Friday, June 28, 2019

BET Investments Sells 95% Leased Marchwood Apartments in Exton, PA to Morgan Properties

Local investment firm Morgan Properties acquired the 504-unit Marchwood Apartments in Exton, Pennsylvania, from BET Investments for $82 million, or about $163,000 per unit.

The garden-style community at 105 Coach Lane comprises a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 810 to 1,300 square feet in 40, two-story buildings. Built in 1973, the 95% occupied property spans 43.6 acres less than 30 miles from Philadelphia International Airport.

Morgan Properties President Jonathan Morgan said in a statement, "We are bullish on the suburban Philadelphia market. We look for Class B properties with a value-add component and saw this as a nice opportunity to further expand our suburban Philadelphia assets."

He also mentioned that they had a pre-existing relationship with the seller, making for a smooth transaction.

In March, Morgan Properties acquired a 10-property multifamily portfolio from Lonestar known as the Home Properties Portfolio for $890.5 million. Seven of the communities were located in Pennsylvania while the other three were in Northern Virginia. The firm owns and operates more than 167 multifamily apartment communities and over 51,000 units across the Mid-Atlantic, Nashville and Northeastern United States, according to its website.

The Galman Group Buys Studio Green, Park Place Complexes for $40.96 Million

Local investment firm The Galman Group purchased the 338-unit Studio Green and the 276-unit Park Place multifamily complexes in Newark, Delaware, from Houston-based Campus Living Villages for $40.96 million, or about $67,000 per unit.

The Studio Green student housing community at 91 Thorn Lane will be converted to apartment units named Thorn Flats. Built in 1965, the property comprises a mix of studio to four-bedroom units ranging from 484 to 1,507 square feet in 59, three-story buildings.

The garden-style Park Place complex at 650 Lehigh Road features a mix of one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 601 to 1,033 square feet in 23, three-story buildings. The Class B property spans 5.2 acres and was built in 1965.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Innovative Hospitality Management Buys Hotel Near Hersheypark

Local investment firm Innovative Hospitality Management purchased the 110-room Hampton Inn & Suites in Hershey, Pennsylvania, from New York-based The Blackstone Group.

The three-story hotel at 749 E. Chocolate Ave. was built in 1999. The Class B property spans 2.2 acres less than a mile from Hersheypark.

Ketan Patel and Kevin Hanley with HREC Investment Advisors represented the seller, which originally purchased the property as part of a portfolio in December 2013, CoStar data shows.

Greg Porter at HREC Capital Markets Group led purchase financing. The non-recourse acquisition loan was sized to 72.6% of the purchase price plus budgeted PIP cost and 71.5% of the property’s post-PIP value and has a 10-year fixed rate of 4.35% and 30-year amortization.

W.P. Carey Shows Appetite for Industrial Properties with Latest Deals

New York real estate investment trust W.P. Carey announced it paid $53 million for a variety of industrial buildings around the country in a sign that industrial properties are prime investment targets.

Sales of industrial buildings remain strong, though a bit off from a record selling last half of 2018, which was driven by big investors merging and acquiring one another. The report noted that “strong price appreciation has mirrored rent growth.”

Two of the properties W.P. Carey recently bought house operations for a company that basically provides the products that turn warehouses into distribution centers. It paid $10 million for a building in Westerville, Ohio, and another in North Wales, Pennsylvania, that are leased to Integrated Warehouse Solutions. The Forth Worth-based company is a roll up of three companies -- Bluff Manufacturing, Nordock and Wesco Industrial Products.

All of the deals involve the owners selling the properties and leasing them back. They include triple-net leases in which the tenant pays for more of the property’s operating expenses. The deal with IWS came with a 20-year lease.

W.P. Carey’s largest latest deal, $24 million, included eight production buildings in the United States and in Mexico from “a leading global manufacturer of electrical wire harnesses, control boxes and other value-added components for a diverse customer base.”

The buildings make up a “significant portion” of the undisclosed company’s North American manufacturing operations. W.P. Carey also has 20-year leases on those buildings.

Its third deal cost the REIT $19 million to acquire a 301,000-square-foot building in Statesville, North Carolina, leased to Front Sport Group, a company that owns athletic apparel brands Badger Sport and Alleson Athletic.

Earlier this year, W.P. Carey bought a fully leased food production plant in an undisclosed location for $44.7 million. It also paid $38 million for a distribution center leased to Memphis-based Orgill, a wholesale supplier to independent hardware stores, at 4925 Tablers Station Road in Inwood, West Virginia.

Here's Where US Apartments Are Heading

by Lou Hirsh Costar
Apartment developers are experimenting with new and niche styles, amenities and features to keep project pipelines flowing and new buildings filled with renters, almost a decade into a national economic expansion that propelled the U.S. multifamily market to new heights.

Some developers are doubling down on luxury amenities in large floor plans, while others are emulating the so-called sharing economy with "micro" units built around shared living spaces. Some seek to create quiet getaways, and some meld their projects into larger mixed-use entertainment districts, increasingly tied to professional sports venues, or put them closer to public transit.

Based on input from CoStar analysts nationwide, and in no particular order, here are five apartment projects showing how developers are aiming to serve diverse customer priorities, while dealing with rising costs and other factors challenging their ability to get affordable new housing built.

Dwell at 2nd Street, Philadelphia (Developer: Klein Company)

Developer Klein Co. is betting on the prefab movement to help control costs at its newest project, a 320-unit complex (shown above) in Philadelphia’s emerging Olde Kensington neighborhood. Most of its apartments will be built from modular units prefabricated off-site, according to the developer.

Business consulting firm McKinsey & Co. reports that modular construction in the United States has accelerated project completion timeliness by 20 to 50%, while reducing construction costs by 20% or more. The practice is still relatively uncommon in the apartment industry but could soon show up more often in some markets.

"Philadelphia has some of the highest construction costs of any major U.S. market, and the modular approach is being used to expedite construction time and lower development costs," said Adrian Ponsen, a Philadelphia-based director of analytics for CoStar Group. "You’ll see more projects like these as developers look for innovative ways to maintain their returns in the face of rising construction costs over the long term."

Little has been announced about amenities at the site, which is scheduled to be completed in early 2020.

CitySpaces 500 Kirkham, Oakland, California (Developer: Panoramic Interests)

Higher-density, transit-friendly projects have steadily gained traction in major cities. CitySpaces takes the trend further. Tiny units help to create this massive 1,032-unit "micro-pad" apartment community on three acres in Oakland, California, by Panoramic Interests. The developer’s website notes that its trademarked MicroPad concept is a 160-square-foot, self-contained dwelling with a private bathroom and kitchenette.

The project, which is currently in entitlement phases, is designed to include three buildings made of steel modular units constructed off-site and assembled in place. Plans call for 59 parking spaces to be devoted to car-share services like Zipcar, and the development is adjacent to West Oakland BART station.

Units are stacked to create buildings up to 12 stories tall.

City Club Apartments, Minneapolis (Developer: City Club Apartments LLC)

City Club Apartments in Minneapolis provide an opportunity for residents to stay on the property and grow their accommodations as their financial or life situations change over time, offering a mini-pad for single residents and larger units for growing families.

Set for completion next month, the project is expected to bring the micro-unit concept to a downtown setting, targeting recent college graduates and other young renters. The site comprises 307 units, with about half of those measuring 407 square feet or less. The smallest units are around 360 square feet.

Notably, the complex is designed to have 100 units with one and two bedrooms to accommodate tenants who might eventually want to move beyond the base-sized unit to more roomy accommodations, said Michael Roessle, director of market analytics CoStar Group in Minneapolis.

The project is designed to have 24-hour amenities including a fitness center, conference and business center, and concierge services, outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor theaters and on-site restaurant.

There will be no parking, as many young renters in the urban core don’t own a car and prefer biking and ride-sharing to get to work at several large nearby employers.

Ten Thousand, Los Angeles (Developer: Crescent Heights)

From robot butlers to dog spas, the ultimate in luxury amenities are showcased at this Los Angeles apartment high-rise, which could influence other nearby developers to compete more lavishly for the same high-spending customers.

