Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Erdner Brothers Signs 197,000-SF Expansion in Vineland

Erdner Brothers, a trucking and transportation company, has signed a one-year expansion lease for an additional 197,000 square feet in the industrial building at 51 W. Park Ave. in Vineland, NJ.

Erdner Brothers previously occupied 53,000 square feet in the building, and now leases 250,000 square feet there. The industrial building totals about 270,000 square feet, with PODS currently occupying the remaining 20,000 square feet.

Garg Consulting Services Lease Fills Horizon Corporate Center Property In S. Jersey

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Garg Consulting Services, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm, leased 2,700 square feet at 1000 Crawford Place in Mount Laurel, NJ, bringing the building to 100 percent occupancy. The building owner is Femast Management.

“GCS was attracted to 1000 Crawford Place due to the building’s premier accommodations and its campus setting with lakeside views and abundant greenery. As an added bonus, the site’s proximity to I-295 and the New Jersey Turnpike provides easy access for GCS’ staff and visiting clients.”

Located within Horizon Corporate Center, 1000 Crawford Place is a 39,445-square-foot class A mid-rise office building. The building was fully renovated and —modernized to feature granite lobbies and an abundant window line with views of the Philadelphia skyline. Situated just off of Route 73, Horizon Corporate Center is in close proximity to Exit 4 of the New Jersey Turnpike and I-295.  Several restaurants, shopping centers and hotel accommodations are located nearby.

“We are pleased to have found an ideal location for GCS to call home and to assist the building owner in achieving 100 percent leased status. This facility offers convenience to major highways for commuters, as well as a myriad of nearby amenities."

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sentry Park East Office In Blue Bell Trades fro $2.175M

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Sentry Park East, a 24,000-square-foot office property located in Blue Bell, PA was sold for $2.175 million.

“The buyer who was ultimately chosen was in a 1031 tax deferred exchange which allowed us to compress timelines, closing this transaction in 35 days,” says Grad.

“This acquisition represented the buyer’s first venture into the office segment,” says Newton. “We have a unique platform which caters to bringing capital from different product types to maximize proceeds for our seller.”

Sentry Park East, 1710 Walton Road in Blue Bell, PA, is a three-story building with five condominium units.  This sale represented one of the five office buildings within the condominium association.  The tenants of the office building are a mix of accounting, consulting and staffing firms with 76 percent occupancy. The property is close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Blue Bell office submarket, one of the most prosperous areas in Montgomery County.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

SugarHouse Casino Rolls Dice On $164 Million Expansion

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
SugarHouse Casino has officially opened a bold $164-million expansion at the Delaware River gaming facility.

A ribbon-cutting earlier this month showcased the casino’s new attractions, including the SugarHouse Marketplace (featuring Philadelphia brands Saxbys Coffee, Tacconelli’s Pizzeria, Geno’s Steaks and a brand-new local concept, Revolution Grill), Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House, the multipurpose Event Center and the first-ever Poker Night in America Poker Room.

“We are excited to wrap up our much anticipated expansion and welcome guests to the bigger, better SugarHouse,” says general manager Wendy Hamilton. “From world-class entertainment and dining to expanded gaming, SugarHouse is one of Philly’s premiere destinations for a night on the town or to hold a group event.”

SugarHouse began construction on the $164 million expansion in 2014. The expansion, designed by Cope Linder Architects of Philadelphia, increases SugarHouse’s 108,000-square-foot facility to approximately 260,000 square feet, not including the new seven-story parking garage of roughly 600,000 square feet. The larger gaming areas offer 44 additional table games, 289 new slots and a 28-table poker room. The expansion also brings in new non-gaming amenities, including additional restaurants and The Event Center.

About 500 new, full-time jobs have been added at SugarHouse as a result of the expansion, bringing the current total to approximately 1,700.

The Event Center incorporates a 30,000 square-foot multipurpose space on the second floor of the casino, for corporate events, wedding receptions, black-tie galas, and major performances. It features floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of the riverfront and the Ben Franklin Bridge. Minutes from Center City, the SugarHouse Casino Event Center can accommodate small and large groups of more than 1,000 guests for standing room only, or up to 800 people for banquet seating, and is accessible for all ages.

