tenants in long-term leases at good locations can average “north of $600.”


Westlakes Signs Five Leases After Renovations

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com

Keystone Property Group has completed five lease transactions, including four new tenants and one expansion – totaling 20,000 square feet of absorption at Westlakes in Berwyn, PA. As Keystone completes a significant set of property improvements to its holdings at Westlakes One, Two, Three and Five, the rapid property lease-up is indicative of the significant demand for these modernized state-of-the-art office spaces.

“Today’s forward-thinking businesses understand the value of collaborative and exciting workspaces,” says Bill Glazer, president of Keystone. “With major upgrades to the buildings and grounds, we’ve created a fresh, stimulating environment that is conducive to both creativity and productivity and provides significant value to our tenants.”

The five new tenants are: SolarSense, an alternative energy company; Donovan Axler, a business law firm specializing in pension funds, hedge funds and small businesses; Jones Lang LaSalle; and Amring Pharmaceuticals, a global specialty generic pharmaceutical company. Additionally, the largest deal completed recently at Westlakes was with Berkshire Hathaway, which renewed and expanded its 17,954-square-foot Fox & Roach office by 3,808 square feet, reaching a total of 21,762 square feet.

Located near Route 202 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the property has undergone significant renovations in recent months, and has been transformed into a modern, amenity-rich work environment.

The four Keystone buildings all have indoor and outdoor WiFi and have received lobby and common area enhancements as well as new exterior landscaping and signage. Other upgrades include a new outdoor lounge area; the addition of a full-service deli; an expanded wellness center with new fitness equipment; and the addition of state-of-the-art conference facility.

“Given the success of our recent office transformations in the region, we knew that facilities with more holistic lifestyle amenities were in high demand,” Keystone partner Richard Gottlieb tells GlobeSt.com exclusively. “An office environment that provides the ability to dine, exercise and collaborate is really one that resonates with people.”

With onsite workout rooms and shower facilities available, and the adjacent Chester Valley Trail for running, walking and biking passing directly through Westlakes, the progressive property gives employees the ability to engage in mid-day exercise.

“Some of the most compelling features at the new Westlakes are the patios, break-out rooms and common areas, which are ideal for communal brainstorming sessions as well as after-work socializing,” says Gottlieb.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Paoli Main Line office complex up for sale as potential site of future apartments

by Natalie Kostelni Reporter- Philadelphia Business Journal

Palmer Group Properties is seeking to sell a site adjacent to the Paoli Train Station in Paoli, Pa. – an office complex that could be potentially redeveloped into a transit-oriented apartment project.

Located at 37 North Valley Road, the four-building office complex called Station Square would need to be demolished to make way for any new development. The buildings are more than 40 years old and the tenants are on month-to-month leases, said Mark Thomson (CQ) of HFF, which is marketing it for sale.

The property is listed for about $9 million. By right, a developer could construct 135 apartments on the property though they could try to seek approvals for more density.

There are a few moving parts to the 7.45 acre property. Of that, an acre will be transferred through eminent domain to Amtrak and SEPTA for a proposed $36 million redevelopment of the Paoli Transportation Center and realignment of a bridge over Valley Road. When that property will be taken by the rail companies and how much it will be valued at has not yet been determined.

In spite of some of the uncertainty, interest in the property has been high with interest from local real estate firms as well as those from outside the area, Thomson said. “It’s on the Main Line and everyone is looking at it,” Thomson said. “I’ve gotten calls from national builders who want to get into the Philadelphia market.”

Full story: http://tinyurl.com/olpcx75

Schiller Grounds Care has leased 36,000 SF in Southampton, PA

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Schiller Grounds Care has leased 36,000 square feet at 1280 Industrial Highway in Southampton, PA, an expansion from its nearby 21,000 square foot warehouse distribution location at 1120 Industrial Highway.

Schiller Grounds Care engineers, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art lawn and garden care equipment.  The newly leased space at 1280 Industrial Highway will be utilized to hold the company’s overflow product.

1280 Industrial Highway is a 100,000-square-foot multi-tenant industrial building owned by the Erlich family.  The building is also home to the Erlich family’s Gift Mark Company, a supplier of fine children’s furniture and accessory pieces to retailers throughout the United States, and a distributor of fine Israeli giftware.


The Mall as Retail/Entertainment Venue, Joseph Coradino, CEO of PREIT (Video)


Valley Forge Casino Opens 20,000sf Beach Club

Fran Hilario Philadelphia Business Journal
The Valley Forge Casino Resort recently opened its newest amenity, a 20,000-square-foot poolside destination, but not due to the pressures brought on by the ever-growing competition in the state's gaming industry.

The casino, over the weekend, opened its Valley Beach Poolside Club, a $600,000 investment it completed in a two-month time span. “We had a hotel pool here that was part of the resort,” said Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Galle. “We put in over $600,000 into the space to launch it and make it a destination so that it was a true poolside club.”

