Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hersha Hospitality Buys The Westin Hotel in Philadelphia

LaSalle Hotel Properties sold The Westin Hotel at 99 S. 17th St. in Philadelphia, PA for $135 million, or about $459,000 per room, to Hersha Hospitality Trust.

The seller acquired the asset from HEI Hotels & Resorts for $145 million ($493,000 /room) back in September 2010, according to CoStar data.

The 14-story, 240,006-square-foot hospitality building originally opened as the Ritz-Carlton in 1990 and was renovated in 2015. It sits on one acre in the Market Street West submarket, part of the mixed-use Liberty Place development and in close proximity to the new Comcast Innovation Tower, Rittenhouse Square, Pennsylvania Convention Center and University City. The Westin flag is operated under Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

The hotel consists of 294 guest rooms including 19 suites, 16,600 square feet of meeting space and a 7,500-square-foot ballroom, on-site restaurant and bar/lounge/nightclub, subterranean parking garage, and boasts an 84-percent average occupancy and RevPAR at $188.73. In a statement, Hersha reported the Westin sale resulted in a 7.8% CAP rate based on LTM, and for fiscal year 2016 the hotel had an average daily rate (ADR) of $225.

The buyer financed the acquisition in-part with proceeds from the sale of three suburban Hyatt extended-stay properties on the West Coast that occurred around the same time and resulted in $130.5 million in net proceeds for the hospitality-focused REIT. Hersha's Philadelphia cluster also includes The Rittenhouse Hotel and the Hampton Inn Convention Center.

"The successful closing of this transaction marks the 24th month of our capital recycling campaign during which we sold approximately $850 million of mature, stabilized hotels and successfully deferred $270 million of taxable gains with $816 million of accretive acquisitions," said Jay H. Shah, CEO of Hersha. "In addition to refining our portfolio’s market mix to urban gateway and coastal destinations, our improved portfolio quality focuses our capabilities on hotels with higher RevPAR and EBITDA growth potential in our core markets. We are pleased to acquire the Westin at an attractive basis, expanding our Philadelphia cluster to include the leading corporate hotel in the market."

Colony NorthStar Picks Up $201 Million Warehouse Portfolio Along I-95 Corridor

Colony Northstar  has finalized a deal to acquire $201 million worth of industrial real estate along the I-95 corridor between Maryland and Delaware from fellow institutional investor TA Realty.

The Los Angeles-based Colony Northstar paid nearly $72 per square foot for the portfolio, which totals 2.8 million square feet over 20 properties with the highest concentration located in the Baltimore MSA.

The Mid-Atlantic portfolio, which includes the seven-building DeSoto Business Park in Baltimore, is 94% leased to 64 tenants headlined by McCormick & Co., Price Modern, Sardo & Sons Warehousing, Gourmet Bakery, MXD Group and Capitol Express. The remaining assets total 434,969 square feet and are located in Newark, DE and Aston, PA.

Loan Servicing Co Leases 72,000 SF at Horsham Office Bldg

Bayview / Lakeview Loan Servicing, a residential and commercial mortgage loan servicer focused on helping homeowners preserve ownership, has leased 72,381 square feet in the office building at 507 Prudential Rd. in Horsham, PA.

The 100,710-square-foot building was constructed in 1988 by Lotz Realty, Inc. and was renovated in 2001. It sits on 6.2 acres in the Horsham/Willow Grove submarket of Montgomery County.

Bayview and Lakeview will be occupying the majority of the single-story building when its lease commences later this year.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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Iconic Centre Square Office Complex In Philadelphia Trades For $328M

by Steve Lubetkin,
In the largest office transaction in Philadelphia history, the iconic Centre Square, a two-building, 1.8-million-square-foot, class A, multi-tenant office complex in Philadelphia, traded from Equity Commonwealth REIT to an affiliate of Nightingale Properties, for a reported $328 million.  The building is perhaps best-known for the Claes Oldenburg sculpture of a clothespin on the plaza of the property’s northwest corner facing Market Street at City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza.