Opened in 2017 and a potential tone-setter for future surrounding projects, this 40-story tower has drawn national media attention as an example of ultra-high luxury, in a city that has no shortage of conspicuously posh housing arrangements. Located on the border of L.A.’s Century City and the city of Beverly Hills, it has two-bedroom units going for between $10,000 and $30,000 per month, with some penthouses going for double that higher-end figure.

Other developers with similar clientele could be looking to keep up with high-touch services that have included on-site space for botox treatments. The developer’s website points to features including a dog spa, a cold-storage package delivery facility for perishable items and a robot butler named Charley that delivers mini-bar items to residents.

Twelve Cowboys Way, Frisco, Texas (Developer: Columbus Realty Partners)

Renters can live, work and play all on the same property in this Texas development, with "play" in this instance referencing the growing trend of professional sports teams entering the commercial development arena to interact with fans well beyond game times.

Among the latest examples of teams getting into the field of apartment and mixed-use development near their facilities, this 17-story luxury tower is scheduled to open in 2020 next to the suburban headquarters of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys.

The project is spearheaded by a group that includes the Cowboys’ Hall-of-Fame former quarterback Roger Staubach, former Cowboys player Robert Shaw and current Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. With rents expected to begin at $2,700 per month, it’s been billed as the first luxury development catering to those Cowboys football diehards, with amenities including exclusive access to certain team facilities.

DePaul Healthcare Sells Senior Living Properties in New Jersey, Philadelphia

A New Jersey chain of senior assisted living facilities has sold three of its properties, one in the Garden State and two in Philadelphia, according to the broker on the deal.

DePaul Healthcare of Sewell, New Jersey, sold the portfolio to Paramount Health Resources, based in McMurray, Pennsylvania, for an undisclosed sum, according to CoStar data.

The three facilities inlcuded in the sale are:

  • Absecon Pavilion, which has 162 beds at 1020 Pitney Road in Absecon, New Jersey;
  • Angela Jane Pavilion, a 49-bed home at 8410 Roosevelt Blvd. in Philadelphia;
  • River’s Edge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, which has 120 beds at 9501 State Road in Philadelphia.

The DePaul family, built and owned the communities for decades. At the time of the sale, the three facilities were operating at break-even, but Paramount plans to implement better marketing and services while "simultaneously creating staffing efficiencies, all of which will increase earnings," according to IPA.

Paramount – which owns and operates senior living facilities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland – completed the financing and closed the deal with the assistance of Lazmor Capital and Ziegler Investment Banking.

Metrix-Penwood JV Begins Construction on New Distribution Facility in Lawrenceville

by John Jordan
A joint venture of Princeton, NJ Metrix Real Estate Services, LLC and Penwood Real Estate Investment Management, LLC of West Hartford, CT has acquired a 31-acre site here and started construction on a more than 340,000-square-foot distribution facility here.

The joint venture between Metrix Real Estate Services, whose principal is Michael Nachamkin, and an institutional fund managed by Penwood Real Estate Investment Management recently closed on the purchase of 10 Princess Road in Lawrenceville.
Brokers-Simone Realty represented the seller, Capital Health Systems and Transwestern of New Jersey handled negotiations for the purchaser. No financial terms of the transaction were disclosed.

The partnership has since commenced construction on the speculative 10 Princess Logistics development, a 340,400-square-foot distribution facility with 40’ clear ceiling heights, cross loading, trailer storage and abundant parking.  The project is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2020.
“Our development team is very excited about the opportunity to build a state- of- the- art warehouse in Central New Jersey with a great institutional partner,” says Nachamkin, principal of Metrix.

He adds, “We anticipate strong interest in the project from a variety of potential tenants who are planning their expansion or opening up a new location. 10 Princess Logistics Center is located at the Princeton Pike/ I-295 interchange and services Southern, Central and Northern New Jersey as well as the Philadelphia region.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Medical Office Building Cap Rates (Video)

Endurance announces the signing of two leases totaling close to 300,000 SF at 2000 Bishops Gate

An affiliate of Endurance Real Estate Group, LLC (“Endurance”) and Thackeray Partners (“Thackeray”) is pleased to announce the signing of two leases with Maintenance Supply Headquarters (“MSH”) and Lean Supply Solutions (“LSS”) which brings the building to 100% occupancy.

“These two lease transactions raise the project’s occupancy to 100%. Achieving stabilization after completing our re-development of the building is a testament to tenant demand for functional, in-fill product in the Southern New Jersey market. We are excited Maintenance Supply chose to relocate their local operations to our facility and happy Lean Supply selected this location to support their expansion onto the East Coast.”

The 292,466 SF building was built in 1997 and renovated in 2018. It is equipped with an ESFR sprinkler system, LED lighting, 32’ clear height, 60’ concrete dock apron, 35 dock doors and 2 drive-in doors, and a 3-phase, 3,200 amp power system

Friday, June 21, 2019

Rethinking Student Housing (Video)

E-Commerce Demand Pushes US Warehouse Construction to Record Levels

by John Jordan
Top-10 Markets for Speculative Warehouse Space Under Construction, Q1 2019. Source: CBRE Econometric Advisors, CBRE Research, Q1 2019
At the end of the first quarter of this year, warehouse construction in the United States reached an unprecedented 255 million square feet, driven in large part by e-commerce demand.

The top 10 warehouse markets were ranked with the Inland Empire, CA leading the way with 23.4 million square feet in the ground and a 3.2% vacancy rate and 9.4% annual rent growth, followed by Atlanta at 16.1 million square feet under construction, a 6.4% vacancy rate and 7.9% annual rent growth and Dallas /Fort Worth, TX at number three at 15.2 million square feet being built, a 5.9% vacancy rate and 3.1%% annual growth.
The New York/NJ and Pennsylvania markets have very active warehouse markets with a combined more than 19 million square feet under construction.

The PA/78/81 Corridor came in at number four in the US with 12.1 million square feet in the ground, a 6.7% vacancy rate and 4.9% annual rent growth.
Ranked at number seven, New York/New Jersey market has 7 million square feet under construction, a 3.4% vacancy rate and 4.8% annual rent growth.

Coming in at number five in the US was Houston at 10 million square feet under construction, a 5.8% vacancy rate and 4.1% annual rent growth.

The City of Chicago came in at number six with 7.7 million square feet being built at the moment, with a 6.0% vacancy rate and 2.9% annual rent growth.
Rounding at the top 10 were: Seattle at 6.1 million square feet in the ground, a 4.2% vacancy rate and 6.1% annual rent growth; Los Angeles with 5.6 million square feet in the ground, a 1.4% vacancy rate and 8.5% rent growth and Las Vegas, which has 5.5 million square feet being built, a 2.4% vacancy rate and 10.2% annual rent growth.

The US average vacancy rate is 4.4%.

Of the 255 million square feet of warehouse space under construction, 70.2% of it is on spec. Since 2015, however, warehouse demand has outpaced new warehouse completions by 169 million square feet and rents have increased by 19.2%.

Five of the top-10 markets for speculative development have market conditions that justify adding more big-box warehouses: vacancy rates below or slightly above the national average (4.4%) and aggregate net asking rent growth of 7.8% annually.

The remaining five markets were well above the national vacancy average and their aggregate rent growth averaged 4.6% due to more available supply.

With demand not likely to diminish, speculative big-box developments in those five markets are expected to lease up shortly after completion. E-commerce, food & beverage, wholesaler and third-party logistics users, which have dominated pre-leasing activity, are the best candidates to occupy these new modern warehouse facilities, they add.

Commenting on the New York/New Jersey industrial markets, “In Northern New Jersey, e-commerce continues to create a huge demand for new distribution space. As online grocery sales continue to grow and given the state’s prime location to major consumer markets and local ports, we anticipate the warehouse vacancy rate to remain low, while rents steadily increase.”

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Tower Health, Drexel U. College of Medicine Break Ground on New Regional Campus

by John Jordan
Construction has begun on a new four-year regional campus for the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health here.

Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health, located on Parcel 9 of The Knitting Mills redevelopment, will feature state-of-the-art technology, as well as traditional classrooms, learning communities and lecture halls. The facility, located less than a mile from Reading Hospital, will include traditional and nontraditional instructional venues where students will advance their medical skills and education via simulated patient rooms, anatomy laboratories and simulation labs to promote interdisciplinary education with residents, physicians and nurses.
When fully operational, the campus will have capacity to educate and train 200 medical students. The new campus building will total 150,000 square feet, according to a report in Lehigh Valley Business.

