Philadelphia Commercial Real Estate Wrap-Up – June 2020

PES refinery sells for $226 million. Center City office project downsizes. Read our June selection of Philadelphia must-knows.
1301 Market. Image courtesy of JLL

Philadelphia slowly began to reopen in late June, though officials cautioned that the process will take time, given the widespread impacts of the pandemic on the city. While the next stage in the metro’s reopening is slated for July 3, the city’s health department has shifted some activities, including indoor restaurant dining and gatherings of more than 25 people, out until August at the earliest. However, even with restrictions in place, the metro’s commercial real estate activity did not come to a stop. Here’s our selection of Philadelphia’s must-reads:  

1. DEAL – Former PES refinery changes hands for $226 million.

Hilco Redevelopment Partners purchased the 1,300-acre site and plans to transform it into a multi-modal logistics hub. The East Coast’s largest oil refinery closed in June 2019 after some 150 years of operation, due to a massive explosion. Located on Passyunk Avenue along the Schuylkill River, the shuttered complex, equal in size to the city’s entire central business district, is 3 miles from downtown Philadelphia.

2. OPERATIONS – Microsoft permanently closes stores nationwide.

The Microsoft Store at the King of Prussia Mall and another at the Christiana Mall in Newark, Del., will remain shuttered after initially closing doors in March due to the pandemic. Microsoft plans to shift its retail efforts to its digital platforms on Microsoft.com and its Xbox and Windows stores. Nationwide, the physical stores’ closures had cost the company an estimated $450 million during the second quarter.

3. DEVELOPMENT – Center City office tower will rise lower than planned.

Oliver Tyrone Pulver Corp. has new plans for its office development across from City Hall at 1301 Market St. Announced in 2016 as a 38-story, 840,000-square-foot project, 1301 Market is now shaping up as a 30-story building with up to 700,000 square feet. JLL is marketing the future high-rise which will feature column-free, 25,200-square-foot floorplates. Delivery is slated for 2023.

4. LEASING – Century Therapeutics inks One uCity Square’s first lease.

The biotech company will occupy 32,500 square feet of office and lab space at the 400,000-square-foot development underway in the University City neighborhood. Ventas, in partnership with University City Science Center and Wexford Science & Technology, is developing the 13-story speculative building within the uCity Square innovation district, with delivery slated for early 2022. CBRE negotiated the lease on behalf of the tenant. 

5. DEAL – Greenfield Partners sells Mount Laurel office portfolio.

Golden Gate Capital paid $14.9 million for the Greentree North Corporate Center and Cambridge Crossing, two properties totaling 244,000 square feet across seven one-story buildings. CBRE assisted the seller in the disposition. The buyer rebranded the first property, located at 11000, 12000, 14000, 15000, 17000 and 18000 Commerce Parkway, to Mount Laurel Commerce Center. The 1988-built Cambridge Crossing is at 1001 Briggs Road.

6. DEAL – Marcus & Millichap closes Lansdowne retail sale.

The brokerage firm assisted both parties in the $7.7 million disposition of Goodwill Job Resource & Donation Center, a 31,400-square foot single-tenant property in Lansdowne. Located on more than 3 acres at 201 E. Baltimore Pike, the donation and retail center opened in 2013 within 5 miles of downtown Philadelphia and 10 miles of Philadelphia International Airport.