$8M Redevelopment Planned in South Kensington as Buyer Seeks ‘Critical Mass’ in Neighborhood

A Charlotte real estate firm has paid $9.45 million for a 78,000-square-foot building at 1400 N. Howard St. in Philadelphia and plans to invest another $8 million to redevelop it.

While the Charlotte real estate firm owns several High Street retail properties near Rittenhouse Square including 1704 Walnut St., it also has a growing presence in the area around the South Kensington neighborhood where it bought the vacant North Howard Street property.

So far the firm spent a total of $31 million buying properties in the Kensington and Fishtown sections of the city. The company owns the building at 1002 Canal St. that housed the now closed Goose Island Brewhouse, 1100 N. Front St. where Love & Honey Fried Chicken is located, and a commercial condominium at 1405 Frankford Ave.

The company prefers to buy in well-established neighborhoods and acquire properties in which it can launch adaptive reuse projects. In April 2019, the company closed an $800 million fund that is being deployed to buy urban and infill neighborhood locations across the country.

Philadelphia is among those cities it is targeting and, aside from Rittenhouse Square, it’s drawn to the Fishtown-Kensington area.

The Howard Street property is a single-story building that encompasses an entire city block. Though it has an industrial past, the building was rezoned for residential use. At one point, a townhouse development was proposed by the previous owner but that never materialized.

The firm was granted new commercial zoning by the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment that will allow for the company to follow through on its plan to redevelop the building into retail and office space. The office portion would take up about 80% of the building, leaving the remainder for retail use.

While the restaurant and retail scene has grown in recent years along Frankford Avenue, the office market in that area is nascent. The company encouraged by the presence of companies such as La Colombe and Honeygrow, which not only have retail operations in the area but also their respective corporate offices. Kracke believes there are companies like La Colombe and Honeygrow that would prefer to have their offices be in a neighborhood rather than Center City.

Rents for the office space are projected to range from the high $20s a square foot to the low $30s.

The Charlotte Firm plans to begin construction next summer and expects to complete the project in 2022.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia office space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Axalta to Close Center City Headquarters Office

Axlata Coating Systems Ltd. plans to close its Center City global headquarters office and move out of the 36,000 square feet it has occupied at Two Commerce Square for the last seven years.

Employees working out of Philadelphia will relocate to either its 55,000-square-foot North American headquarters off Applied Bank Way in Glen Mills or its 175,000-square-foot research facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The decision to close its Center City office comes after the company went through a restructuring over the summer that led it to realign its real estate and other operations. The restructuring will result in 550 job cuts over the next two years as part of plan to generate $50 million in savings amid economic pressures.

The move out of Center City veers from Axalta’s (NYSE: AXTA) original plans when it spun out of DuPont Inc. in 2013 and moved out of Delaware and deliberately split its global and North American headquarters into two locations.

The company said at the time it wanted to have a distinct location for its global and North American headquarters.The company then decided to place its global headquarters in Commerce Square, saying at the time it preferred an urban setting near mass transit as well as the Philadelphia International Airport. The company then moved its North American headquarters to Glen Mills, contending it was closer to where most employees, who had previously worked at DuPont, live and from where they had been commuting for years.

In that time, the company, which makes coatings that go into paint used on vehicles and other products, went from being privately owned to publicly traded.

Axalta announced in late March that it ended a review of strategic alternatives it began in 2019 to explore a potential sale of the company, saying the impact of the coronavirus on markets was to blame.

Philadelphia office shifts will be completed in mid-2021.

*Article Courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia office space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier  Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Suburbs are in Vogue’: Swedesford Road Office Buildings Hit the Market

The properties being marketed are: 656-676 E. Swedesford Road, a two-building complex that totals 147,000 square feet; and the Valley Forge Office Center, which includes 480 E. Swedesford Road, a 49,000-square-foot building, and 500 E. Swedesford Road, a 61,000-square-foot property. No prices have been set for the buildings.

The complex at 656-676 E. Swedesford was renovated of two separate structures in the mid-2000s and connected them with a three-story atrium. The complex is 76% occupied by several small tenants ranging between 5,000 to 10,000 square feet including Global Tax Management and MidLantic Urology.