Tower Health and Drexel University held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 17 for the new project. No development cost for the project was disclosed.
Clint Matthews, Tower Health President and CEO, said of the new campus initiative, “Tower Health is focused on taking care of all the communities we serve. Our collaboration with Drexel University further enhances our ongoing commitment to our academic mission by educating the physicians of tomorrow while also having a positive economic impact in Berks County.”

At the new building, students will have access to a fitness center with indoor and outdoor recreation space, Information Commons (Library), lounge areas, a game room and café.

Drexel University states that its medical students will benefit from the addition of a new regional campus in an area that is experiencing economic growth, while studying medicine at the largest hospital between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. “Our relationship with Tower Health and this four-year regional campus creates an excellent destination for our medical students to build the emerging skills required by today’s physicians to meet the ever-growing needs within health care,” said Drexel University president John Fry.
Tower Health and Drexel University first announced plans to develop a regional campus near Reading Hospital in April 2018. Parcel 9 of The Knitting Mills was selected as the future home of Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health in October 2018. A 20-year academic agreement was signed between the two organizations in February 2019, and on May 29, 2019, 20, third-year medical students began their core clinical rotations at Reading Hospital.

With more than 12,000 team members, Tower Health consists of Reading Hospital in West Reading; Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville; Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Jennersville Hospital in West Grove; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville and Pottstown Hospital in Pottstown. It also includes Reading Hospital Rehabilitation at Wyomissing; Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in West Reading; home healthcare services provided by Tower Health at Home; and a network of 22 urgent care facilities across the Tower Health service area. Tower Health offers a connected network of 2,000 physicians, specialists and providers across 125 locations.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Private REITs vs Public REITs (Video)

WeWork to Open Fifth Location in Philadelphia

Shared office space provider WeWork has signed a 50,514-square-foot lease  Class A office building in Philadelphia.

The eight-story building at 1100 Ludlow St. in Philadelphia’s East Market development totals 227,313 square feet. Built in 1920, the landlords recently tapped Morris Adjmi and BLT Architects to transform and improve the facade of the facility.

The modernized exterior features Adjmi’s signature grid design, and the "post-industrial style" emulated in the facade and interior is helping to create the dynamic urban neighborhood that will connect Midtown Village with the business district along Market Street. 1100 Ludlow is located in the heart of Philadelphia’s City Center with proximity to City Hall, Chinatown and public transportation.

WeWork’s lease includes the entire top two floors of the 4-Star building, which is the company's fifth location in the city. The coworking company is also located at 1000-1010 N Hancock St., 1430 Walnut St., 1601 Market St. and 1900 Market St.

CyrusOne CEO Sees 5G Generating Data Center Construction Demand for Next Decade (Video)

Student Housing Performance Update with RealPage (Video)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Monthly Economic Outlook — June 2019 (Video)

Ventas to Move Forward with $800M in New University-Based Research & Innovation Developments

by John Jordan
Locally-based Ventas Inc. announced on Monday four new university-based research and innovation developments in partnership with Wexford Science & Technology, LLC of Baltimore valued at approximately $800 million.

The four Ventas-Wexford projects are located in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and St. Louis and are part of Ventas’ near-term $1.5 billion R&I pipeline of expected new projects previously announced by Ventas.
The four projects include the development of a $280-million research, academic medicine and innovation hub anchored by University of Pittsburgh to house ground-breaking immunotherapy research in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and co-located with UPMC’s Shadyside Hospital. The project totals 350,000 square feet and will house the Immune Transplant and Therapy Center.

The development is expected open in two phases, with the first and second phase expected to be completed in 2021. The full project is 70% pre-leased.

Ventas also reports two new projects in the City of Philadelphia. The first is a a new development that expands the Philadelphia uCity Square Knowledge Community associated with the University of Pennsylvania. Also in uCity Square, Vexel will develop a state of the art College of Nursing and Health Professionals for Drexel University. These two projects will total $400 million and 650,000 square feet.

Ventas expects the College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, to open in 2022. The firm anticipates that the Knowledge Community at uCity Square will open in early 2022. Ventas owns four buildings in the uCity sub-market that are nearly 100% leased.

The final project announced by Ventas calls for the expansion of the vibrant Cortex Innovation Community associated with Washington University in St. Louis. The $115-million, 320,000-square-foot development is located in the Cortex Innovation Community. The new development adds to Ventas’s Cortex R&I portfolio of four owned buildings totaling more than 700,000 square feet, which are nearly 100% occupied.
The projects are 40% pre-leased and are expected to generate more than a 7% cash yield, and over an 8% GAAP yield, upon stabilization.

Combined with a $77-million project announced in late February with Arizona State University, Ventas has now announced a total of $900 million in new projects that add approximately 1.5 million square feet to its portfolio.

“Ventas and Wexford are proud to partner with leading research universities, health systems, academic medical centers, life science companies and entrepreneurs in the creation of Knowledge Communities and innovation hubs. We are committed to collaborating with and supporting these world-class research institutions, pioneers in biomedical research, academic medicine leaders and innovators as they develop life-changing therapies, conduct groundbreaking scientific research, and train clinicians to improve the lives of millions of patients as the population rapidly ages,” says Debra A. Cafaro, Ventas chairman and CEO.

Ventas currently has relationships with more than 15 leading research universities in its R&I portfolio. Pro forma for announced developments, Ventas’s R&I portfolio will total nearly eight million square feet and is expected to generate approximately $230 million in annual net operating income upon stabilization of announced new developments.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Cold storage warehouses spike in real estate value (Video)

Cold storage warehouses spike in real estate value from CNBC.

Ventas CEO Points to Signs of “Powerful Upside” in Senior Living (Video)

Chestnut Funds, Anchor Health Properties Sell Rittenhouse Square Facility

Chestnut Funds and Anchor Health Properties sold a Class B medical office building in the Rittenhouse Square submarket of Philadelphia to a private investor for an undisclosed price.

The 50,000-square-foot facility at 1740 South St. is adjacent to the Penn Medicine Rittenhouse campus, which comprises a 96-bed hospital, licensed through the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Built in 1986 and renovated in 2010, the facility is 97% leased to a diverse mix of private physician groups.

"Philadelphia is home to one of the nation’s largest concentrations of healthcare and higher education institutions, including the adjacent UPenn Health System, the oldest health system in the country; and 9th top-ranked in 2018. Yet, relative to other U.S. cities, health systems own more of their outpatient real estate, leaving fewer ownership opportunities for medical office investors. This creates very strong demand for quality healthcare assets in and around Philadelphia when those opportunities sporadically arise," Appel said in a statement.

Friday, June 14, 2019

June 2019 Economic Outlook - Commercial Real Estate (Video)

Dranoff Breaks Ground on $253M Tower Project in Downtown Philadelphia

by John Jordan
Dranoff Properties broke ground earlier this week on its latest project, a 47-story condominium tower located at Broad and Spruce streets, across from the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

The $253-million Arthaus condo tower will feature 108 units, more than 36,000 square feet of amenities, including a rooftop greenhouse, and more than 4,200 square feet of ground floor retail.
Designed by Philadelphia-native Eugene Kohn of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, is scheduled for initial occupancy in the fall of 2021.

“Arthaus is a no-compromise, single-purpose tower that punctuates the Philadelphia skyline with luxurious living and unmatched amenities,” said Carl Dranoff, CEO, Dranoff Properties. “We are bringing Philadelphia something it has never seen before—a greenhouse with extraordinary outdoor amenities—we’re giving our residents their own park in the sky.”
Dranoff Properties groundbreaking event on Tuesday featured a host of dignitaries, including: Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney; Eugene Kohn, founder and chairman of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Councilman Mark Squilla and others.

“Carl Dranoff has a track record of reshaping and rejuvenating neighborhoods and cities,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “For decades he has pioneered areas like Old City, Fitler Square and the Avenue of the Arts and transformed them into highly desirable residential destinations. A prominent skyscraper like Arthaus furthers his deep commitment to Philadelphia and solidifies our position as a world-class city.”