The upsized casino includes a 6,000 square-foot dedicated poker space, named the Poker Night in America Poker Room. The state-of-the-art Poker Room features 28 tables and 252 seats. It’s the first of its kind, becoming a home base for the popular CBS Sports TV program.

The newly expanded gaming space brings in 44 additional table games and 289 new slots, a 20 percent increase from SugarHouse’s previous gaming offerings. The new High Limit Lounge offers a private atmosphere, while still being a part of the casino action. Guests will enjoy high limit gaming, concierge service, private parking and more.

The complimentary parking garage offers 1,500 new spaces for guests to park, with direct elevator access to the casino floor. Through a partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Public Art Program, an urban light sculpture was installed on the façade of the garage facing Delaware Avenue. Designed by East Falls, Pennsylvania-based artist Lyn Godley, the beautiful, colorful display spans 290 feet wide and 60 feet high. The artwork is composed of a series of light boxes and façade lighting that change colors during the day and throughout the night to reflect similar patterns in the flow of the Delaware River.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

NBC Philadelphia Merchants Renews 166,000-SF Lease

NBC Philadelphia Merchants has renewed its lease for 166,430 square feet in the industrial building at 2801 Red Lion Rd. in Philadelphia, PA.

The building totals 180,271 square feet and was built in 1966. It is currently owned by First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc.

The tenant's lease encompasses the building’s industrial space. The remaining space is classified as office and is currently vacant and available for lease. There are no other tenants in the building.

Jemstone Group Acquires The Shoppes at Cross Keys

The Jemstone Group LLC purchased The Shoppes at Cross Keys located at 611 Berlin Cross Keys Rd0 in Sicklerville, NJ for $23 million, or about $131 per square foot. 

The 176,118-square-foot shopping center was built in 2009 with additions completed as recently as 2015. Located in Camden County, the center houses several national tenants including Hobby Lobby, Pet Valu, Starbucks and T-Mobile. 

UPS Leases 341,000 SF at First 33 Commerce Center

UPS has inked a lease to occupy the entire 341,400-square-foot industrial building at 3895 Eastgate Blvd. in Easton, PA.

The single-story warehouse delivered in December 2015, Bldg. A within the First 33 Commerce Center in Northampton County. Building amenities include 64 loading docks, two drive-in bays and 32-foot ceilings.


Staples Leases 21,000 SF in Allentown

Staples has renewed its lease of 20,900 square feet in the retail building at 4680 Broadway in Allentown, PA.

The single-story Tilghman Square shopping center totals 298,020 square feet in the Lehigh / Northampton submarket. Development East Realty developed the property in 1989. Other tenants there include Amelia’s Grocery Outlet and Harbor Freight Tools.

Petrucci Starts Construction Of Upscale Apartments In Chalfont, PA

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
.G. Petrucci Company has started construction of Patriot Station at Chalfont in Chalfont, PA, a new luxury apartment community.

Expected to open in Spring of 2017, Patriot Station at Chalfont will feature 69 one- and two-bedroom luxury apartment units complete with modern amenities including stainless steel kitchen appliances, Quartz countertops, and full-size washers and dryers in each unit. The complex will also feature ample on-site surface parking and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

“Today marks a major step in the revitalization of Chalfont’s downtown. A new building will replace the original 1905 Patriotic Sons of America building. The historic St. James Church will be preserved, along with all of its beautiful stained glass windows, as the structure is transformed into a new restaurant,” says John Engel, president of the Chalfont Borough Council. “I would like to thank J.G. Petrucci Company for working with us and helping to make this transition a success.”

Petrucci and the Borough of Chalfont have made significant capital improvements to the area including a new traffic signal at Main Street and Park Avenue; roadway and sidewalk improvements; and upgrades—including the installation of ADA-compliant ramps.

“We worked closely with Chalfont officials to bring a development to the borough that will complement its existing buildings and infrastructure—it has been a great pleasure to work with the entire team,” says Greg Rogerson, principal of Petrucci. “Bucks County, as a whole, is experiencing a significant amount of new development, and we are excited to be a part of its expansion.”