“Centre Square is a major part of Philadelphia’s fabric and attracted investor interest and capital commitments from around the globe. The asset sits across from Dilworth Park and City Hall and above the mass transit network. It is the best-located set of office towers in the Philadelphia CBD. We are honored to have been chosen to represent Equity Commonwealth in the sale of this landmark asset.”

Located at 1500 Market Street, in the heart of Philadelphia’s dynamic Central Business District, the office complex is an iconic part of the Philadelphia skyline. Built in 1974, the complex consists of a 36-story East Tower and a 43-story West Tower, which houses market leading tenants including the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Towers Watson, PHMC, Saul Ewing, Dilworth Paxson and the mortgage insurer, Radian.

In addition to a parking garage that can accommodate 450 vehicles, Centre Square also includes a 41,000 square-foot retail component with several shops, stores and restaurants. In 2015, the complex was awarded an Energy Star Label and the BOMA 360 Designation.

Nightingale Properties—which owns multiple properties throughout Philadelphia and the U.S., including 1635 Market Street, 1500 Spring Garden Street and 1835 Market Street—has plans to do an extensive renovation at Centre Square.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Four Office Buildings in Delaware and Bucks County, PA for $6.8M

The sales of four office buildings in Delaware and Bucks County, Pennsylvania have traded. The four properties sold for a combined sale price of $6.875 million. The seller was Penguin Real Estate Investors. The properties are:
53 West Baltimore Pike, a three-story 35,902 square foot class A office building in Media, PA, acquired by 53 Baltimore Pike LLC;
430-450 Lincoln Highway (Route 1) in Fairless Hills, PA, acquired by Olymbec;
 2050 and 2080 Cabot Boulevard West in Langhorne, PA, also acquired by Olymbec. The three-property portfolio acquired by Olymbec marks the first time the Canadian-based firm has tapped into the Greater Philadelphia office market.

Morgan Properties has acquired Madison Montgomery

Morgan Properties, one of the country’s largest real estate investment and management companies, announced today it has acquired Madison Montgomery, a 264-unit apartment and townhome community located at 2701 Elroy Road in Hatfield, PA. The community was rebranded by Morgan Properties to Montgomery Manor Apartments & Townhomes. The property underwent a $17.5 million transformation by the previous owner in 2008, giving the property a class-A appearance. Morgan plans to enhance the current amenity offerings as well as capitalize on the opportunity to add additional amenities.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

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Target Leases 48,000 SF at Westmont Plaza

Target has signed a lease for 48,142 square feet in the Westmont Plaza shopping center at 630 - 662 W. Cuthbert Blvd. in Westmont, NJ.

The retail center totals 134,069 square feet in the North Camden County submarket of Philadelphia. Other tenants include Tuesday Morning and Super Fitness.

Concordia Properties Acquires Spring Crossings Apts

Concordia Properties purchased the 358-unit Spring Crossings apartments at 41 Winterhaven Dr. in Newark, DE this summer for $35.5 million, or about $99,000 per unit, from Metropolitan Management Group.

Formerly the Autumn Park Apartments, the 370,620-square-foot multifamily community is comprised of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units across 27 buildings on a 16.9-acre site in New Castle County. At the time of sale the asset was 93 percent occupied and offers a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool and walking/biking trails.

The buyer financed the acquisition with a new $26.6 million, Fannie Mae loan.

Gladstone Commercial Buys Philadelphia Industrial Site

Gladstone Commercial Corporation purchased 14700 Townsend Rd. in Philadelphia, PA for $26.4 million from AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust.

The 300,000-square-foot property was built in 2001 and is currently fully leased to tenants.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Endeavor Equities Buys Midway Shopping Center

Endeavor Equities has acquired the Midway Shopping Center at 1000-1096 Wyoming Ave. in Wyoming, PA for $17.56 million, or about $80 per square foot, from Kennedy-Wilson Properties Ltd.