The building’s design was inspired by the Bauhaus movement—a period of architecture that stressed form and function over excess and decoration, the developer notes. The Arthaus tower will offer high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, wide-plank oak flooring and oversized balconies with panoramic views from each corner unit, Dranoff Properties states.
Building amenities will include a 75-foot indoor lap pool and state-of-the-art fitness center overlooking the Kimmel Center, a library, board room, club room, a dining salon, café with demonstration kitchen and kids’ playroom. In addition, Arthaus will offer a 24-hour concierge, valet services and a chauffeur-driven town car.

Dermody Adds Logistics Property in Central New Jersey

by John Jordan
Dermody Properties has acquired 150 Milford Road, a more than 600,000-square-foot logistics building, here.

The Reno, NV-based private equity real estate investment, development and management company plans to undertake building upgrades that will make a total of 615,000 square feet ready for occupancy in 2020. No financial details of the transaction were disclosed.
The building, located on 51.49 acres, was originally built in 1998 with a warehouse expansion added in 2003. The building features 28 trailer parking positions, 413 car parking stalls, 41 dock doors, two drive-in doors and a 36-foot clear height in the warehouse addition, making it well-suited for e-commerce operations, Dermody states.

“This new acquisition fits well with Dermody Properties’ strategy to procure logistics real estate in key markets across the nation,” says Douglas A. Kiersey, Jr., president of Dermody Properties. “The asset provides an opportunity for our customers to grow their logistics network in one of the tightest submarkets in the country.”
The building is less than a mile away from the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 33 and is located within 45 miles of Newark Liberty International Airport, Port Newark and Port Elizabeth.

Eugene Preston, East Region partner for Dermody Properties, adds, “The building represents one of the largest blocks of available space in the Central New Jersey industrial market.”

Dermody has been active in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey industrial market of late. The deal for the East Windsor, NJ property comes less than a month after the firm broke ground on two buildings at a 557,820-square-foot complex located 80 miles from the Port of New York and New Jersey in Wind Gap, PA.
The firm’s LogistiCenter at Lehigh Valley East will be located at 450 East Moorestown Road in the Northampton County submarket. Construction of the first building is scheduled to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2019. The second building will be completed in early 2020.

Last month, Dermody Properties also announced that it recently broke ground on a 251,800-square-foot distribution center in the North Las Vegas submarket of southern Nevada. It will be located at 6565 Nascar St. on a 14-acre parcel and will be called LogistiCenter at Speedway. Dermody estimates that construction will be completed by first quarter of 2020.

FCP Re-Enters Philadelphia With $118M Acquisition

by By Erika Morphy
FCP has re-entered the Philadelphia market with the $117.9 million acquisition of a luxury high-rise apartment. The 286-unit property is called Edgewater and is located at 2323 Race St. in the Center City submarket. The sellers were institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The purchase price includes excess land that can be developed, a stand-alone parking garage (in addition to parking beneath the building) and a revenue producing billboard along I-676.
The acquisition of Edgewater is FCP’s fourth Center City Philadelphia investment and its first deal in the city in a long time. Other investments, such as the adaptive re-use projects, The Arch and ICON 1616, both in the downtown market, have been exited.

The sale is indicative of the firm’s very active multifamily acquisition activity over the past 12 months with 4,766 units acquired throughout the US.
“Strong job growth, extraordinary walkability and the continued evolution of Center City into a complete live/work/play downtown make Philadelphia an attractive market,” said FCP Associate, Drew Schwartz in a prepared statement.

Schwartz said that FCP was able to close the transaction with all cash and didn’t obtain a loan.

Hackensack Meridian Health to Build $714M Medical Pavilion

by John Jordan
Officials with the Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center unveiled plans on Thursday to build a new 530,000-square-foot state-of-the-art medical pavilion along Second Street here.

Construction on the $714-million project is expected to begin in 2022. The new pavilion that will total 438,000 square feet of usable space will feature nine floors of cutting-edge technology and a design to provide patients and families with world-class acute care, while enhancing comfort and privacy, Hackensack Meridian states.
“This large-scale, innovative project will truly transform the Hackensack University Medical Center campus, preparing us to effectively meet the growing needs of our patients and the communities we serve,” says Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “As Bergen County’s first hospital and the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state, Hackensack University Medical Center has always been setting the standard for excellence in health care. This is a major investment to elevate our best-in-class health care services and modernize our facilities to ensure we are providing patients the world-class, cutting-edge care they deserve.”

Hackensack University Medical Center is the primary teaching site for the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.  Hackensack University Medical Center’s renovation, expansion and modernization plans will ensure its campus will be able to accommodate the growing needs of the region and continue operating at the highest standards. The new pavilion, which spans Second Street, will become the largest building on campus.
Hackensack University Medical Center is prioritizing the enhancement of the patient experience and states that it will privatize and modernize all of its patient rooms over the next 10 years. The new pavilion is the first step in that process and will feature 24 new operating rooms, new and improved Intensive Care Unit beds, as well as three floors of private patient rooms. In addition, the building will include: a new Second Street entrance/visitor lobby, a visitor center, a new central sterile processing department, 24 operating rooms including an intraoperative MRI, 50 ICU beds, shell space for an additional 25 ICUs, 100 medical-surgical beds and a 50 bed Orthopedic Institute.

Gordon N. Litwin, Esq., chair, Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees, says, “This new pavilion will provide an enhanced patient experience, while preserving the privacy, respect and dignity our patients and families deserve. Our patients are at the heart of the work we do, and we will continue to pursue groundbreaking initiatives that advance the network’s world-class, patient- and family-centered care well into the future.”

RSC Architects of Hackensack is the lead architect and is partnered with EYP Architects of Houston. Stantec Consulting is providing project management services/owner’s representative services for the overall project. The W.M. Blanchard and Turner Construction Company have created a joint venture to provide construction management services for the project.
Hackensack University Medical Center is the largest employer in Bergen County with more than 8,000 employees. It will continue to maintain 781 beds even after the new pavilion project is completed.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers—Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals:  Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals: Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals – JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

The network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout New Jersey, which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Alliance Partners Secures Financing for SoNo Project

Alliance Partners secured permanent financing for the leasehold interest in the SoNo building, a 186,000-square-foot, mixed-use property in Philadelphia.

The redeveloped project at 456 N. 5th St. is fully leased to three tenants including Yards Brewing Company, 70,000 square feet; City of Philadelphia's Archives Department, 68,000 square feet; and Target, 48,000 square feet.

"We are pleased to work with our client, Alliance Partners, on the refinancing of their SoNo development. The combination of an exceptional redevelopment, high-quality tenancy and strong sponsorship allowed for easy execution of this financing assignment."

Since inception in 2009, Alliance, the East Coast operating platform of The Shidler Group, has acquired, developed and redeveloped more than $1 billion of commercial properties with acquisition prices ranging from $5 million to $125 million, according to its website.

Rutgers Begins Construction on Adult Autism Services' Facility in New Brunswick

by John Jordan
Rutgers University has announced the start of construction on its new Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services building here.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the $9.5-million project on Monday. The university notes that the building, when completed next year, will be the first of its kind at a higher education institution in the United States. The new building will allow the center to more than double its capacity from 12 to 30 participants. The center, located on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers University-New Brunswick, is being financed by philanthropic funds.
“This center will have a lasting impact on the lives of adults with autism in New Jersey and across the country,” Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi said at the groundbreaking event.

The Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services was founded in 2016 and serves adults with autism by providing meaningful, paid employment and integration into the Rutgers community. The new facility will include vocational and life skills teaching areas, high-tech meeting rooms and amenities intended to provide a welcoming environment for program participants and other members of the surrounding community, including Rutgers students, faculty and staff, the university states.
Mel Karmazin, the former CEO of Sirius XM Radio, was a key leader in fundraising for the project along with his daughter Dina Karmazin Elkins, executive director of the Mel Karmazin Foundation. Dina Karmazin’s son, Hunter, was diagnosed with autism at age two, and the Karmazin Foundation has been active in autism causes.

“What would be a better place to house a center that would create jobs for adults on the spectrum than a college campus?” Mel Karmazin said at the groundbreaking.

Christopher Manente, executive director of the center, says, “The RCAAS exists to stand for those adults on the spectrum who are not always able to stand up for themselves, and whenever possible it also exists to amplify the voices of those who can.”
He adds, “Today, I call on all of you to stand with us in opposition to the lack of awareness and the general indifference that the rest of the world continues to show in response to the crisis impacting adults with autism and their families. Today, I ask that all of you help us change the world.