The two buildings at 480 and 500 E. Swedesford are not physically connected but sit next to each other and are being marketed as a pair. Combined, the buildings are 88% occupied and tenants include Affiliated Distributors and CapGemini. Each occupy 21,000 square feet.

The buildings come on the market at a time when some Center City companies are looking for suburban outposts during the pandemic. In addition, there’s still a lot of equity in the market looking for investments.

The properties may end up having competition. DLL is considering putting its 207,000-square-foot building at the corner of E. Swedesford and Old Eagle School Road up for sale.

The Swedesford Road corridor has attracted investors and tenants in recent years because of its access to amenities such as the King of Prussia Town Center and LifeTime Athletic as well as its access to major arteries. As a result, buildings along the corridor have been able to charge some of the highest rents in the suburban market.

That has also fueled some buildings to trade at steep prices. For example, a 165,000-square-foot office building at 200 N. Warner Road sold last year for $37.85 million. The property last traded in May 2016 when the Cohen partnership bought it for $16.3 million. Bay Colony, a four-building, 249,522-square-foot office complex at 565, 575, 585 and 595 E. Swedesford Road, also traded last year for $58.25 million. It sold for $37.5 million in 2015.

*Article Courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia office space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier  Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Most Brandywine Office Tenants Still at Home as Public Health Issues Stymie Companies

As many as 85% of tenants in one office landlord’s buildings across the country are still working from home, and its executives say large employers are realizing they may have more of a struggle on their hands in getting everyone back than first anticipated.

Brandywine Realty Trust executives are finding that even as some tenant employees are growing annoyed with full-time remote working, the big companies have a laundry list of concerns that they are finding that they can’t manage away.

“The longer this has gone on, the more we are hearing consistently across our office base that they can’t wait to return to the office,” said Jerry Sweeney, CEO of the real estate investment trust, during a conference call to discuss its most recent earnings. However, public policy, mass transit and concerns about liability for employers are holding many companies back, particularly larger firms such as Comcast and Lincoln Financial in Philadelphia, he said.

Seven months into the pandemic in the United States, office landlords with buildings spread across different regions of the country are providing an across-the-board glimpse into the way tenant companies are dealing with having their workers outside the office. As new confirmed coronavirus cases reach daily records around the country, more top executives are facing talking with their landlords about the worsening conditions that are forcing them to write rent checks for buildings they mostly aren’t filling up right now.

Brandywine, which owns about 15 million square feet of space located mostly across Philadelphia, Washington, Virginia and Austin, Texas, reported that just 15% of its U.S. office tenant base has returned to the office. But that percentage is noticeably lower in Austin, where it is one of the city’s biggest office landlords.

Only 8% of Brandywine’s office tenant base in Austin has returned to work in person at the office a full seven months after the pandemic started, according to the office REIT. That percentage is being held down because one of its major office tenants in Austin, IBM, doesn’t plan to send its employees back to its north Austin campus until early next year, Sweeney said.

Without IBM, Brandywine’s Austin’s percentage of office tenants back at the office would be somewhere in the “mid-teens,” Sweeney said. Across its portfolio, the Washington area is seeing the highest percentage of tenants going back to the office at 25%.

Construction on the 25-story 405 Colorado in downtown Austin is expected to be complete early next year. (Brandywine).

Public health guidelines in cities like Philadelphia, where Brandywine is based, are still requiring employees to work remotely when feasible, though Sweeney said about 18% of its tenant base in Philadelphia’s suburbs are back at the office.

Meanwhile, Texas health officials are also encouraging remote work when possible, though the governor has allowed offices to operate at 75% capacity since September.

“Austin, I think, wound up being one of those cities that had opened up early then had some surge issues reduced or retracted back some of that progress and now is on the way back,” Sweeney said.

Even with 85% of its office tenant base mostly still working remotely, tenants are still paying rent. Brandywine collected 99% of its expected office rental income in the third quarter and 97% of its expected rental income in October so far, Sweeney said

Building projects are still moving forward. Brandywine is on track to complete construction of its $116 million office tower in downtown Austin called 405 Colorado early next year. DLA Piper law firm backed out of a lease in the project earlier this year, leaving the tower now just 18.3% preleased months away from delivery. However, Sweeney said there is nearly 200,000 square feet of potential deals in the leasing pipeline for 405 Colorado.

