Thursday, May 27, 2021

$500M mixed-use development proposed for NoLibs

Natalie Kostelni Reporter Philadelphia Business Journal 

A venture between National Real Estate Development and KRE Group has plans for an ambitious $500 million, 1-million-square-foot development along North 2nd Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia.

The mixed-use development will be built in three phases of which the first is expected to begin early next year and cost $300 million. It will involve constructing two apartment buildings — one at 200 Spring Garden St. and the other at 412 N. 2nd St. — and have a combined 750 units. Each building will have 20,000 square feet of retail space and the structures are expected to serve as bookends to the larger development.

“The vision for the development is to create an authentic and vibrant community that naturally connects Northern Liberties and Old City," said Dan Killinger, president of National Development of Philadelphia. “In order to do that you need scale.”

This will be the third project the National-KRE Group partnership has worked on together. It is developing Grove Pointe in Jersey City, New Jersey, a similarly large mixed-use development.

“When this site was brought to me and we were going to see it, my very first call was to Dan and his team,” said Jon Kushner, president of KRE Group, which is based in Jersey City. “I knew his project [East Market] in Philadelphia and thought we could look at this together.”

Killinger and Kushner met last summer to look at the parcels that were then owned by a partnership involving Arts & Crafts Holdings, a Philadelphia real estate company, and up for sale. The properties included 200-224 Spring Garden St., 412-426 N. 2nd St., 428-458 N. 2nd St., and 460-474 N. 2nd St.

“In as much time as it takes to have coffee together, we made a partnership to go after the deal,” Kushner said.

It seemed like a natural fit. They do have experience working on projects together and the two companies share similar principles when it comes to development, Killinger said. They are long-term holders of their real estate and strive to leave communities better off than when they first go into them. “It was a natural partnership with similar goals,” he said

It was just this past March the partnership closed on buying the properties from Arts & Crafts. It paid $39 million for the parcels.

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