Autism and autism spectrum disorder are among the fastest-growing developmental disabilities in the United States. Rutgers-New Brunswick’s Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology created the center to address the well-documented shortage of quality services that help adults with autism lead meaningful and productive lives, and to conduct research that can inform the development of other programs for adults with autism.

Rutgers-New Brunswick is a leader in autism research facilities. RUCDR Infinite Biologics, containing the world’s largest collection of autism biomaterials, and the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, which includes an on-campus K-12 day school for children with autism from across New Jersey, are among many research and educational programs for autism at the university.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

EPA Inks Deal at Four Penn Center Office Tower Philadelphia

Environmental Protection Agency leased 172,658 square feet at Treeview Real Estate Advisors' Four Penn Center office tower in Philadelphia.

The 4-Star, 522,050-square-foot building at 1600 John F Kennedy Blvd. spans three quarters of an acre across from Suburban Station. The 20-story structure was built in 1964 and renovated in 2001.

The EPA's 15-year lease encompasses six full floors at the Class A tower.

Local Investment Firm Sells Park Square for $108.5 Million

Local investment firm CornerstoneTracy sold the 314-unit Park Square apartment complex in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, to Highlands Ranch, Colorado-based UDR for $108.5 million, or about $346,000 per unit.

The Class A, mid-rise complex at 751 Vandenburg Blvd. comprises a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans ranging from 553 to 1,470 square feet in four, four-story buildings. Built by the seller in 2018, the 4-Star property spans 18.6 acres less than four miles from the Norristown Transportation Center.

The property was approximately 70% leased at the time of sale.

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Brandywine Completes Community Park in Schuylkill Yards Development

by John Jordan
Brandywine Realty Trust has completed Drexel Square, a new 1.3-acre community park, that will be part of its $3.5-billion master-planned Schuylkill Yards development in University City here.

The $14.3-million park, situated directly across from 30th Street Station at the corner of 30th and Market streets, is the first of several public green spaces that will eventually total 6.5-acres of the 14-acre Schuylkill Yards neighborhood. These greenspaces will connect 6.9 million square feet of workplace and lifestyle environments being master developed by Brandywine Realty Trust.
A host of city officials, including Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and other dignitaries were on hand for the grand opening of Drexel Square on Monday.

“We are thrilled to introduce a new park for the entire community to enjoy,” says Jerry Sweeney, president & CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust. “Schuylkill Yards is designed to create a neighborhood centered around human interaction and unique environments. Our investment in Drexel Square was the first project within the master-planned neighborhood because we understand the social, environmental, health and economic benefits that green spaces offer to communities. Drexel Square lays the foundation for what’s to come at Schuylkill Yards.”
Designed by West 8 and SHoP Architects, the park serves as the continuation of William Penn’s vision of Philadelphia’s “Public Room”—a place for people to gather, rest, and be renewed by the natural world, Brandywine states. Conceived as an intimate, natural space within the urban environment, Drexel Square provides a clear transition from the city to a lush enclave, with 23 Meta Sequoia (Dawn Redwood) trees standing more than 25 feet tall lining the perimeter. The trees are complimented by an array of shrubs and perennials in more than 9,000 square-feet of raised planted beds.

The elliptical green lawn, measuring more than 12,000 square feet, features an abstract graphic overlay evoking visions of the globe, while also serving as a pathway for visitors. The custom granite benches, outdoor furniture and built-in lighting features will create an inviting environment for all to enjoy.

“When we selected Brandywine as the master developer for Schuylkill Yards, we knew we found a partner who shared our values of quality and integrity for the built environment and public realm,” says John Fry, president of Drexel University. “The investment made in this park will serve the University City neighborhood and all those who enjoy it— from our local residents, students, employees, visitors and more— for generations to come.”
Drexel Square park sits directly in front of the Bulletin Building, which Brandywine will begin construction on this month in partnership with Philadelphia-based architecture firm, Kiernan Timberlake. Together, with Drexel Square, the $43.3-million re-imagination of the Bulletin Building will serve as the centerpiece of Schuylkill Yards. Brandywine and Timberlake will reshape the building into a high-performing work environment. The renovated building will feature more than 200,000 square feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of lab space, and is fully leased to life science company, Spark Therapeutics.

Following the opening of the reimagined Bulletin Building in early 2020, two ground-up developments are planned at 3001 and 3025 JFK Blvd. featuring office, retail and residential components. Drexel Square, The Bulletin Building, and the two “East” and “West” JFK towers are considered phase one of the multi- phase, master-planned interconnected neighborhood that will eventually host 14 acres of experiences unfolding within 6.9 million square feet of office, lab, residential, retail, hotel, and green space.

“This project isn’t just centered around one building,” said Philadelphia Mayor Kenney. “The Schuylkill Yards project is about the transformation of an entire neighborhood, and it’s impressive to see the growth of this neighborhood happening right before our eyes. This investment is a testament to the momentum Philadelphia has as a world-class city, and showcases the drive we have as Philadelphians to help this city thrive.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Retail on the Rise: Delaware, Las Vegas and Phoenix Markets Keep Climbing

By John Salustri

Exciting. Cautiously optimistic. Positive. These are just some of the adjectives you’ll hear in this exclusive video interview with three CORFAC International retail executives: Joseph S. Latina, Hillary Steinberg and Trent Rustan. Together they share their outlook for Delaware, Las Vegas and Phoenix retail markets respectively.

Taken as a whole, the markets are reaching new heights due to in-migration, diversification among generations, breaks from heavily taxed states and the boost that comes from sport venues. Of course, the super-tight employment picture also figures heavily into the retail performance in all three locales.
To find out how each of these drivers impacts those markets and the respective outlooks for each,

Full story and Video:

Investcorp Acquires 11 Multifamily Properties for $370M from Equus

by Betsy Kim,
Investcorp acquired 11 new, multifamily properties totaling 2,615 units for approximately $370 million from Equus Capital Partners, Ltd. This deal marks the alternative investment manager’s largest US real estate portfolio acquisition in more than a decade. Its real estate team on the deal is located in New York City.

“As one of the most active investors in U.S. multifamily real estate, our real estate investment business continues to be an important driver of our ambitious long-term global growth strategy on the path to $50 billion in AUM,” says Mohammed Alardhi, Investcorp’s executive chairman.
The portfolio assets are located in major US metropolitan areas where Investcorp has made previous acquisitions. The properties are located in Orlando, FL; Tampa, FL; Raleigh, NC; Atlanta, GA; Philadelphia, PA; and St. Louis, MO.

The portfolio was 95% leased at the time of the sale. On average the properties were constructed in 1994 and have an average unit size of 1,020 square feet. The properties are located in diverse, multiple growth markets and submarkets with opportunities for value-add renovations.
Michael Moriarty, principal in real estate investment at Investcorp, notes his company continues to see significant investment opportunities in US multifamily, describing it as a well-performing, highly liquid asset class benefitting from the strength of the US economy and labor market.

“Similar to many of our other recent multifamily investments, the assets in this portfolio are appealing because they are located in metro areas that are either key growth markets or population dense areas with new supply constraints,” says Moriarty.

The private equity real estate fund manager Equus, which is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, acquired the properties between 2013 and 2015. It spent over $20 million in renovations, upgrades and enhancement of shared amenity spaces. An Equus affiliate, Madison Apartment Group provided the on-site management and leasing and oversaw the capital improvement program. Madison will remain the on-site property manager of the portfolio for Investcorp.
“[T]he portfolio is positioned to deliver an attractive, stable and predictable cash flow for the new venture with Investcorp while at the same time the markets continue to support further enhancement opportunities and ability to push rents higher,” says Christopher Locatell, SVP and director of dispositions for Equus.

Locatell, along with Joseph Mullen, Kyle Turner, Steven Pogarsky, Nicoletta DeSimone, Peter Naccarato represented Equus in-house. HFF’s Michael Joseph, Matthew Lawton and Stella Pappas also provided representation for Equus. HFF’s debt team, Mike Tepedino, Mike Gigliotti and Mona Carlton secured financing for Investcorp.

Having acquired approximately 7,700 units, Investcorp ranks as a top-10 buyer of U.S. multifamily units in the last year, according to Real Capital Analytics. Investcorp reports since 1996, it has acquired more than 600 total properties with a combined value of more than $16 billion.