Elsewhere in Austin, Brandywine expects to receive final approvals from the city of Austin for Block A within its broader redevelopment of the 66-acre Broadmoor campus, where IBM is located not far from The Domain, the company said. Block A is expected to consist of a 350,000-square-foot office building and 340 apartments. Overall, the Broadmoor plan calls for a massive mixed-use hub with up to 3.2 million square feet of office space, 2.9 million square feet of residential space, 382,000 square feet of retail space and 284,000 square feet of hotel space.

Brandywine is continuing to develop Schuylkill Yards in Philadelphia with a new life sciences focus. (Brandywine)

In the Philadelphia area, its major development project in the works is Schuylkill Yards, a multiphase, 5.1 million-square-foot mixed-use development. Brandywine completed construction of the Bulletin building there in the second quarter, and it has acquired the leasehold land to develop two mixed-use buildings totaling 1.3 million square feet at 3025 JFK and 3001 JFK, according to its latest earnings update.

Also in Philadelphia in July, Brandywine sold its 30% equity stake in One and Two Commerce Square to an institutional investor for $115 million.

In the Arlington, Virginia, area outside D.C., Brandywine expects to complete construction on a $224 million mixed-use tower, 4040 Wilson, in the first quarter through a joint venture with Shooshan Co. The 22-story building is 62% preleased.

Overall, Brandywine saw its net income spike to $274 million in the third quarter from $6.7 million during the same time last year because of significantly less expenses, but its revenue in the third quarter fell 13% to $126 million compared to $145 million for the quarter last year.

*Article Courtesy of CoStar

For more information about Philadelphia office space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier  Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Fully Approved Philly Medical Space for Sale or Lease

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, the leading Philly commercial real estate broker with experience in Philly commercial real estate listings and services, now has available fully approved, build-to-suit Philly medical space for sale or lease at 2201 East Allegheny Avenue Philadelphia PA.

The main building of this Philly medical space for sale or lease contains +/- 120,000 sf on five stories while the secondary building of this Philly medical office space for sale or lease has +/- 8,000 sf on one floor. The site of this Philly medical space for sale or lease at 2201 East Allegheny Avenue Philadelphia PA is on seven-plus acres.

Please call for the asking lease price or the asking sale price of this Philly medical space for sale or lease. This Philly medical space for sale or lease is being offered by Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philly commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in Philly commercial real estate listings and services.

Branding opportunities are available for this medical space in Philly at 2201 East Allegheny Avenue Philadelphia PA as this medical space for sale or lease in Philly is part of an overarching proposal to provide premier medical space for residents of Northeast Philadelphia. In addition, the new owner or tenant of this will receive a 10-year Philadelphia tax abatement for new construction.

This medical space for sale or lease in Philly is available through Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philly commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philly commercial real estate listings and services.

This medical space for sale or lease in Philly is less than a half-mile from the Allegheny Station of the SEPTA Regional Rail Line and this Philly medical office space for sale or lease is roughly that same distance away from Exit 25 of Interstate 95.

The site plans for this fully approved Philly medical office space for sale or lease offer ample parking opportunities for employees and patients. This medical space in Philly is in the Port Richmond section of Northeast Philadelphia, a neighborhood undergoing rapid gentrification development and is well positioned for future growth.

For more information about this Philly medical space for sale or lease at 2201 East Allegheny Avenue Philadelphia PA, or about any other Philly commercial properties for sale or lease, please contact Mitch Russell (215-799-6143; mitch.russell@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philly commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philly commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philly commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philly commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers. Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philly commercial properties for sale or lease or sale through our Philly commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Imvax Picked the Iconic Curtis Building for its New HQ in Philadelphia

Imvax expected to host an event in April or May to unveil its new headquarters at The Curtis in the Old City section of Philadelphia, but the ongoing pandemic scuttled those plans.

“Covid-19 clearly got in the way,” said John Furey, the former Spark Therapeutics executive who was hired as CEO of Imvax last year. “Once we see the light at the end of the tunnel with all of this, we’ll do something” to show off the new space.

The company previously operated out of a small office in Chestnut Hill and took the 17,000 square feet of space at the iconic Curtis building to keep up with its expansion.

Imvax currently has a staff of 18 and expects to get to 25 by year’s end, Furey said, adding he expects that figure to double in 2021.