The shopping center was built in 1975 and renovated in 1999 and totals 220,787 square feet. Bon Ton, Dollar Tree and Price Chopper are some of the tenants in the center.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Endurance acquires 456,000 SF in Shiremanstown, PA

n affiliate of Endurance Real Estate Group, LLC (“Endurance”) is pleased to announce its recent off-market acquisition of 485 St. Johns Church Rd. in Shiremanstown, PA. The 712,000 SF former manufacturing/distribution/office facility is being redeveloped into over 456,000 SF of Class A bulk warehouse/distribution space. The property was owned and occupied by the Quaker Oats Company through the early 2000’s. Endurance has partnered with CenterSquare Investment Management in a joint venture to acquire and redevelop the property.

After closing, Endurance commenced demolition of approximately 500,000 SF of manufacturing, office and low-bay warehouse sections of the property.  Subsequent phases will include the renovation and expansion of the existing 28’ clear East Warehouse section, and a slab-up re-construction of the West Warehouse with a new 32’ clear, Class A facility.  Upon completion, the property will offer 456,810 SF of strategically located bulk warehouse/distribution space in an infill section of Harrisburg’s densely populated West Shore area.

The entire facility will be equipped with an ESFR sprinkler system, high efficiency T-5 lighting, a 190’ truck court, 60’ truck dock apron, significant parking for cars and trailers, and an approximately 1 per 6,000 SF loading dock ratio. The property will efficiently demise, with an existing demising wall and multiple gas and electrical service points facilitating division of the building down to 100,000 SF or smaller suites.

The West Warehouse section (210,675 SF) will feature precast wall construction @ 32’ clear, 54’ wide x 48’ deep column spacing, a 60’ deep speed bay, a 2,000 amp electrical service, an ESFR sprinkler system, and 38 loading docks fitted with 9’ x 10’ doors, 45,000 lb. levelers, bumpers, seals, lights and fans.

The East Warehouse (246,135 SF) will consist of an expanded and fully refurbished 28’ clear space improved with a new 2,000 amp electrical service, an ESFR sprinkler system, renovated office space, and supplemental loading dock positions including 9’ x 10’ doors, 45,000 lb. levelers, bumpers, seals, lights and fans.

Demolition is actively underway at the property, with a targeted delivery of July 2018 for the new 210,675 SF West Warehouse and an April 2018 delivery for the renovated and expanded 246,135 SF East Warehouse.

The site benefits from two means of ingress/egress, with frontage on both Railroad Avenue and St. Johns Church Road.  It is located less than a mile from Rt. 581 (Capital Beltway) and one mile from Rt. 15, providing immediate access to Interstates 76, 81 and 83, and enabling shipments to over 40% of the US population in one day. The property is also situated in close proximity to multiple FedEx, UPS hubs, Norfolk Southern and common carrier (OTR) hub facilities.

“We are very excited to be undertaking this unique redevelopment opportunity to deliver Class A warehouse/distribution space in such a densely populated area with terrific labor characteristics,” said David Erlbaum, Vice President of Acquisitions and Development at Endurance. “Opportunities like this are few and far between given the tremendous desirability of the Eastern PA industrial market to investors, and opportunities to acquire a site of this size in such a dense, infill location are extremely rare. We jumped all over this opportunity when it was presented to us.”

Founded in 2002, Endurance 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 office and regional and bulk warehouse/distribution assets. Endurance’s current portfolio consists of close to four million square feet of warehouse/distribution, flex, and office assets. Affiliates of Endurance have closed on nine separate transactions over the last 3 years, totaling over 2.5 million square feet of warehouse, distribution, office, and flex space. For additional information on Endurance, please visit

CenterSquare is a global investment manager focused on actively managed real estate and infrastructure strategies. Founded in 1987, it operates as one of the investment boutiques of BNY Mellon Investment Management. CenterSquare manages approximately $8.0 billion of real estate and infrastructure securities through CenterSquare Investment Management, Inc. and approximately $1.2 billion (gross) of debt and private equity real estate investments through CenterSquare Investment Management Holdings, Inc. (together referred to as “CenterSquare”).

Land acquisition in Royersford’s former industrial district first step in revitalization project

By Michael Sneff, The Mercury
The Riverfront at Royersford LLC recently acquired a six-acre section of land in the former industrial district of Royersford, intersecting 1st Avenue and Main Street, on the Schuylkill River. The acquisition is the latest step in ongoing efforts to revitalize the former industrial district along the borough’s waterfront.