Located within walking distance to the Chalfont train station—which is served by the Lansdale/Doylestown Line—the Patriot Station at Chalfont is the first new ground-up development in the borough for several years. Designed by award-winning architects, Minno & Wasko, the building will incorporate a modern design that is in keeping with old style architecture of many of the old Victorian buildings still found in the borough today.

Center City Philadelphia is just a 30-minute train ride from the Patriot Station at Chalfont, and nearby transportation routes include Routes 309 and 611, as well as the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Local amenities include shopping and restaurants at the five-points intersection, and the nearby Montgomeryville and King of Prussia Malls. Within minutes from the complex is the popular Peace Valley Park and Lake Galena, which features over 14 miles of nature trails on 365 acres. Residents of Patriot Station can partake in outdoor activities like boating, fishing, hiking and walking on the trails throughout the park.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Retailers Strategies From #ICSC International Council of Shopping Centers (Video)


Real estate realities: Sam Zell (Video)


Heidenberg Properties Expands Hershey Square Shopping Center In Hummelstown, PA

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Creative redevelopment is the key to the expansion of the Hershey Square Shopping Center in Hummelstown, PA, says Heidenberg Properties Group, the center’s developer.

Heidenberg is increasing the center’s available space by 9,151 square feet, to 227,441 square feet through new construction and reallocation of existing space, the developer says.

The expanding residential market and high volume of tourism surrounding Hersheypark and Penn State Hershey Medical Center have created robust demand for space from local retailers.

“Because of its strong residential base and the many visitors to the entertainment, business and recreational attractions, retailers have been clamoring for space in the Hershey area, but there is little available,” says Ken Simon, vice president of Real Estate. “Fortunately, we were able to maximize the construction on our existing property, allowing us to create new spaces in one of the best locations in the market.”
By recapturing inline space used as a stockroom by PA Wines & Spirits, two active retailers are being added to the tenant mix, including Sleepy’s in 3,800 square feet and Pet Valu in 3,000 square feet.

The new stockroom was constructed in the rear of the building allowing the state run retailer to install its latest “Premium Collection” prototype and commit to the location for 10 additional years.

In addition, a vacant pad building of 2,025 square feet at the time of acquisition has been demolished and replaced by a 6,750 square foot multi-tenant building. Visionworks, Five Guys Burgers & Fries and a medical testing lab are currently fitting out their stores to open this summer.

The new tenants plan to be open by Labor Day and will join an outstanding mix of national and regional tenants including anchors Kmart and Weis Markets, as well as Panera Bread, Applebee’s, GNC, and Verizon. The center is currently 99 percent occupied with only one 1,600 square foot space available.

Located in the heart of Hershey’s entertainment, medical and educational campuses, Hershey Square Shopping Center is situated 14 miles east of Harrisburg at the convergence of Routes 422, 322, and 39. Penn State Hershey Medical Center, home to the Penn State Cancer Institute, College of Medicine and Children’s Hospital, as well as the University Physician Center is located directly across Routes 422 and 322. Hersheypark, which draws more than 2 million visitors annually, is less than three miles from the center.

The Hershey Square Shopping Center was developed in 1994. Heidenberg Properties Group, Norse Realty Group, and Strategic Real Estate Partners acquired the retail property from The Hershey Trust Co. in October 2014. Less than two years later, the center will have expanded by almost 10,000 square feet.

Woodmont Industrial Partners Sells 385,000-SF Lehigh Valley Distribution Center

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
 Woodmont Industrial Partners has sold 9747 Commerce Circle, a class A, 385,000-square-foot industrial property in Kutztown, PA. The buyer and terms were not disclosed.

“The Lehigh Valley industrial market has demonstrated continued strength,” Eric Witmondt, principal of Woodmont Industrial Partners, tells GlobeSt.com exclusively. “With an aggregate vacancy rate of 5.7 percent for the first-quarter of 2016, the demand for quality industrial space in the region is quickly outpacing the supply of modern product. Looking ahead, we are seeking value-add opportunities in the Lehigh Valley and beyond—and plan to grow our industrial portfolio in the next several months.”

