As part of its divestment in office properties, Liberty Property Trust has closed on the sale of a building that houses Axalta Coating Systems Ltd.’s Global Innovation Center at the Philadelphia Navy Yard for $61.2 million.
Apex Capital Management, a subsidiary of Dimah Capital of Kuwait, bought the building at 1050 Constitution Ave. The sale breaks down to about $350 per square foot.
Foreign investment in properties at the Navy Yard, Center City and the Philadelphia suburbs has risen over the years. For example, the purchase of Mellon Bank Center involved Israeli money as part of the financial stack and was part of a trend in the region of overseas money finding a place in domestic and Philadelphia real estate.
Axalta Coating (NYSE: AXATA) moved in the fall of 2018 more than 200 engineers and scientists that were located in Wilmington into the new 175,000-square-foot research facility developed for the company at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Axalta signed a 20-year lease that expires in 2037.
It was one of the properties Liberty had planned to sell as it unloaded the remainder of its office holdings to concentrate on the industrial sector. Liberty was sold to Prologis Inc. in a deal that closed on Monday. Prologis is expected to sell any remaining office or non-core properties that it inherited from Liberty.
Referred to as the Axalta Global Innovation Center, it is the largest such facility the company has and is believed to be the largest coatings R&D center in the world.
The buildings Liberty has sold recently at the Navy Yard have traded for top dollar. For example, in 2018, an affiliate of Korea Investment Management Co. Ltd. paid $130.5 million for the office building that houses GlaxoSmithKline at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. More recently, Norvin Healthcare paid $65 million, or $682 a square foot, for Three Crescent Drive, a 96,000-square-foot building that is fully leased on a long-term basis by Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals Inc. at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
*Article courtesy of the Biz Journal
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