“Royersford already has so much to offer and it is our intent to expand business and recreation along the riverfront,” said Richard Lewis, president of The Lewis Group, in a press release. The Lewis Group owns Riverfront at Royersford.

During a recent walkthrough of the property, Lewis stated that the Riverfront at Royersford is a “legacy project,” one that has the future of the borough in mind above all else.

“This end of town historically has been commercial,” Lewis said. “We really think that this can be a game changer in terms of bringing some new businesses and new life to this end of the borough.”

The land formerly belonged to Buckwalter Stove and was the site of factories and other industrial operations, including Continental Stove Works, which at one time, was one of the biggest stove factories in the United States.

There are currently several businesses operating along the waterfront, according to Lewis, ranging from an aerospace engineering company, a foundry and a bowling supply company.

The deal, according to Lewis, took nearly seven years to lock down, as plans have changed and been adjusted. Under a previous contractor, plans called for the development of new apartment complexes on the site.

“For us, residential was really not the most ideal of situations, considering the railroad and crossings,” Lewis said. “A motivating factor in acquiring the site was actually to keep a residential property from being developed.”

Lewis said the property would be much more beneficial as a commercial setting. With a residential complex already being established across Main Street, Lewis said having a place for those people to shop and recreate would be more of a draw.

Anil Dham, president of the Royersford borough council, has been working closely with The Lewis Group as well as other local business owners and citizens to revitalize the borough.

“Only a few years ago on Main Street, there were 13 or so empty store fronts. Now, there’s only one. That says something about this town,” Dham said. “With this, the development will bring in more tax money, as well as create additional recreational opportunities.”

Prominent locations on Main Street include multiple caf├ęs and restaurants, as well as businesses and offices. The plan, according to Dham, is to add on to the precedent they have there now.

The riverfront site is connected to an abandoned railroad trestle which Lewis is looking to bring back to life as a pedestrian walkway and bike path connecting Royersford to the Schuylkill River Trail system across the river in Chester County, according to a press release.

“We want people to see the Riverfront for the asset that it truly is, and get people back down into this end of town,” Lewis said. “We’ve met a lot of great people here; it’s a great place to live.”

Lewis said that a big inspiration on how to do a revitalization project right, is what he is seeing in Phoenixville and Pottstown, and that Royersford is in a good place to start something similar to what has been done in the other communities.

“We’re trying to temper some excitement from people living around here,” Dham said. “This project’s really got some legs, and we’re very excited to see where it goes.”

A surveying process of the property is currently underway, and the lot will be cleared of debris by Lewis Group crews. Further consideration of the potential development opportunities is ongoing.

Based in Royersford, The Lewis Group also operates Lewis Environmental Inc., Lewis Property Services and works in the remediation, revitalization and repurposing of former industrial sites.

Duck Donuts Expands into King of Prussia Town Center

Deciding to open a Duck Donuts in King of Prussia Town Center was an easy choice for the founder and owner Russ DiGilio, writes Kenneth Hilario for Philadelphia Business Journal.

“King of Prussia is known as the ultimate shopping and dining destination,” said DiGilio in an interview with Philadelphia Business Journal. “We felt the family-friendly, community atmosphere at the King of Prussia Town Center would make a great fit for our franchise brand.”

Another factor is that DiGilio grew up in Rosemont, making this a kind of homecoming.

Now, with the July 8 opening behind him, DiGilio plans to open shops in Chester County, increase the locations in Montgomery County and expand across Pennsylvania.

When it comes to his competitors, DiGilio said he believes that Duck Donuts warm, delicious, and made-to-order product set it apart from other doughnut shops in the area.

“Our famous doughnuts are made the way you like them every time,” he said. “Children can even stand on a step strategically placed in front of our doughnut machines and watch their doughnuts cook and then hand dipped to order.”

Mixed Use Development Planned For Former Nabisco Site In Northeast Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin,
The new mixed-use development planned for the site of a former Nabisco bakery on the Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia will start with construction of a new super Wawa convenience store, according to developers of the former manufacturing site.