Woodmont, which acquired 9747 Commerce Circle in 2012 in a joint venture with AEW Capital Management, extended and expanded a lease at the building with Hearth & Home, a producer and installer of hearth products, for 173,701 square feet.

“Given the exceptional quality of the building, as well as its stable tenancy and strategic location in the increasingly sought-after Lehigh Valley industrial market, 9747 Commerce Circle presented an outstanding investment opportunity,” says Witmondt. “As we continue to grow our portfolio of industrial properties and land sites across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we will work to identify properties that fit this mold.”

Located within the Arcadia West Industrial Park in the heart of the Lehigh Valley, 9747 Commerce Circle is less than a half-mile away from Interstate 78, and provides easy access to Interstate 476 and Route 22.

Built in 2007, the building is equipped with an ESFR sprinkler system, T5 lighting, 32-foot ceiling heights, 50-by-50-foot column spacing, 20 loading dock doors and 10 additional knock-out dock door panels.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Giant Food Leases 70,000sf in Harrisburg Shopping Center

Giant Food Stores has leased 69,954 square feet for a new grocery store at the Harrisburg East Shoopping Center at 5005-5047 Jonestown Rd. in Harrisburg, PA.

The 187,117-square-foot retail center was built in 1972 on 15 acres in Dauphin County. Giant will co-anchor the center, already home to NAPA, SuperPetz, Value City Furniture and an Old Country Buffet.

Giant Food Stores, operating locally as Giant-Carlisle, owns several brands including Giant, Giant Eagle and Martin's Food Markets across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The new store will fill a grocery void in the Harrisburg Area East retail submarket while expanding Giant's footprint in its core marketplace.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Optimism for commercial real estate rising: Survey (Video)


PHILADELPHIA INDUSTRIAL Ridgeline Starting On 400,000 SF Crossroads Logistics Center In Jonestown, PA

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Responding to continuing class A bulk warehouse space demand in the healthy Central Pennsylvania industrial market, Ridgeline Property Group has broken ground on a 398,250-square-foot speculative industrial building in Jonestown, PA.  American Realty Advisors and RPG have created a joint venture to develop Crossroads Logistics Center, which will be built on a 35-acre site providing immediate access to Interstate 81.

Crossroads Logistics Center is expected to be completed in December 2016.
“With strong absorption rates combined with limited competitive supply, this market is primed for the modern, efficient, cross-docked class A distribution space that Crossroads Logistics Center will provide,” says Chris Ciliberti, partner of Ridgeline Property Group’s northeast operations.

“This is RPG’s second project in Pennsylvania, and we are excited to continue to expand the RPG platform nationally, and particularly in the Central Pennsylvania market,” says Greg Thurman, RPG’s CEO.

Crossroads Logistics Center’s strategic location at the confluence of I-81 and I-78 provides excellent access throughout the Northeast region. Located approximately 20 miles northeast of Harrisburg, the large and well-trained workforce within a 30-minute commute creates a strong incentive for companies to operate in this location. The overall vacancy rate for Class A product in Central Pennsylvania is just above 4 percent, placing supply at shortage levels, and absorption has remained strong.

“We’re pleased to partner with a best-in-class developer, Ridgeline Property Group, on this class A industrial building in this crucial distribution market,” says Martha Shelley, senior portfolio manager at American Realty Advisors.

Located on MSC Drive in Jonestown, PA, Crossroads Logistics Center is just over three quarters of a mile from I-81, and just over two miles from the I-81/I-78 Interchange, two major north-south and east-west routes, respectively, that connect the project to Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York and other important industrial markets. In addition, the location offers distributors and manufacturers convenient access to three major intermodal rail stations, as well as FedEx and UPS distribution hubs. “The investment in a new ground up, Class A, distribution facility in this critical Central Pennsylvania location is a strategic investment for American and is anticipated to provide favorable risk-adjusted returns to our investors.”

