Philadelphia Commercial Real Estate Wrap-Up – September 2020

Ensemble makes $83 million Navy Yard purchase. Amazon further expands in the metro. Here’s our September selection of Philadelphia must-reads.
Philadelphia cityscape. Image courtesy of C. Cain

On Sep. 8, Philadelphia came to life as the city’s green phase of reopening continued to unfold. Theaters opened, and indoor dining and outdoor gatherings with up to 150 participants were allowed, all with social distancing and safety measures in place. However, new COVID-19 cases remained roughly at August levels. 

Similar to last month, the metro’s commercial real estate activity continued to pick up speed. The office and industrial sectors were the main drivers, with major lease and investment transactions closing throughout the month. Read our September selection of Philadelphia must-knows: 

1. DEAL – Ensemble makes $83 million Navy Yard life sciences purchase.

Prologis sold the three Class A assets, which total 366,800 square feet and are fully leased to WuXi Advanced Therapies Inc. According to Yardi Matrix, Barings provided the buyer with a $62.3 million acquisition loan. The portfolio occupies nearly 23 acres at 4701 and 4751 League Island Blvd. and 400 Rouse Blvd. Ensemble’s Navy Yard footprint now encompasses some 550,000 square feet of life sciences space across five buildings, following an overall investment of $155 million.

2. LEASING – CommonGrounds Workplace opens in Center City.

The coworking company fully occupies the 23rd and 24th floors at 1700 Market under a 62,461-square-foot lease. The 32-story office building is two blocks from Suburban Station and three blocks from the city hall. Completed in 1969 and last renovated in 2018, Shorenstein’s LEED Platinum-certified property features a roof deck, fitness center and two restaurants. CommonGrounds now operates 18 locations totaling more than 500,000 square feet across the U.S.

3. DEAL – Lansdale distribution facility changes hands for $33 million.

Advance Realty and The Davis Cos. sold the 667,019-square-foot warehouse at 2750 Morris Road. Velocity Venture Partners purchased the Class B asset, located 4 miles from the Lansdale Interchange. Completed in 1988, the multi-tenant, 84-acre property was completely renovated in 2016. Cushman & Wakefield assisted the sellers, while The Flynn Co. represented the buyer in the deal.

4. LEASING – Vantage Commercial lands Cherry Hill office assignment.

The 150,000-square-foot Cherry Tree Corporate Center occupies more than 11 acres at 535 Route 38 E. in the city’s Golden Triangle area. The property has a variety of tenant spaces, ranging between 171 and 5,619 square feet, available for lease. Manhattan Management Co. has owned the 1985-built asset since 2003, according to Yardi Matrix data, and recently made interior and exterior renovations. The building has 30,000-square-foot floorplates and a parking ratio of 5 spaces per 1,000 square feet.  

5. LEASING – Amazon expands footprint to Byberry East Industrial Park.

The e-commerce giant leased the 207,370-square-foot Philadelphia Logistics Center, according to The Philadelphia Enquirer. Black Creek Group owns the Class A warehouse, located at 3025 Meeting House Road in an Opportunity Zone. The 2019-built property features 36-foot clear heights and 56 trailer spaces. Looking to expand parking capacity, Amazon plans to invest $2.5 million in a parking lot at a nearby, 7-acre city-owned parcel at 2703 Black Lake Place.

6. LEASING – Monster Pets brings Delran industrial park to full occupancy.

The independent pet store leased a 57,930-square-foot warehouse within Swedes Run Corporate Center. Endurance Real Estate Group and PCCP acquired the 601 Delran Parkway asset in April in a $43 million, seven-building portfolio transaction. Located less than 1 mile from U.S. Route 130, the property has 22-foot clear heights, 40- by 40-foot column spacing and 2,320 square feet of office space.