The Provco Group began demolition of the former Nabisco facility last month, and hopes to bring a new development that will better serve the neighborhood around the iconic cookie factory.

“We are thrilled to own this iconic, landmark property”, says Michael Cooley, vice president of real estate for The Provco Group. “The goal and commitment to our neighbors of the Somerton Civic Association and district councilman Brian O’Neill, is to create a project not only unique to Roosevelt Boulevard, but to the region.”

For many decades, the Nabisco factory, a 600,000 square-foot facility originally built by the National Biscuit Company in the 1950s, was famous for the aroma of fresh baked cookies that billowed throughout the neighborhoods. The baking operation ceased production in 2015 and the 27-acre property sold a year later to a joint venture led by Provco, Goodman Properties and MCB Real Estate. Shortly thereafter, a portion of the facility was leased to Jako Enterprises, a company that owns and operates over 50 retail sneaker stores under the Kicks USA brand.

When the project went public, Cooley says former Nabisco employees contacted him to express their respect and appreciation for the building, which provided more than 800 jobs at its peak.

“It was great to hear from former Nabisco employees,” Cooley says. “They asked me if I could save some of the bricks and give them away for keepsakes. This is a special place to many people, so I plan to also use some of those old bricks for the new streetscape amenities we’re building, so that a piece of the factory stands forever.”

With demolition underway, the first phase of development will deliver a Wawa convenience store and gas station pad, expected to begin construction this fall for a Summer 2018 opening.

The developers are looking for other retail tenants for the property.

“I am in dialogue with several, unique, retail and family entertainment concepts that don’t currently exist in this region,” Cooley says. “These types of uses would not only generate net-new jobs but also create a destination that draws folks from a distance. Ultimately, we want to provide uses that will better serve the neighborhood and are excited to work towards delivering a quality project that residents of Northeast Philadelphia can be proud of.”

Monday, July 10, 2017

UCPA signed a long-term lease in Harrisburg

 Urology of Central Pennsylvania signed a long-term lease at 815 Sir Thomas Court in Harrisburg, PA, just west of PinnacleHealth Community General Osteopathic Hospital. The company will be relocating from its current location at 4310 Londonderry Road in Harrisburg, but its Camp Hill, PA, office will remain at 100 Corporate Center Drive. UCPA also has patient care locations in Newport and Millersburg, and at Fulton County Medical Center in McConnellsburg, and JC Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon, PA.

Spring Mill Corporate Center Conshohocken will Undergo Multi-Million-dollar Renovation

The Spring Mill Corporate Center, a 635,000 square-foot office park consisting of four major buildings at 1100 East Hector Street in the Philadelphia suburb of Conshohocken, will undergo a major, multi-million-dollar renovation and modernization that will include the creation of a new stand-alone 40,000 square-foot office building, expanded amenities and additional parking. Included in the new renovation and modernization plan designed by Miller Purdy Architects will be the demolition of 120,000 square feet of old warehouse space to create over 320 parking spots.  The remaining 42,000 square-foot single-story building will be refinished as a stand-alone office complex with adjacent parking, open picnic space and high-tech interconnectivity.

Friday, July 7, 2017

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Dermody Acquires Woodmont's Industrial In Middletown, PA For $76M

by Steve Lubetkin
After transforming Capital Logistics Center into one of the most modern logistic and industrial parks in Pennsylvania, Woodmont Industrial Partners and AEW Capital Management have sold the asset to Dermody Properties, which develops and operates industrial properties across the country. Citing Dauphin County, PA, property records, the central Pennsylvania news website reported the sale price was approximately $76.1 million.

Woodmont and AEW finalized the sale following an extensive capital improvement program of the six-building, 1.55-million-square-foot complex in Middletown, PA. The partnership constructed the new industrial facilities to replace the antiquated structures that previously occupied both 200 and 300 Capital Lane.

“Dermody Properties is very pleased to acquire this well-located five-building business park in Central Pennsylvania,” says Eugene Preston, Dermody’s partner for its Eastern Region.  ”The property fits well in our company’s portfolio from both a tenant roster and geographical diversification perspective. Dermody Properties is growing the portfolio with a mix of building acquisitions and development projects.”