The 398,250-square-foot distribution facility is expandable to 450,000 square feet, and will feature 36-foot clear heights, 85 dock doors in a cross-docked configuration, four drive-in doors, highly efficient 55-foot by 56-foot column spacing, early suppression fast response (ESFR) fire sprinklers and high-capacity parking, including 206 auto spaces and 116 trailer storage stalls.  Additional parking and trailer storage stalls can be made available.  The project has received the LERTA (Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance) Tax Abatement at the township level, with County and School District approval expected in mid-May 2016.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Its Presidential City Redevelopment Moving Forward, Post Brothers Opens Sora Pool Club At Complex

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Post Brothers, which has been redeveloping some signature properties in key metropolitan markets, moved a step closer to completion of its redevelopment at the Presidential City apartment complex off City Line Avenue with the opening of the Sora Pool Club, its signature pool club resort and leisure space at the property.

The centerpiece of the historic four-building residential redevelopment, Sora Pool Club provides residents with an unusually elaborate upscale experience.

As previously reported by GlobeSt.com, Presidential City, located at 3900 City Avenue,  is comprised of four high-rise towers that offer an unparalleled diverse selection of apartment layouts. In 2014, Post Brothers launched its plan to perform full gut renovations to each of the four buildings, transforming them into luxurious, high-efficiency residences that provide a rare mix of quality, accessibility and value. Among them is the first tower, The Washington, which is now almost fully leased, and the most recently renovated tower, The Madison, which opened in the spring.

“With Sora Pool Club, we envisioned a uniquely sophisticated environment that would provide residents with a vacation atmosphere just steps from their apartments,” says Michael Pestronk, CEO and cofounder of Post Brothers. “From the reception that Sora has received, it’s clear that belief in this concept has been validated. Given the unique layout and sheer size of the Presidential City complex, there’s an experience here that simply cannot be duplicated anywhere in Philadelphia.”

Sora includes three outdoor temperature controlled saltwater swimming pools — open year-round — including a 75-foot Olympic-sized lap pool, where residents can swim at their leisure; a center lounge pool; and a play pool, for children and family activities. The pools will be surrounded by a sundeck area, with waterside cabanas, a full outdoor kitchen area and eight grilling stations. Residents also enjoy a new rooftop lounge overlooking the pool club, which is available for social gatherings and spontaneous events.

Indoors, Sora features a world-class wellness center equipped with top-of-the-line exercise equipment; residents have the option to attend 35 free “Post Fit” fitness classes on a weekly basis, including bootcamp classes, spinning, yoga, Pilates, Zumba and personal training services. Residents can also schedule facials, massages and other holistic personal services by appointment at Sora Pool Club’s Spa, which includes tanning beds, dry sauna and a co-ed steam room.

A fully stocked and tended juice bar will also open in early summer 2016 in Sora’s lobby. Additional recreation services include yoga and Zen gardens, multiple dog parks, basketball courts and daycare.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

National Wholesale Liquidators Returns To Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
National Wholesale Liquidators is returning to Philadelphia with a new store at the former Kmart location at 900 Orthodox St. near Castor Avenue and Wyoming Avenue.

“NWL is back in Philadelphia and it feels like home,” says Scott Rosen, CEO of NWL. “As someone who studied at the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in this great city, it’s a pleasure to help create jobs and drive more revenue for the local economy. With every new location we open, our customer-centric philosophy and can’t beat prices are really resonating with the community, and we are seeing customers flock to our stores in record numbers. This is only the beginning of our growth in Philadelphia and we can’t wait to expand into new neighborhoods and serve even more customers.”

The Philadelphia location will provide NWL’s traditional name brand merchandise mixed with closeouts at heavily discounted prices. The new store opens May 17.

The 100,000 square-foot space in Philadelphia will become NWL’s 13th big box store, and its first in the Philadelphia area since 2008. The firm retrenched severely after filing for bankruptcy in 2008. At one time, it had six stores in the Philadelphia area, the Philadelphia Inquirer says.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

M&Q Packaging Corp Facility in Schuylkill Haven Sells

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
85,113 square-foot industrial facility located at 3 Earl Street in Schuylkill Haven, PA was sold. The building is currently fully leased by M&Q Packaging Corporation on a long-term basis and features office, production and warehouse areas.

Buyer, seller, and terms were not disclosed.

The property was marketed by targeting the most active industrial property investors throughout the region. Within the first 10 days, several offers were submitted and the transaction was completed within 45 days.