Here’s a list of the big-ticket items:
$100,000 — multilevel deck
$75,000 — outdoor tiki bar
$50,000 — feature wall and stage area
$40,000 — technology package for audio and lighting

The casino's slots revenue for May was $7.4 million, up more than 14 percent year-over-year, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, marking the second-highest increase in the state, just behind Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Pa.

The Valley Forge Casino Resort's total revenue also increased by nearly 20 percent last year -- a more than $10 million jump that made it the only casino in the state to increase its slot revenue in 2014.
Amenities like the poolside will keep "elevating the experience," explained Galle, who said the casino will continue to create experiences for guests that will draw new people. There are no projections to how much revenue the new poolside would generate.

"We have goals for ourselves," Galle said. "We've yet to see what this can do. It's such a great space ... and it's going to be a big deal in this area."

Entrance is $10 for a day pass and $100 for a season pass. For the first few weeks, all approved Valley Beach tags will be free for the pool's first season. The food and beverage menu is overseen by executive Chef Chris Garrison and includes burgers and grilled jerk chicken.

The poolside club will be open through the end of September. The casino, last February, added a game room featuring high-limit table games, including blackjack, craps and midi baccarat.
The casino-resort's CEO Mike Bowman announced his resignation last week in order to head the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board. Galle and Chief Financial Officer Alex Figueras are serving in dual leadership roles until Bowman's replacement is found.

Bowman is replacing Bill Fitzgerald, who stepped down in March to be vice president and managing director of the newly branded Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing. The Valley Forge casino opened in March 2012, becoming the 11th casino in Pennsylvania and one of the Philadelphia region's three casinos, which include SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown, Parx Casino in Bensalem, and Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Chester.

In November last year, a second casino license was awarded to Live! Hotel and Casino, a $425 million, 200,000-square-foot casino that will be located in South Philadelphia near the sports complexes.
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/q5vfoyo


Friday, June 5, 2015

Time to Let Go of Distress (Video)


Hot Buyers, Hot Markets (Video)


Tech realty goes retro (Video)


Are Private Buyers Being Squeezed Out of Prime Deals? (Video)


MRP Residential and Cornerstone Bet on Center City Multifamily

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
MRP Residential and Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, acting on behalf of a Cornerstone-managed fund, have acquired two residential properties in Philadelphia. The firms did not disclose the terms, but industry observers familiar with the deal say it’s likely the purchase price was “north of $60 million.”

The properties, 400 Walnut Street, with 67 units and 5,000 square feet of retail and 1930 Chestnut Street, with 144 units and 5,000 square feet of retail, will be renovated by MRP Residential and include updated amenities.

“Both 400 Walnut Street and 1930 Chestnut Street enjoy excellent locations within Center City,” says Charles McGrath, senior vice president of MRP. “We view this acquisition as an opportunity to add both amenities and in-unit finishes that are commensurate of the properties’ locations and address the growing demands of today’s tenants.”

“We see a high demand for apartment housing in Center City Philadelphia, and by acquiring these two residential properties we will be able to deliver compelling investment alternatives to our investors,” says Steve Gould, vice president of Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Juniper Court Sold for $29M

The Real Estate Equity Company LLC purchased the Juniper Court retail building at 1330 - 1336 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia, PA for $29 million, or about $345 per square foot, from Carlyle Development Group.

The three-story, 84,000-square-foot property sits on half an acre in the heart of the Market Street East submarket. Lucky Strike Lanes and Blick Ark Materials anchor the asset.

NFI Industries Signs Deal for 232,000 SF

NFI Industries, Inc., a transportation logistics company, has signed a lease for the entire 231,500-square-foot industrial building at 9677 West Hills Ct. in Fogelsville, PA.

Building B in West Hills Business Center is currently in-development, expected to finish construction in the fourth quarter of 2015. The property is part of a 230-acre industrial park, and when completed will feature 30-foot clear heights and 50-foot column spacing, 45 dock high doors and two drive-in bays. There are over 160 parking spots projected and a 160-foot truck court. The building will be heavy power with 1,200-amp, 480-volt, 3-phase, 4-wire service.

Watermark at Logan Square Sells for $72.5M

Fremont Realty Capital and The Freshwater Group have sold the 464-unit continuing care retirement community at 2 Franklin Town Blvd. in Philadelphia, PA to New Senior Investment Group, Inc. for $72.5 million, or roughly $173 per square foot.

The 24-story, 420,220-square-foot healthcare facility, known as Watermark at Logan Square, is comprised of 264 independent living units, 77 personal care, 14 memory care, and 109 rehab and skilled nursing units.

The facility is net-leased to the operator, Watermark Retirement Communities.

