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.
February 5, 2014 |
RADNOR About a decade has elapsed since the last Wyeth workers walked out of the complex in Radnor Township that had served as their company's global headquarters since the 1950s. More than history, their departure for a new headquarters in Collegeville created something nearly as valuable: a sprawling piece of commercial property in one of the region's most desirable but largely developed zip codes. The 26-acre parcel,near the intersection of I-476 and Route 30, represents one of Radnor's largest development opportunities in years.
December 8, 2013 |
ONE OF THE city's savviest money men says the city could save millions by trimming the fat from the more than 10 million square feet of office space the city owns and leases. Tom Knox, chairman of the Mayor's Task Force on City-owned Facilities, and Mayor Nutter yesterday presented the task force's report finding the city could save as much as $121 million over five years by better managing its unused office space. "This is real, serious money," Nutter said. "This report joins a growing body of work . . . that urges the city to become more data-driven and begin tracking all the costs of maintenance and operations facilities, citywide.
December 3, 2013 |
Liberty Property Trust , the commercial landlord that built Philadelphia's tallest buildings, has been dumping aging suburban offices and building and buying warehouses. The Malvern company announced last month it was selling 6.6 million square feet of mostly office space, in suburbs like Mount Laurel, Fort Washington, and elsewhere, to Greenfield Real Estate L.L.C. of Connecticut for $705 million. Greenfield is one of many private firms buying up aging office parks. This year, Liberty sold PNC's operations center to Nicholas Schorsch's American Realty Capital Partners for $75 million.