“This transaction represents a multitude of asset classes including stabilized core product, vacant value-add product and additional land development. In addition to the highly desirable location, extensive renovations completed by Woodmont/AEW leave the assets well-positioned for the user community, as evidenced by a major food distributor’s recent decision to occupy 400,000 square feet of class A space.”

In 2016, Woodmont and AEW completed nearly 500,000 square feet of positive net absorption including a full-building lease with a multinational food manufacturing company at 200 Capital Lane. The 400,060-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility achieved LEED Silver certification shortly after being constructed in 2014. Additionally, WIP and AEW Capital signed a 77,987-square-foot lease with full-service freight transportation provider Estes Express Lines at 400 Capital Lane, bringing the building to full occupancy.

“Our decision to heavily invest in the renovation of Capital Logistics Center over the past several years was validated with this sale,” says Eric Witmondt, principal of Woodmont Industrial Partners. “We were able to position this property to coincide with a strong demand in the market and attract quality tenants, which ultimately led to the right timing for this sale. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with AEW and plan to remain active in the Harrisburg market.”

Situated on more than 100 acres in Central Pennsylvania, at the heart of the I-81 Distribution Corridor, Capital Logistics Center fronts the Pennsylvania Turnpike and is less than a mile away from Harrisburg International Airport. The property is also near local FedEx and UPS facilities, as well as routes I-283, I-83 and 322.

“As demand for class A industrial product in the Northeast continues to grow, so too does our portfolio,” Witmondt says. “In 2017, we will continue to capitalize on opportunities to acquire properties that are ripe for revitalization in key submarkets throughout the region.”

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Kairos buys Blue Bell office building

Natalie Kostelni
Philadelphia Business Journal
Kairos Real Estate Partners has picked up another office building in the Blue Bell, Pa., submarket and bought 980 Jolly Road, a 150,000-square-foot building Aetna Inc. had vacated years ago.

The King of Prussia real estate company bought the two-building complex with Artemis Real Estate Partners from Aetna for an undisclosed amount. Montgomery County property records indicate the property traded for $5.27 million.

This is the second office building Kairos has acquired in the Montgomery County community. Last August, the same partnership involving Kairos paid $3.3 million for 518 Township Line Road, a 124,000-square-foot office building.

“We’re doubling down on Blue Bell,” said Stephen J. Gleason, president of Kairos. “We think Blue Bell is a great alternative to the Main Line.”

In general, Philadelphia's suburban office market is doing fairly well as companies lease up space and expand. Markets such as Radnor, Conshohocken and King of Prussia have experienced robust activity, making large blocks scarce and pushed rents up. But for build-to-suits, there has been no new construction underway, giving tenants limited options when it comes to large blocks of existing space.

The increased tightness has pushed tenants looking for space and more affordable rents further out to areas such as Blue Bell, Fort Washington and Horsham. They are markets that are often the last to recover from economic downturn and 10 years ago, many of the same dynamics — a shortage of big blocks, rising rents in first-ring submarkets— were at also at work when there was renewed attention by investors and tenants to Blue Bell and those other markets.

For the overall suburbs, the total vacancy rate stood at 16.7 percent at the end of the first quarter and there was an absorption of 372,539 square feet, according to CBRE Inc. data. Blue Bell, which has nearly 4 million square feet of office space, has a total vacancy rate of 22.8 percent and average asking rents of $28.70.
Full story:

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Bluejay Mgmt Buys Town Square Plaza in Pottstown

Bluejay Management acquired the Town Square Plaza shopping center at 1100 Town Square Rd. in Pottstown, PA for $28.6 million, or about $133 per square foot, from Retail Properties of America.

The 215,600-square-foot power center was built in 2004 in the Exton / Whitelands submarket of Montgomery County. The center was 98 percent occupied at the time of the sale.

Orchard Hills Apts Sold for $18.3M

C.J. Lombardo Real Estate acquired the 264-unit Orchard Hills apartments at 1239 Washington St. in Whitehall, PA from Dutchess Consultants for $18.25 million, or about $69,000 per unit.

The 337,144-square-foot property was built in 1972.