“Our team continues to experience a strong influx of new capital into the Greater Philadelphia region for industrial property acquisitions including core stabilized offerings, value-add and repositioning opportunities and new construction. With long term financing rates remaining relatively low and development sites extremely limited, we expect this trend to continue throughout 2016.”

The facility, which was constructed in phases between 1969 and 2003, is located approximately 12 to 13 miles from both interstates 78 and 81.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Medipower Acquired Two Shopping Centers in Reading and Pottstown $26.55 million

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
edipower Overseas Co., a multinational real estate group, has acquired North End Shopping Center, a 102,905 square-foot neighborhood center located in Pottstown, PA, and Madeira Plaza, a 164,917 square-foot community center in Reading, PA, from SIN Ventures for $26.55 million.

“Both shopping centers are well performing, in-fill mature grocery anchored centers, the focus of what most investors want in today’s marketplace,” says Nathanson. “The attraction to the assets came from the stability of the historical occupancy of the grocery anchors for over 13 years coupled with the continued growth of the housing markets in Western Montgomery County and Berks County along the Route 422 corridor.”

North End Shopping Center, 94-percent occupied at the time of closing, is anchored by Redner’s Warehouse Market, CVS, Dollar General and PA Wine & Spirits. Headquartered in Reading, Redner’s is a regional supermarket chain with 45 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

Madeira Plaza, fully occupied at the time of closing, is also anchored by Redner’s Warehouse Market, Big Lots, Office Max, Rite Aid and Dollar General.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Lenders Tighten CRE Borrowing Standards

Bank and CMBS loan originators tightened their lending standards for all types of commercial real estate loans during the first quarter, a marked reversal from the previous few years.

A significant number of U.S. banks reported tightening standards for construction and land development loans and loans secured by multifamily properties, according to the latest Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey released this week. Additionally, a moderate number of U.S. banks reported tightening standards for loans secured by office, industrial, retail and hotel properties.

While lenders were tightening their underwriting standards, demands for all three types of CRE loans continued to grow.

In particular, the Fed's survey of senior loan officers found a moderate net fraction of U.S. banks reported increasing maximum loan size but tightening of their loan-to-value ratios. Another modest net fraction reported tightening debt-service coverage ratios. Survey respondents indicated that other loan terms remained basically unchanged, on net, over the past year.

The Fed also asked bank loan officers about their responses to conditions in the CMBS markets over the past six months. A moderate net fraction of banks reported moderately increasing the volume of origination of CRE loans; while a significant fraction reported moderately decreasing the volume of CRE loan securitization.

When asked about the anticipated large amount of CRE loans originated in 2006 and currently held in CMBS that will need to be refinanced over the next six months, a moderate net fraction of banks noted they expect standards for these refinancings to be somewhat tighter than standards they expect to apply to other CRE loans.

The results of the survey, “were both important and largely inconclusive in most ways,” said Christina Zausner, vice president, industry and policy analysis at CRE Finance Council. “After the Fed’s warning to the market on Dec. 18, 2015, it is interesting to see that the survey results largely suggested that CRE bank lenders are reacting to a changing environment in a moderate fashion - many holding, some taking new cards and some folding.”

The upside to the tighter lending conditions has been an increase in the quality of newly issued CMBS loans, according to Morgan Stanley Research.

“We believe this may lead to the outperformance of 2016 vintage deals relative to 2014 and 2015 vintages,” Morgan Stanley Research analysts wrote. “We expect the collateral performance of 2016 vintage loans to be better than those securitized in 2015 and 2014 vintage deals.”

Originators are becoming more selective, the firm noted. The average size of conduit deals has declined by 16% in the first quarter. The weighted average LTVs declined by 3.3 percentage points to the lowest level since 2011, driven by an increase in the percentage of loans with LTVs less than 60%.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

More Retailers Exploring Sale/Leaseback Options Putting More Property in Play

Despite a drop in the number of retail property sale/leasebacks in the first quarter of this year, there appears to be a substantial pipeline of deals building up as more merchants explore the option.