“We are in a rapid expansion mode,” he said.

Imvax was founded in 2015 Dr. David Andrews, a Thomas Jefferson University Hospital neurosurgeon; Craig Hooper, a professor in the department of cancer biology at Jefferson; Pete Corr, a former Pfizer executive; and journalist-turned-entrepreneur Arthur W. Howe IV.

The company has raised $152 million from investors since its inception.

Andrews, the company’s chief medical officer, has spent the past two decades leading a team of researchers and clinicians at Thomas Jefferson University working on an immunotherapy treatment for a rare and lethal type of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme.

The treatment involves creating a tumor vaccine made from patients’ tumor cells, and combining it with what is known as an antisense molecule. The combination produces a personalized immune response that works in conjunction with the standard treatment for glioblastoma: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Imvax posted positive interim results from early-stage testing that showed the vaccine, IGV-001, outperformed the standard of care treatment and produced prolonged overall survival and progression-free survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme.

Furey said the company expects to begin a mid-stage clinical trial of IGV-001 in newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients by the middle of next year. Imvax has an exclusive license agreement with Thomas Jefferson University granting it the right to develop and market the medical technology.

Furey said he was recruited to Imvax by Dr. Steven Altschuler, who was CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia when it spun out Spark Therapeutics in 2013. Altschuler is managing director for health care ventures at Ziff Capital Partners, one of Imvax’s investors.

This year, Imvax added Mark Exley as its chief scientific officer. He was previously vice president of cellular Immunology at AgenTus Therapeutics in Lexington, Massachusetts. Another new hire is Iphigenia Leonidou Koumenis, who joined ImVax as head of clinical operations in June. She was previously senior vice president of clinical operations at Wilmington-based Orsenix Inc.

Furey said the company will be adding staff in all areas including drug development, clinical operations and manufacturing. Imvax is finalizing plans to take another 3,000 square feet of adjacent space at The Curtis to expand its manufacturing capabilities at the site, he said.

The Curtis is located at 601 Walnut St. and owned by Keystone Property Group. The site once served as the headquarters for Curtis Publishing Co. and was where the Saturday Evening Post and a variety of other magazines were printed.

Key building features— such as reinforced floors that once supported larger printing presses, high ceilings and a structural design that allows venting to the roof — made it an ideal choice for an immunotherapy company conducting drug development research.

Scheer Partners, the specialty scientific real estate firm that recently opened a Philadelphia office, has a representation agreement with Keystone Property Group for The Curtis and is marketing the site to other life sciences companies. Robert Scheer said his firm is in negotiations with several prospective life sciences tenants, and expects to soon sign leases totaling upwards of 100,000 square feet of space in the building.

Imvax will act as an example when luring other biotech firms to the building, Scheer said.

Added Furey: “I wonder if Mr. Curtis could have imagined his building would be repurposed for this kind of next-generation technology.”

*Article Courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia office space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier  Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Rubenstein Partners ‘Pushing Ahead Full Steam’ with $50M Chesterbook Upgrades

Rubenstein Partners is moving forward with a $50 million repositioning of Chesterbrook, which is what the real estate company is now calling and branding the Tredyffrin business park it bought in the summer of 2019.

The Philadelphia real estate company has five of the 14 buildings totaling 1.1 million square feet it bought under some stage of construction and expects to soon begin work on another three buildings. Interior renovations will include upgrades to lobbies and common areas as well as HVAC systems and incorporating more touchless technology. Exterior renovations will involve improving facades of several entrances. A parking deck will also be built on a lot between 725 and 735 Chesterbrook Blvd.

“We’re pushing ahead full steam here,” said Lou Merlini, vice president of asset management at Rubenstein, which paid $148.5 million for the decades-old office park. “When the market gets uncertain, some people pull back on their plans. We believe in having the best product coming out of a period of uncertainty.”

Rubenstein has built its business strategy on acquiring office properties that need some interior or exterior work, or sometimes both, and many of the buildings it buys often have some vacancies that need to be backfilled.

In spite of companies not populating their offices with employees during the pandemic, many businesses are reevaluating their need for office space or the amount of square feet they currently have, leaving Rubenstein confident in the future of office space. It believes there will be a flight to quality post pandemic, which is what it experienced after the Great Recession.