Universal Pasteurization & Cold Storage Leases 170,000 SF in Malvern

Universal Pasteurization & Cold Storage signed a 169,774-square-foot lease with Exeter Property Group in Malvern, PA, to establish its first location on the East Coast. The food processing and distribution firm will occupy the entire building at 8 Lee Blvd.

The Nebraska-based company is a major provider of outsourced High Pressure Processing (HPP) services, which enables food manufacturers to increase food shelf life and create lower sodium and 'clean label' products. In addition to offering HPP, Universal Pasteurization provides such services as cold storage, dry and wet tempering, kitting, blast freezing, ink jetting and logistics.

In addition to the new Malvern location, the company has operations in Lincoln, NE, Villa Rica, GA and Coppell, TX.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Liberty Property makes another buy in Center City

by Natalie Kostelni staff writer for Philadelphia Business Journal

Liberty Property Trust has acquired a surface lot at 19th and Arch streets in Philadelphia. The property is part of a block the company has been assembling for some time for what many believe will be the site for a third tower for Comcast Corp.

The Malvern, Pa., real estate investment trust paid $2.45 million to buy what is a 10,720-square-foot surface parking lot at 1931-1937 Arch St.

It bought it from a limited liability corporation going under the initials J.H.E., according to Philadelphia property records. The entity has a Cherry Hill, N.J., postal address.
As I reported in February, Liberty (NYSE: LRY) has been buying up this block that is bound by 19th, Arch, Cherry and 20th streets piece by piece over the last year.

In December, Liberty 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 streets and the building is 8,700 square feet.
Liberty has also made a move to buy Russell Byers Charter School at 1911-13 Arch St. The building totals 55,000 square feet. Other properties it has acquired include: 102-18 N. 19th St.; 100 N. 19th St.; and 1919-23 Arch St.
Commercial real estate sources have said that a third Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) tower is in the works and that bidding on the project is in the initial stages.
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/o86s8lv

Willner Adds More Tenants at Exton Corporate Center

by Steve Lubetkin Globest.com

Willner Properties added two new leases totaling 8,400 square feet at the Exton Corporate Center for StudioETC and Evolution Energy Partners. Exton Corporate Center is an 80,000 square foot, five-story building at 102 Pickering Way in Exton, PA.

StudioETC, a trade show exhibit design firm, leased approximately 7,000 square feet to accommodate its growing, in-house design team. The company also specializes in the design of point-of-purchase displays and retail environments. StudioETC sold its previous office headquarters and relocated into Exton Corporate Center. The new office overlooks the company’s manufacturing facility and offers more space for the expanding business.

Evolution Energy Partners, an energy procurement, management and consulting company, chose to relocate to the Exton Corporate Center from nearby within the market leasing over 1,400 square feet of space. Evolution Energy Partners chose Exton Corporate Center for the quality amenities of the property, its visible location on Route 100 and the responsive professional management.

As one of the newest assets within Willner Properties’ portfolio, The Exton Corporate Center offers convenient access to Chester County’s skilled workforce as well as numerous local restaurants, hotels, and retail opportunities. The center’s accessibility to major roadways like the PA Turnpike and Routes 100, 113, 30 and 202 contributes to the properties growing corporate presence.  Willner Properties Group is actively marketing the remaining 30,000 square feet of available build to suit space.

250K SF NoLib Warehouse Becoming Horizontal Office Space

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Alliance Partners HSP has unveiled plans to transform a 250,000-square-foot warehouse property into SoNo, a collaborative work environment in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood – a rising enclave for young professionals in the technology, advertising, media and information sectors (TAMI).

A private real estate investment and operating company, Alliance HSP has more than two decades of experience transforming underutilized, obsolete warehouse assets in infill locations into ‘cool space’ work environments. The company acquired the Northern Liberties property in 2014 with an eye toward designing and building an open and modern "horizontal" space that could serve as a magnet for companies looking to tap into Philadelphia’s pool of millennial talent. Philadelphia is home to 120,000 college students, 64 percent of who stay local after graduating. The city also boasts the nation’s fastest growing millennial population and the highest number of graduate degrees per capita.

"We have completed more than a billion dollars of large redevelopments throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region over the past 20 years. Never have we seen such a well-placed and underutilized asset as SoNo,” says Richard Previdi, operating managing partner for the firm.

Previdi and several members of his redevelopment team visited the West Coast prior to beginning the design process.

“Our goal was to ‘find the edge’ of warehouse redevelopment,” Previdi says. “What we heard from our fellow redevelopers was that buildings 'at the edge' were being redeveloped into large horizontal (versus vertical) workspaces that provided very efficient space, proximity to the 'biking' millennial workforce, and included such unique amenities as roof-top entertainment terraces, healthy-food dining facilities, and multiple collaborative meeting areas. The West Coast tenants told us that they have 'content versus commodity' businesses, and that people are their most important assets. As such, their most important real estate 'drivers' beyond having efficient, horizontal space is collaboration, branding and recruitment. We think SoNo provides all of these.”