Among those actively looking to sell off corporate-owned stores is Mattress Firm Holding Corp., which has begun selling 1,050 Sleepy’s stores it acquired following a merger that closed in February. Fast-food chain Wendy’s has identified about 315 owned eateries it plans to dispose of by the end of the year. Bloomin’ Brands Inc., owners of Outback Steakhouse, agreed to a sale leaseback of 41 eateries and has another 215 restaurants it hopes to sell by early next year. And The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. also is exploring sale/leaseback opportunities as a way to pay down pending debt maturities.

The pipeline of retail property available for sale is such that John Case, CEO of Realty Income Corp. this week raised the firm's guidance on the amount of acquisitions it expects to make this year. Realty Income has been one of the largest buyers of such properties over the last two years.

Case raised his 2016 acquisitions guidance to $900 million from his initial estimate of $750 million while stating, "During the quarter we completed $353 million in acquisitions,” Case said. “And we continue to see a strong flow of opportunities that meet our investment parameters. During the quarter, we sourced $6.2 billion in acquisition opportunities, putting us on pace for another active year in acquisition. We remain disciplined in our investment strategy acquiring just 6% of the amount we sourced, which is consistent with our average since 2010."

Case added that the $900 million estimate does not take into account any as-yet unidentified large-scale transactions that may present themselves.

April Deals

Second quarter sale/leaseback activity among retailers has already kicked off following a couple of large portfolio sales from Bob Evans Farms Inc. and Bloomin’ Brands.

Bob Evans sold and leased back 143 restaurants to subsidiaries of National Retail Properties Inc. and Mesirow Realty Sale-Leaseback Inc. National Retail Properties paid $160.8 million for a portfolio of 117 Bob Evans Restaurant properties; and Mesirow paid $36.4 million for a portfolio of 26 eateries, netting a gain of $164 million on the sale which it plans to use to pay down debt.

As part of the transactions, Bob Evans Restaurants agreed to lease the locations for an initial term of 20 years, with five renewal options of five years each.

National Retail had pursued Bob Evans for more than two years while the restaurant operator weighed its options.

“It was a spectacular real estate deal,” said Jay Whitehurst, president of National Retail Properties. “Our average price per property was around $1.35 million and for that, on average, we obtained a 5,000-square-foot building on about an acre of land. Rent is only about $75,000 per property on average which is very safe, for both the tenant and the landlord.”

Subsequent to the end of the first quarter of 2016, Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands also sold and leased back 41 of its stores, primarily Outback Steakhouses, to Realty Income Corp. for $141.4 million or about $3.45 million per eatery. It used a portion of the proceeds to pay down $87.6 million in debt.

“Given the attractive real estate environment and the high level demand for these properties, we intend to pursue additional sale-leaseback deals through a combination of individual as well as larger institutional transactions,” said David Deno, CFO of Bloomin’ Brands. (For more information on that transaction, see CoStar Sale Comp #3570146.)

Bloomin’ Brands still owns more than 600 Outback properties and 205 Bonefish Grill restaurants.

“The key will be to balance the potential value opportunity presented in individual transactions with the benefit of speed provided by larger deals,” he said. “Given the current pipeline, we expect to substantially complete the sale of the available portfolio by early 2017. We believe the expected transaction will unlock significant value.”

National Retail Properties said it looked at the recent Bloomin’ Brands portfolio but felt the cost per restaurant was a bit outside its range. But the REIT said it would take a look at smaller portfolio transactions or one-off deals from Bloomin’ Brands.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Pulse of office real estate (Video)


Broadstone Net Lease Expands Portfolio

Broadstone Net Lease, a New York based REIT, acquired two properties formerly owned by Nationwide Insurance Co. The two properties, 355 Maple Ave. in Harleysville, and 1000 Nationwide Drive in Harrisburg, sold for $54.6 million or about $142/square foot.

The properties total approximately 385,000 SF and will continue to be leased back by Nationwide Insurance.

The properties, which have seen significant renovations in recent years, support numerous Nationwide business units, including underwriting, claims processing, and information technology, amongst others.

“We are thrilled to acquire these two Nationwide properties, and to commence a new 12-year lease via this sale leaseback transaction,” said Amy Tait, chairman and CEO of Broadstone.