Philadelphia Commercial Real Estate Wrap-Up – May 2020

Independence Blue Cross to buy $360 million tower. University City project comes to a halt. Catch up on our May list of Philadelphia must-knows.
Downtown Philadelphia. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Though more and more Pennsylvania counties are moving closer to reopening, Philadelphia is an exception, with lockdown orders largely still in full effect. Despite this, the metro’s commercial real estate sectors remain active. A number of large sales either closed or were announced this month, and, following a May 1 order, construction got the go-ahead to resume activity. However, this wasn’t enough to stop some developers from pumping the brakes, as a major University City project was put on hold. Here is our May selection of Philadelphia must-reads:

1. DEAL – The Hampshire Cos. trades last-mile warehouse.

Mountain Development Corp. paid $8.7 million for the industrial property. JLL Capital Markets negotiated on behalf of the seller. Located on 6 acres at 3445-3535 S. Front St., the 86,315-square-foot facility came online in 2008. The building has clear heights ranging from 18 to 44 feet, 14 dock doors and an office component. The building is fully leased by Ferguson Enterprises.

2. FINANCING – Brennan Investment Group refinances 12-property portfolio.

Regions Bank originated the $67.2 million loan which matures in 2025. The note retired a $54.4 million mortgage from Voya Financial in 2017, according to Yardi Matrix data. The portfolio encompasses 609,240 square feet of office and 587,338 square feet of industrial space in the metro area. Two of the refinanced properties are the 110,725-square-foot Moorestown West Corporate Center at 1 Executive Drive in Moorestown and the 139,055-square-foot Bromley Commons at 3 Terri Lane in Burlington.

3. DEAL – Piedmont to sell Center City tower for $360 million.

Independence Blue Cross agreed to purchase its 45-story headquarters building, according to Philadelphia Business Journal. Piedmont had announced in March that it would market the 801,000-square-foot asset for sale. The buyer had previously owned the building, selling it for $164.9 million to PGIM Real Estate in 1998, Yardi Matrix shows. The tower, located at 1901 Market St., was built in 1987.

4. PEOPLE – Avison Young strengthens industrial team.

The company hired Matthew Marshall as principal in its Philadelphia office. His work will focus on leasing, tenant representation and corporate solutions for industrial clients. Prior to joining the firm, Marshall held a managing director role with Cushman & Wakefield. In his 25 years in the industry, he had a senior vice president role at Cresa and a vice president position at Prologis. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

5. DEAL – Colliers closes Bethlehem retail disposition.

The 31,450-square-foot property changed hands for $4.5 million in a 1031 exchange. QNB provided the acquisition loan. Equis Commercial Real Estate negotiated on behalf of the buyer. Colliers assisted the seller and will oversee leasing efforts. Located on 8 acres at 3650 Nazareth Pike, the building was completed in 1978. The tenant roster includes H&R Block, Northampton County and Painting with a Twist.

6. DEVELOPMENT – One UCity Square presses pause.

Ventas stopped all site work at the $280 million, 400,000-square-foot life science project in University City, according to Philadelphia Business Journal. The developer made the decision as a means of reducing its 2020 capital expenditures by $300 million. In addition to One UCity Square, the firm will also halt work at 4210 Duncan, a 320,000-square-foot St. Louis office project.