Philadelphia, New Jersey Rank Among Top US Cold Storage Markets

by John Jodan
The continued growth in online grocery sales is one factor that predicts demand for up to 100 million square feet of cold storage space in the US over the next five years.

In a newly released report, ranks Pennsylvania, and specifically the Lehigh Valley as the sixth largest cold storage market in the country with 213.5 million square feet of inventory.
The state of New Jersey came in at number 10 with an inventory of 136.7 million square feet.

“With the strategic location of Eastern Pennsylvania to major US consumer markets, we expect demand for cold storage space to continue to increase."

A recent report from the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen projects that groceries ordered online will account for 13% of total grocery sales by 2022, up from 3% in 2018. Such growth would amount to an additional $100 billion in annual grocery sales conducted online.

This outlook would result in significant changes for the industrial cold-storage industry, which at 3.6 billion cubic feet (an estimated 214 million square feet) currently accounts for a tiny portion of US industrial-and-logistics real estate overall. Much of the cold-storage sector’s growth is likely to occur in gateway markets like Los Angeles and the New York area, as well as leading food-production states such as Pennsylvania, the report notes.

“Several factors have combined to fuel expansion of the cold-storage space, from consumers’ increasing use of online ordering for groceries to grocers’ investment in new delivery strategies and warehouse technologies. Still, the sector’s growth will be somewhat measured because these are specialized facilities requiring significant capital, power and government approvals.”
California came in at number one for leased cold storage space in the US at 396.5 million square feet, followed by: Washington at 271.3 million square feet; Florida at 259.4 million square feet; Texas at 231.4 million square feet; Wisconsin at 228.1 million square feet; Illinois at number 7 at 188 million square feet; Georgia 183.5 million square feet and Oregon at 139.6 million square feet.

While predicting strong growth for the cold storage sector, the notes in the report that the challenges of constructing and modernizing cold-storage facilities to keep up with the strong growth of online grocery sales has driven consolidation in the industry as firms seek to gain economies of scale. Four companies control 73.4% of the refrigerated warehouse space in North America.

Lineage Logistics is the leader, accounting for 31.8% of the cold-storage market with more than 1.1 billion cubic feet of space in the US and Canada. Americold takes up 29% with 1 billion cubic feet. Other key players include United States Cold Storage (8.9%) and VersaCold Logistics (3.8%), both having a combined 444 million cubic feet of refrigerated warehouse space in the U.S.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Agree Realty Corp. Buys Retail Spaces in Philadelphia's Public Ledger Building

Agree Realty Corp., a publicly traded real estate investment trust, has acquired two retail condo's in Philadelphia's Public Ledger Building for $24 million, or $1,122 per square foot. The seller was a joint venture between Carlyle Development Group and Atlantic Realty Group.

In December 2018, Wawa opened its 11,486-square-foot flagship store on the ground level of the building, which is located at 600 Chestnut St. in the Independence Square section of Center City. The convenience store chain signed a 10-year lease term with options for renewal. The transaction also included a 9,913-square-foot DaVita Dialysis which had signed a 10-year lease renewal prior to the sale.

Agree Realty Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Joey Agree said in a statement, "We are extremely pleased to announce the addition of Wawa’s flagship store to our expanding portfolio. This acquisition demonstrates our differentiated capabilities to identify unique opportunities that further solidify our best-in-class net lease portfolio."

A source familiar with the deal said that the seller did not have plans to hold the assets long-term. Once they were able to secure strong tenancy and receive a good offer they decided to divest the properties.

Headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Agree Realty Corp. (NYSE: ADC) currently owns and operates a portfolio of 703 properties, located in 46 states and containing approximately 12.3 million square feet of gross leasable space, according to its website.

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PREIT Says Mall Remerchandising Campaign Yielding Strong Sales

by John Jordan,
PREIT reports that its mall remerchandising efforts have produced strong sales at some of its premier properties, boosting April comparable store sales to $525-per-square-foot in its core mall portfolio.

The retail REIT, which stated that the recent announcement of the closure of all dressbarn locations will not impact the company’s core mall portfolio, reported that three of its properties topped $600-per-square-foot in sales in April and the Willow Grove Park (Willow Grove, PA) exceeded $750 per square foot in sales during that period.
Based on the strong sales at its portfolio, PREIT has increased its sales goal for 2019 to $550-per-square-foot. At the recent industry deal-making convention—ICSC RECon—PREIT reports that it hosted more than 100 meetings with potential new-to-portfolio brands.

Noting that dining is a key component of the transformative mall experience it looks to create at its properties, PREIT is adding three new restaurants to its portfolio: Black Rock Bar and Grill is expected to open this August at Valley Mall in Hagerstown, MD (also opening this fall at the Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids, MI); Fatburger at Cherry Hill Mall in Cherry Hill, NJ will open this summer; and Miller’s Ale House is set to open in September at the Plymouth Meeting Mall (PA) and will follow that with a new location at the Mall at Prince George’s in Hyattsville, MD. Since 2012, PREIT has increased the space leased to dining and entertainment tenants by 42%.
In addition, PREIT recently celebrated the opening of its first REI at the Woodland Mall and will soon add the portfolio’s first A’Beautiful Soul here. A’Beautiful Soul is a sister concept to Altar’d State, which recently opened its first location in PREIT’s portfolio at the Woodland Mall as well. Sales at the Woodland Mall now exceed $600-per-square-foot, ,which PREIT notes is before the full benefits of the mall’s redevelopment take effect.

“Creating a diverse tenant mix is a key ingredient in today’s rapidly-evolving retail climate,” says Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT. “We are well positioned with a high-quality portfolio in desirable markets to capture tenants that create a compelling consumer experience. Our newest tenant additions complement our existing portfolio and further drive traffic to our properties.”

Earlier this year, PREIT announced the recent opening of a number of new dining experiences such a first-to-market Cheesecake Factory at Woodland Mall and Hash House A Go-Go’s first New Jersey location at the Moorestown Mall; as well as a first-of-its kind co-working space/collaborative hub, 1776, at the Cherry Hill Mall.
In May, PREIT reported first quarter core mall sales per-square-foot reached a record high of $517. The firm completed $43 million in asset sales and improved its liquidity position by more than $70 million. PREIT’s core mall occupancy increased 100 bps to 94.7% in the first quarter.

NJEDA Rebrands Research Park as New Jersey Bioscience Center

by John Jordan
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced on Thursday that it has rebranded its 50-acre research park in central New Jersey from The Technology Centre of New Jersey to the New Jersey Bioscience Center– North Brunswick.

The authority states that new name more accurately reflects the park’s life sciences focus and the spectrum of companies located there.
Strategically situated in the heart of the state’s research corridor between Rutgers and Princeton universities, the NJBC campus offers a multitude of lab and office space options for companies at all stages of growth. Incubator, post-incubator, and independent research & development (R&D) space support the needs of entrepreneurial startups and rapidly-growing life sciences R&D companies, while build-to-suit lab and office sites accommodate larger, more-established biopharmaceutical businesses seeking to benefit from the research park’s prime location.

“From New Jersey’s highly-talented workforce to our ideal location and proximity to more than a dozen pharmaceutical giants, life sciences companies of all sizes are finding immense value in locating at our facilities,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “Rebranding the North Brunswick campus park under the New Jersey Bioscience Center umbrella will help us promote the research park’s available lab and office space to a national and international audience.”
The research park’s incubator and accelerator spaces have also been renamed to better align with the new brand. The incubator, formerly known as the Commercialization Center of Innovative Technologies and the accelerator formerly known as the Biotechnology Development Center are now respectively NJBC – Incubator at North Brunswick and NJBC – Step Out Labs at North Brunswick.

The 46,000-square-foot NJBC – Incubator offers 27 wet labs, the most of any incubator in the Garden State. Currently home to 20 businesses, the facility includes both small and large labs, as well as offices.