When it comes to Chesterbrook, Rubenstein spent the last year completing local approvals and the design of the campus-wide transformation it has started to undertake. As it has with other properties it has purchased, Rubenstein not only looks at how it can physically change the real estate but also how to brand it.

In this case, what had been known as the Chesterbrook Corporate Center will now simply be Chesterbrook. The shorter, succinct name reflects the “overall vibe” of what Rubenstein is attempting to establish at Chesterbrook.

“We want to create a modern campus with a sense of place,” Merlini said. “Chesterbrook Corporate Center, over time, became buildings on parking lots. We want to have the buildings more integrated.”

The centerpiece to Rubenstein’s plans at Chesterbrook is converting a vacant, two-story, 40,000-square-foot building at 851 DuPortail Road into an amenity hub. The building will be totally renovated and reimagined. The first floor will have food, fitness and conference space and the upper floor flexible office space. The outside will have a variety of seating areas. It will be called “Circuit.”

“The idea is that every tenant in the park can feel tied back to this building,” Merlini said.

The last piece of the puzzle involves connecting the buildings with other elements in the park. To that end, new pathways will connect to existing trails and Wilson Farm Park, bicycle stations established and a shuttle service started. In addition, new signs and wayfinding will be incorporated throughout the campus.

The bulk of the work to the buildings is expected to be completed during the first half of next year and the amenity center is anticipated to be done by the end of next year.

When Rubenstein bought Chesterbrook, it was 80% occupied and the occupancy is expected to fall even more next year when AmerisourceBergen Corp. vacates 200,000 square feet and relocates to a new headquarters in Conshohocken.

The Philadelphia real estate company has chipped away at that vacancy. Over the summer, BNP Paribas leased 59,000 square feet at 735 Chesterbrook Blvd. The 84,000-square-foot building had once been occupied by Shire Pharmaceuticals, which it vacated along with 725 Chesterbrook Blvd. BNP will relocate out of 14,000 square feet at 555 Croton Road in King of Prussia.

*Article Courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia office space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier  Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

$200M Office Project in Center City Gets Underway

It’s with little frequency Philadelphia experiences a ground breaking for a new office building let alone one in the middle of global pandemic but, in a city of firsts, that is what took place Monday morning along the western edge of the Central Business District.

Construction began for 2222 Market St., a $200 million office tower that will house the headquarters of law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Last December, Morgan Lewis signed a 20-year lease for the development of what will be a 19-story, 305,000-square-foot building that the law firm will fully occupy.

The project is forward-looking. It looks to a future when companies and employees can safely return to their offices. It confirms the law firm’s commitment to its own future, and it’s a recognition of Philadelphia’s future.

The building will stand as a monument to Philadelphia’s spirit and confidence in what’s to come, said Sarah E. Bouchard, managing partner at Morgan Lewis’ Philadelphia office.

*Article Courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia office space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier  Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our  Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Ensemble buys more buildings at Philadelphia Navy Yard for $83M

 

Ensemble Real Estate Investments has bulked up on its Philadelphia Navy Yard holdings and paid $83 million for a three-building portfolio.

The purchase of the properties means Ensemble has solidified its presence at the Navy Yard, establishing a critical mass at the site and stepping in where Liberty Property Trust left off. The real estate company now owns or holds interests in nine buildings totaling 1.1 million square feet at the South Philadelphia site and has invested a total of $360 million there.

More than half of its holdings, or five buildings totaling 550,000 square feet and an investment of $155 million, involve buildings that have manufacturing, laboratory, R&D and office space used for the development of immunotherapies, including cell-gene therapy. They house life science companies such as Adaptimmune Therapeutics, which maintains its U.S.

Long Beach, Calif.-based Ensemble is also part of a team named in July to develop 109 acres that is expected to reshape the next phase of the Navy Yard and it also controls several other sites that can be developed.

In its latest acquisition, the company purchased:

  • 400 Rouse Blvd., a 140,000-square-foot office and laboratory building;
  • 4751 League Island Blvd., an 82,000-square-foot building; and,
  • 150,000-square-foot building at 4701 League Island Blvd.

All of the buildings are leased on a long-term basis to WuXi AppTec, which is one of the largest tenants at the Navy Yard.

