June 11, 2014 |
The venerable Curtis Center at Sixth and Walnut Streets, a landmark of Philadelphia's publishing past, was purchased Monday for $125 million in cash by Keystone Property Group and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. Keystone, of Bala Cynwyd, and Mack-Cali, of Edison, N.J., said the building, which covers an entire block and overlooks Washington Square, will become "mixed-use," as 90,000 square feet of unoccupied office space is converted to luxury rental apartments. More residential space could be developed in the Curtis Center as more office space becomes vacant, Mack-Cali said.
May 12, 2014 |
FMC Corp. has been one of the region's quiet giants. With $3.9 billion in sales in 2013, the specialty-chemical company is one of Philadelphia's most significant corporate residents. But in terms of household names, it's no Comcast. That might change a bit now that FMC has decided to move to its own trophy tower at 30th and Walnut Streets. The edifice - to be topped with FMC's brand - will certainly make the firm more visible. Groundbreaking for the 49-story, $385 million tower is set for Wednesday.
April 28, 2014 |
CHESTER - Far more than a mere sports arena, the Major League Soccer stadium was going to be the centerpiece of an economic renaissance for the struggling city of Chester. In announcing $47 million in state funding for the project in 2008, Gov. Ed Rendell went so far as to say it would "change the face of Chester forever," the axis for development that would include housing, a convention center, office and retail space, and a riverside promenade on the city's historic waterfront.
April 24, 2014 |
Center City, Philadelphia's engine for growth for the last decade or more, is showing signs of distress, according to statistics compiled by the Center City District for its annual "State of Center City" report. From office rental rates to visits to tourist attractions and the number of major conventions on the horizon, a variety of measures of the health of the city's core suggest it might not be quite as vibrant as hoped. For instance, while Center City's population inches higher, office rental rates run stubbornly below national averages, an indication of a city's weakness in attracting new employers.
April 7, 2014 |
In the survival-of-the-fittest, cutthroat world of retail, some malls have the right stuff. Others simply need to be "right-sized" and reincarnated - like, say, neighborhood mall, meets City Hall, meets Main Street. Take the old Echelon Mall. Known as "The Mall" in its heyday in the late 1970s and '80s, it drew from surrounding communities, like Lindenwold, Clementon, and Audubon. But time, disrepair, an exodus of tenants, and newer competition took their toll. By the time mall powerhouse Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT)
March 22, 2014 |
The School Reform Commission on Thursday signed off on sales of eight closed buildings - properties that will net the cash-poor Philadelphia School District less than $30 million. Douglas High School in Port Richmond will be sold to Maritime Academy Charter School for $2.1 million. Shaw Middle School in Southwest Philadelphia will go to Mastery Charter for $2.7 million. Alexander Wilson Elementary in Southwest Philadelphia will be bought by Orens Bros. Real Estate Inc. for $4.6 million.
March 4, 2014 |
Builder Brian DiSabatino , fourth-generation boss of Wilmington's EDiS Co. , says he expects to start work this year on the first of seven "mixed-use villages," replacing 2,000 acres of corn and soybean fields, at what he and his partners call the Town of Whitehall, 12 minutes south of I-95 in Delaware. There have been other big plans for this ground. It was shopped as a nuclear power plant site, and for an Intel computer-chip factory. But "New Urbanist" communities, with curbside stores, offices, and charter schools, are what the ground's owner, the $125 million-asset Welfare Foundation , decided will pay best, pending final approvals from the county council.
February 27, 2014 |
It seems the developers of a proposed 35-story tower for Market Street East were too successful in their attempt to keep the building unobtrusive. While the largely residential structure proposed for the site of the historic Lit Bros. store was tentatively approved Tuesday by the Philadelphia Historical Commission's architectural committee, the panel requested a redesign of the $102 million project. Committee members agreed with a critique by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia that the design is "inappropriately bland" for a structure that would share the block with such an architectural standout as Lit Bros.
February 23, 2014 |
Reed Smith L.L.P.'s Philadelphia office is set to move its 320 lawyers and support staff from One Liberty Place to new quarters at Three Logan Square. When the move is complete March 3, firm leaders say the firm will occupy about 20 percent less space in a reconfigured office with greater energy efficiency and more opportunities for collaboration. "Aside from the burden of unpacking, we are excited about having brand-new surroundings," said Leonard Bernstein, managing partner of the Philadelphia office.
February 8, 2014 |
Liberty Property Trust plans to charge rents "that are high $30s [per square foot], kissing $40," to Comcast and any additional tenants for the company's planned second Center City office tower, Liberty boss Bill Hankowsky told investors during a conference call this week. That's higher than today's top asking rents for the priciest Philadelphia space. In Philadelphia's slow-grow office market, average leasing costs are little changed since the 1990s, and significantly lower than in New York, Boston or Washington.