Considered New Jersey’s leading life sciences incubator, the NJBC – Incubator also provides tenant companies with educational programs and a host of supporting resources, including help to identify funding sources and access to small business development resources, networking opportunities, and administrative support. Additionally, it offers discounted first-year rent for university drug-discovery spinouts. Startups moving to the NJBC – Incubator can apply for rent support through the NJEDA’s NJ Ignite program.
The NJBC – Step Out Labs at North Brunswick opened in June 2018 and offers intermediate lab and office space for companies that have outgrown incubator space and other early-stage companies looking to expand. The NJBC – Step Out Labs space targets all sub-sectors of the biotechnology industry, with the goal of serving graduates of the NJBC – Incubator and other well-funded startups that are ready for intermediate space. The NJBC – Step Out Labs currently has six tenants, including China-based Adlai Nortye, which chose its New Jersey location as its United States headquarters.

Friday, June 7, 2019

New York Investor Buys Barrington Business Center for $43 Million

New York-based Sun Equity Partners purchased Barrington Business Center in Barrington, New Jersey, from Triangle Capital Group for $43 million, or about $46 per square foot.

The 931,682-square-foot, two-story industrial facility at 1 Commerce Drive comprises 90 loading docks and levelators, five drive-in bays, 40- by 50-foot column spacing and a 24-foot clear ceiling height. Built in 1956 and renovated in 2000, the Class B property spans 84.3 acres less than 15 miles from Philadelphia International Airport.

Tremont Mortgage Trust provided a $37.6 million first mortgage bridge loan on behalf of the borrower to finance the acquisition of Barrington Business Center.

The floating rate loan includes initial funding of $34.9 million and a future funding allowance of $2.7 million for property improvements and leasing capital. The loan is structured with a three-year initial term and a single one-year borrower extension option, subject to the borrower meeting certain conditions, and has an as-is LTV ratio of 79%.

Founded in 2010, Sun Equity Partners currently owns – or retains ownership interest in – and manages a portfolio exceeding 10 million square feet across the U.S., according to its website.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Local Investor Buys Grocery-Anchored Shopping Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Local full service investment, management and development firm Goodman Properties purchased the grocery-anchored Chelsea Square shopping center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from Boston-based Beacon Communities for $8.8 million, or about $91 per square foot.

The 96,455-square-foot center at 1603-1653 Manheim Pike is anchored by Weis. Built in 1988, the property spans 10.7 acres less than three miles from the Lancaster train station.

Additional tenants at the 97% leased property include Talbots, Jos. A. Bank, M&T, Domino’s Pizza, Great Clips, The Lighting Gallery and ModernEyes Optical.

"We have seen an uptick in investor interest within the Lancaster market. With positive demographic trends and sound existing retail fundamentals, we expect to see continued transactional activity from new-to-market investors, specifically in the grocery-anchored space," Munley said in a statement.

Founded in 1985, Goodman Properties manages more than 650 tenants across its portfolio ranging from small local businesses to national retailers, according to its website.

Discovery Labs Proposes $500M Co-Working Project for Healthcare, Life Science, Tech Sectors

by John Jordan
Discovery Labs announced today at the Bio 2019 conference here it will embark on a $500-million project that will be part of an even larger initiative intended to create the largest co-working ecosystem for healthcare, life sciences and technology-enabled companies in the nation.
The King of Prussia-based firm, a platform company formed by Radnor, PA-based MLP Ventures, stated at the conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia today that it intends to redevelop GlaxoSmithKline’s 1-million square foot Upper Merion West Campus and the 640,000 Innovation at Renaissance Campus in King of Prussia into co-working facilities for the for healthcare, life sciences and technology sectors.

This first Discovery Labs in King of Prussia are the prototype for a global rollout of The Discovery Labs, the company states. In addition to the Pennsylvania properties, Discovery Labs is targeting major markets across the US and also has several international locations in its plans as well. Target domestic markets include: Boston; New York City; Northern New Jersey; Washington, DC; Raleigh-Durham, NC; Chicago, Houston, Austin, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. The company also has targeted London and Dublin as international locations it hopes to enter sometime in the future.
The $500-million investment is targeted for the two King of Prussia properties only. Discovery Labs did not release the projected cost for its expansion to other domestic and international markets.

“The Discovery Labs is 20 times larger than the average co-working space, such as WeWork, and provides the mission critical infrastructure needed to operate healthcare, life sciences and technology-enabled companies. The size of each Discovery Labs enables enterprise level companies to work side by side with startup and emerging companies and enjoy the benefits of the co-working phenomenon,” says Audrey Greenberg, chief financial officer, The Discovery Labs. “It is the first of a network of massive co-working properties which will encourage powerful, collaborative innovation on an international scale.”

A spokesman for Discovery Labs said the firm currently owns both the Innovation at Renaissance Campus and the GlaxoSmithKline Upper West Merion Campus.
GlaxoSmithKline currently leases 87,260 square feet at the primary building at the Upper Merion West Campus. Tenants at the Innovation at Renaissance Campus include the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University, Tosoh Biosciences, Crown Castle and MedRisk.

“The Discovery Labs brings together healthcare, life sciences and technology-enabled companies that rely heavily on enterprise-level infrastructure and who want to occupy space specifically designed for a modern, tech-enabled workforce with all the amenities necessary to hire top talent,” says Richard Heany, president of The Discovery Labs.

A major component of its King of Prussia co-working initiative is “IQ Connect,” The Discovery Labs incubator. The incubator, a partnership with The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, is a 100,000-square-foot business incubator and laboratory that brings together researchers, entrepreneurs and product development startups, along with human resources, venture capital, investment banking and other business services to pursue discovery and development of transformative scientific, life sciences, tech-enabled industrial, venture and consumer products.

“The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center has a strong track record of growing successful new companies through our unique combination of resources and professional support. We are excited to expand our model to The Discovery Labs to build an environment that nurtures entrepreneurs and brings new discoveries to market,” says Lou Kassa, SVP and COO of The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center.

Originally designed for large-scale pharmaceutical R&D, the Discovery Labs co-working campus leverages the properties’ tall ceilings, extensive infrastructure and in-place laboratories to create workspace that fosters creativity while leveraging technology, the company notes.

Philadelphia is recognized as one of the fastest-growing biotech hubs in the world and is known as the “Cellicon Valley” for its leadership in research and development of gene and cell therapy.  Philadelphia ranked fourth for medical research and health services on a list of the country’s top biotech clusters.

Christopher Molineaux, CEO of Life Sciences Pennsylvania, says there is a growing need for co-working space in the life sciences sector.  ”There’s a surge of life science startups in Pennsylvania, with more than half of these companies staffing fewer than 10 employees,” he says. “The co-working lab facilities of Discovery Labs can help support the growth of small business with billions of dollars of infrastructure, so they can spend capital on development of new technologies and lifesaving and life enhancing products, making lab space affordable to startups of any size. This is exactly the type of facility that can help our entrepreneurs thrive on each other’s energy, wisdom and innovation.”

Design features at the King of Prussia properties include ceiling heights of 16 feet and 20-foot-tall penthouse spaces and glass walkways that connect 12 buildings ranging from 50,000 square feet to 125,000 square feet. Outdoor spaces and indoor/outdoor atriums provide workers the ability to access fresh air for creative thinking and improved concentration.

The live/work/play environment of The Discovery Labs offers vast open spaces to cultivate a sense of community, featuring coffee shops, a $10-million conference center, video conferencing, a 275-seat auditorium and adjoining, meeting and education rooms. The Discovery Lab’s design also includes a 14,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness center with cardio and weight training equipment, yoga and Pilates classes, as well as outdoor options including tennis, basketball, and more than two miles of walking paths. Other amenities include an outdoor amphitheater, high-end on-site restaurants and complimentary shuttle transportation to train lines.

Discovery Labs states it is experiencing strong interest with 3 million square feet of space currently in the proposal stage with prospective tenants touring the campus daily.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

University Place, Wistar Institute Partner on Major Life Sciences Project

by John Jordan
Locally-based University Place Associates and the Wistar Institute are looking to move forward on a new 240,000-square-foot life sciences building to be built at 4101 Market St. here
UPA will build the 3.0 University Place project that will offer state-of-the-art laboratory/office space in the heart of Philadelphia’s University City District. The two firms state that the property, which is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy in the first quarter of 2021, will “deliver the critical infrastructure and support network needed to advance biomedical research.”

The Philadelphia Business Journal reported the cost of the project at $100 million.
“There is so much to say about The Wistar Institute, its history, its ethos and its mission. We are humbled and excited to be working with this very special giant of life-saving scientific research,” says Scott Mazo, founder and CEO of University Place Associates. “To have Wistar championing the Philadelphia life sciences ecosystem at 3.0 University Place is terrific news for the city, the state, and the region.”