“This is a critical component to our portfolio at the Navy Yard and to our growth strategy,” said Mark Seltzer, senior vice president of development with Ensemble. “Wuxi is the driver of the life science cluster at the Navy Yard. They serve as the gateway to the new development and next phase of the Navy Yard.”

Wuxi located to the Navy Yard in 2004 when it opened a 75,000-square-foot contract testing and manufacturing facility. It continued to grow over the years, adding a non-viral cell therapy manufacturing facilities and, in 2017, established an advanced therapy unit to bolster its U.S.-based cell and gene therapies. Earlier this year, Wuxi moved into 400 Rouse, which houses an advanced therapies testing facility and doubled its testing capacity for gene and cell therapies.

Life science companies prefer these two and three-story buildings that enable them to conduct research and manufacturing on single floors.

“They want to be in a horizontal environment and that’s what makes the Navy Yard attractive,” Seltzer said. These companies also like the Navy Yard’s proximity to Philadelphia International Airport and University City, where there’s a labor force from which to draw.

In addition to the Wuxi buildings, Ensemble owns at the Navy Yard a Courtyard by Marriott and four office buildings including One Crescent Drive, 150 Rouse Blvd., 201 Rouse Blvd., and 1200 Intrepid Ave.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier  Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our  Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

WeWork is closing one of its 5 Philly locations at the end of the month

WeWork, the coworking giant with locations across the globe and major hubs in New York and California, will be closing its 1430 Walnut Street location at the end of the month, tenants were told Monday.

In an email to members that Technical.ly obtained, the company said it had been conducting an in-depth review of its “global real estate portfolio in order to optimize our assets and operations around the world.”

“In line with that effort, we have decided to close the WeWork location at 1430 Walnut St.,” the email read. The coworking company moved into the building, shared with the Cheesecake Factory and Verizon, in 2016.

The move-out date for tenants is by Sept. 30, and the company said it will work with them to move into spots at one of the coworking company’s four other Philly locations. WeWork currently has three other Center City locations, and one in Northern Liberties.

A WeWork spokesperson told Technical.ly that the plan to close this location came before the coronavirus pandemic forced workers to abandon offices. It came as part of the company’s outline of its five-year plan, they said. There’s no plan to close additional offices in Philadelphia, they added.

“In streamlining our portfolio towards profitable growth, we have decided to move on from WeWork 1430 Walnut in Philadelphia,” the spokesperson said. “With four excellent, alternative WeWork locations in the immediate area, we remain committed to the Philadelphia market and look forward to providing our members here with first-class, flexible space solutions.”

The Rittenhouse-adjacent location appears to be one of a handful of WeWork offices that have been slated to close in the last few weeks, as locations in Durham, North Carolina, and Miami, Florida, are also being cleared out. It also terminated a lease for a planned Baltimore location in July.

The coworking company pulled its IPO last year to “focus on our core business, the fundamentals of which remain strong,” WeWork’s then-co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham said in a statement at the time.

Many voiced skepticism around the $47 billion valuation assigned to it in the private markets by SoftBank, its biggest backer, and the company removed Adam Neumann as its CEO last fall. Amid the fallout, the company laid off 2,400 workers in November of 2019 and began a 90-day plan to divest from “non-core businesses” it had bought including Meetup.com and women-focused coworking space The Wing.

Jeremy Peskin, a tenant of the 1430 Walnut street location and cofounder of legal tech startup Docketwise, told Technical.ly that he currently has two office spaces at the soon-to-close location. He’d been in the space for three years, and has been happy with their setup.

“Everyone on our team has the option to work remotely and we would want private offices wherever we go, but we do still find coworking appealing for the shared amenities and simplicity,” Peskin said.

On Tuesday, Peskin said he learned that WeWork wouldn’t be letting tenants out of their contracts with the company unless they resign a new contract in one of the company’s four other Philly locations. They’ve offered an office at another location, he said, as their lease doesn’t end until January 31.

Neighborhoods surrounding Center City aren’t lost for options outside of WeWork, though — Philadelphia clocked in more than 1.1 million square feet of flexible work space at the end of 2019. (Check out our 2020 coworking guide here). Within a few blocks of the closing WeWork location are coworking spots The Yard,1776 Rittenhouse, MakeOffices, CultureWorks and Spaces.

*Article courtesy of Technical.ly

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