Thursday, June 9, 2016

Post Brothers, MF Developer, Acquires Prime Center City Philadelphia Retail Properties

by Steve Lubetkin,
In what it calls “a strategic response to the rising demand for high street retail,” PH Retail—an affiliate of real estate company Post Brothers—has acquired a controlling interest in 1501-05 Walnut Street and 1520-22 Chestnut Street, with a total project cost in excess of $50 million.

Located on two of Philadelphia’s most desirable retail thoroughfares, the properties add 70,000 square feet of prime commercial space to PH Retail’s portfolio, which currently consists of assets valued in excess of $100 million.

“In recent years, we’ve witnessed an increasing number of retailers gravitate toward opening up locations on high streets. With Millennials and Baby Boomers moving into urban neighborhoods at an unprecedented pace, retailers are migrating to heavily trafficked city streets, where restaurants, cultural attractions and entertainment venues attract both affluent residents and tourists.”

Totaling 30,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space, 1501-1505 Walnut Street is home to AT&T Mobility’s flagship location and Club Monaco, and currently has one availability of 2,848 square feet.

Totaling more than 40,000 square feet, 1520-22 Chestnut Street features 27,000 square feet of above-grade space, and another 13,500 square feet below grade. Dollar Tree vacated the property earlier this year, creating an availability that will be sought after by the large number of retailers that are intent on establishing a foothold in Philadelphia’s downtown.

“This part of Center City is truly a live-work-play urban core, and high-end retailers are clamoring to gain access,” said Hope, who noted that, over the past five years, Philadelphia has welcomed retailers such as Barney’s Co-Op, Intermix, Lululemon, Apple, Theory, Madewell, Michael Kors, Uniqlo, H&M and Nordstrom Rack. “While Walnut Street has long been a retail hot spot, the demand for space in this section of the city has led to high-quality retail options along many of the neighboring corridors, with the most notable being Chestnut Street.”

PH Retail, which describes itself as “an opportunistic investor,” identifies properties with untapped potential, and optimizes their performance through capital improvements and innovative leasing strategies. PH Retail says its use of responsibly sourced building materials and efficiently designed buildings enhance the customer experience.

“These blocks of Walnut and Chestnut have some of the fastest-rising retail rents in the country, and we believe those numbers will continue to climb as demand for space outpaces supply,” Hope says. “As an increasing number of retailers eschew malls in favor of walkable, downtown locales, we are well positioned to acquire properties in Center City that are underutilized or not properly managed.”

Situated on two of Philadelphia’s most recognized streets, both 1501-1505 Walnut Street and 1520-22 Chestnut Street are convenient to the affluent residential base of Rittenhouse Square, the Avenue of the Arts on South Broad Street, Philadelphia’s flourishing tourism base, and several employee-dense office corridors.

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