“Early stage discovery science requires both patience and urgency,” says Dario C. Altieri, M.D., president and CEO at The Wistar Institute and director of its NCI-designated Cancer Center. “We now have an opportunity to build on the collaborations that are essential to changing the future of healthcare. Extending our reach through this state-of-the-art facility in University City District will foster Wistar’s ability to work more closely and effectively with collaborators and potentiate the discovery process to accelerate critical innovation.”

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer, immunology, infectious diseases, and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.
Wistar and UPA are in the process of defining specific space commitments, floor locations, and other management details as part of the partnership.

The eight-story 3.0 University Place building will serve as the first expansion of an innovation corridor that was recently designated as a Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) and a Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ). Future tenants in the corridor will benefit from significant tax incentives, as well as close proximity to the 40th & Market transit hub, the University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University. In addition to the biomedical and lab space, the property will also feature retail space.

Another major biotech project is also on the horizon in Philadelphia. Republic Properties Corp. and PHL Next State Med LLC is proposing an eight-story, 125,000-square-foot building with office and lab space on SEPTA-owned property near the 30th Street station at 32nd and Arch streets, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Qualified Opportunity Funds May Face Anti-Abuse Regulations from IRS (Video)

WinnCos. Pays $17.3 Million for Atlantic City Affordable Housing Complex

The development arm of WinnCos. has acquired a portfolio of affordable housing properties for $17.3 million in Atlantic City, New Jersey, under the federal Opportunity Zone program.

The Boston-based real estate firm bought Sencit Liberty, a scattered-site complex featuring 153 units of income-restricted housing located in three historic properties previously adapted for residential use.

The sites include Liberty, 67 apartment units at 1519 Baltic Ave., formerly the Liberty Hotel originally built in 1924; Schoolhouse, 66 units at 61 N. Martin Luther King Blvd., formerly the Illinois Avenue School originally built in 1906; and Disston, 20 units at 1711 Arctic Ave., formerly the Northside YMCA originally built in 1927.

“In the spirit of the local and state policy objective to drive more investment in qualified opportunity zones, we were fortunate to be able to structure our equity investment through our own qualified opportunity fund and take advantage of the benefits that this new program offers,” Brett Meringoff, the WinnDevelopment senior vice president who led the acquisition team, said in a statement.

The federal Opportunity Zone program was established as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. It was created to drive long-term private capital investment in low-income urban and rural communities by providing investors tax breaks on capital gains. New Jersey has 169 opportunity zones located across 75 municipalities.

WinnDevelopment said it's committed to keeping Sencit Liberty affordable for the next 30 years, while at the same time upgrading the complex as part of an occupied rehabilitation. The company plans to pay for the renovation through a number of funding sources, including developer loans, private equity investment, private lender sources, and local and state resources.
The purchase was financed by BlueHub Capital, formerly known as Boston Community Capital, using Capital Magnet funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury, and by Citi Community Capital, using a combination of Affordable Housing Catalyst funds and acquisition bridge debt financing. The broker for the transaction was Dane PCG.

“We believe the successful rehabilitation of these three properties would not only improve the quality of life for the residents, but also positively impact the entire community and signal major investment in this area of Atlantic City,” Meringoff said.

Atlantic City, including its City Council and Planning & Development Department, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority provided planning and financial support for the acquisition.

WinnDevelopment hopes to have assembled all the financing needed for the rehabilitation project by later this summer.

WinnCos. owns more than 100 multifamily housing properties in 11 states and Washington, D.C., totaling more than 13,000 apartments. In New Jersey it has City Crossing, a 131-unit scattered site property in Jersey City, and Bridgeton Villas, a 156-unit property in Bridgeton. Both sites have undergone extensive rehabilitations in the past three years, according to the developer.

Since July 2014, WinnCos. has overseen the completion of more than 17 occupied rehabilitation projects, totaling about 3,000 units, at its owned properties in six states and Washington, with total development costs of $335 million. The company currently has more than 500 units under rehabilitation in five states, with an additional 1,000 units set to undergo upgrades through 2020.

The Sencit Liberty properties will be managed by WinnResidential, the nation’s largest operator of affordable housing. The company manages 2,310 apartments and 19,500 square feet of commercial space at 17 multifamily properties in New Jersey.

Gallagher Tire Leases 4-Star Industrial Facility Near Philadelphia

Gallagher Tire Inc., a distributor of specialty tires and related products, leased Suburban Management Co.'s 143,092-square-foot warehouse in Parker Ford, Pennsylvania.

The single-story facility at 36 Anderson Road comprises 24 loading docks, eight drive-in bays and a 31-foot clear ceiling height. Built in 1998, the 4-Star property spans 16 acres less than 35 miles from Philadelphia International Airport.

Gene Call and Justin Call provided in-house representation on behalf of the landlord, which originally purchased the facility in April 2018.

Headquartered in Oaks, Pennsylvania, SMC currently manages a 7 million-square-foot portfolio of single and multi‐tenant facilities; largely concentrated along the Route 422 corridor from King of Prussia to Reading, according to its website.

New Providence Multifamily Sells for Nearly $59M

By John Jordan
The 232-unit New Providence Gardens apartment community here has been sold to an out-of-state institutional buyer in a deal valued at $58.5 million.

Built in 1951, the garden apartment-home community is located in New Providence on the northwestern edge of Union County and is near the New Providence Train Station, as well as major highways. The property at 43 Gales Drive features 164 one-bedroom and 68 two-bedroom units.
New Providence Gardens’ historic Borough Center neighborhood ranks among the top 15% highest-income neighborhoods in the nation where more than half of the working population is employed in executive, management and professional occupations, according to Gebroe-Hammer.

“New Providence Gardens is well-poised for considerable value-add repositioning associated with in-demand market-unique layouts, convenient proximity to mass transit links and high-end lifestyle services. This is a transit-rich region where an established millennial and executive-level out-commuter residential base fill the borough’s population-growth pipeline.”

He adds that the area’s rental apartment market is extremely supply constricted and is expected to see little if any new product delivered to market for the foreseeable future.

Radnor, Harrison Street Strike P3 Student Housing Deal with Lafayette College

by John Jordan
Radnor Property Group reports it has entered into a public-private partnership with Lafayette College here and Chicago-based Harrison Street Real Estate Capital to build a new mixed-use student housing project for the college that will have the capacity to house 165 students.

Radnor Property Group, headquartered in the Philadelphia suburb of Radnor, PA, was hoping to begin construction at the end of May on the project that will be located between March and High streets. The project is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2020. No development cost for the project was released.

Located on McCartney Street, between March and High streets, the property will feature three-and four-bedroom suites with kitchenettes and two-bedroom semi-suites, all with in-unit private or semi-private bathrooms. The student housing will be located on the top three floors of the building. The ground floor of the property will feature a student bookstore, full-service diner, retail offerings and amenities including outdoor spaces, communal lounges and study spaces.
“Through this partnership with Radnor Property Group and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, we can bring modern housing, desirable amenities and exciting new retail establishments to a premier location on campus, all while aligning with the college’s dedication to creating affordable yet distinctive offerings that will allow continued expansion,” says Roger Demareski, VP of finance and administration at Lafayette College.

Capstone On-Campus Management of Birmingham, AL has been selected by Radnor and Harrison Street and has been approved by Lafayette to manage and maintain the property once it opens in the fall of 2020. COCM exclusively manages on-campus communities and currently works on 40 college and university campuses across the country, including Raleigh, NC; Gainesville, FL, and Austin, TX.

David Yeager, managing partner and founder of Radnor, adds, “Radnor is thrilled to advance our relationship with Lafayette with our second partnership together to address growing campus needs.  Together with COCM and Harrison Street our goal is to cultivate long term relationships from ground breaking through operations with highly regarded institutions of learning like Lafayette.”
Alton Irwin, chief marketing officer for COCM, notes that the McCartney Street project for Lafayette College is COCM’s second P3 student housing project with Radnor and its sixth with Harrison Street.

In March, phase one of the Radnor Property Group’s The Hamilton, a 10-story, 279-unit mixed-use residential tower on the Community College of Philadelphia’s campus in Logan Square in Philadelphia, opened.