SoNo will have a bi-level, open plan with 24-foot ceilings, 15 sawtooth skylights, numerous conference pods and alcoves, an amphitheater, custom art, and vertical window slots. A 75-foot tower will house a tenants-only lounge, bar and rooftop deck, fire pit, barbecue area and will offer panoramic views of Philadelphia.

Additional building amenities include a bicycle storage area with space for 75 bikes, lockers and a changing room; a café that features community tables, bar-style seating and healthy food options; and a club-caliber fitness center with treadmills, cross-trainers, stair-climbers, multiple bike configurations and a yoga area.

The building’s exterior will feature seating areas, a basketball court and a picnic area with space designated for food trucks – all within ten blocks of the center of the city.

“The changes underway in the SoNo area are a microcosm of the overall transformation of the Philadelphia central business district into a world-class, ‘live, work and play’ urban environment,” says Matt Handel, the company's director of leasing. “Our Northern Liberties neighborhood alone has seen a 60 percent population increase between 2000 and 2010.”

The City of Philadelphia has responded to the surging interest in its urban core as a millennial destination by undertaking transformative public improvement projects. These projects include the Spring Garden Greenway Initiative, which will transform the four lanes running directly in front of SoNo into a 2.2 mile, heavily landscaped boulevard with dedicated bike lanes, and, as previously reported by GlobeSt.com, the Rail Park – a three mile section of the abandoned Reading rail line, which is now being converted into an elevated urban park, much like Manhattan’s High Line.

“It's clear that change has come to Philadelphia's urban core and that the Northern Liberties neighborhood soon will become Philadelphia's answer to Manhattan's TriBeCa,” says Handel. “We at Alliance are certain that SoNo will be a big part of this transformation."

Investors Trade Marlton Office Assets

Lippincott Real Estate Associates LLC sold the medical office buildings at 402-404 Lippincott Dr. in Marlton, NJ to UR Lippincott DST for $9.5 million, or about $181 per square foot.

The assets are fully occupied by Continuum Health Associates under a long term lease deal.

The single-story, 53,100-square-foot property was constructed in 1997 on 5.7 acres in the South Burlington County submarket of Philadelphia. The buildings are part of the Marlton Crossing Office Park, which enjoys direct access to Rte 73 near I-295 and the Turnpike, and is home to Virtua Health, Morgan Stanley, and Friedman LLP.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

AmerisourceBergen plans to construct 3 new facilities

by John George Senior Reporter- Philadelphia Business Journal

AmerisourceBergen said Tuesday it plans to build three additional distribution centers in the United States.
The Valley Forge, Pa., pharmaceutical distribution services company said its is building facilities in Olive Branch, Miss.; Shakopee, Minn.; and Newburgh, N.Y.; to "improve product access and increase supply chain efficiency."
The company currently operates 25 distribution centers across the country.
The building projects are part of AmerisourceBergen's ongoing investments in improving its shipping and information technology systems. Those investments have exceeded $1 billion during the the past 10 years. The cost of the three new centers, and the number of jobs they will create, was not immediately available from Amerisource Bergen (NYSE: ABC).
Construction is expected to start this summer and will take 18 to 24 months to complete.
AmerisourceBergen, which posted revenues of just under $120 billion in its 2014 fiscal year, handles about 35 percent of the pharmaceuticals sold and distributed in the United States.

Monday, June 1, 2015

1031 Exchange Revoke Would be a “Disaster” (Video)


2 Valley Forge apartment complexes hit the market

Natalie Kostelni Staff Writer for Philadelphia Business Journal
Two apartment properties that are next door to each other in Valley Forge, Pa., have come up for sale.
O’Neill Properties Group has decided to sell the Lofts at Valley Forge, a 388-unit complex at 1876 Minutemen Lane. The property had been up for sale two years ago but a deal for it was never arranged.
“It’s a great time to sell,” said Brian O’Neill, founder of O’Neill Properties of King of Prussia, Pa. “We think it’s a good time to be out in the market.”
O’Neill is trying to seize on the frothy multifamily housing market while investors remain on the hunt for established properties that are performing well.
The complex, which consists of seven, four-story buildings, is about 97 percent occupied.
O'Neill said he is hoping a buyer comes along who is willing to pay $90 million, or more than $220,000 a unit, for the property that his company constructed.
The other property to come on the market is Riverview Landing at Valley Forge at 1776 Patriots Lane.
Also constructed by O’Neill Properties, the 310-unit building was sold by JP Morgan in November 2012 for $51 million, or $165,000 a unit, to Milestone Apartements REIT of Dallas, Texas. That complex consists of six buildings, a 5,000-square-foot clubhouse and pool as well as other amenities.
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/nueo6l8