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Keystone Unveils Updated Plans for $200 Million Mixed-Use Project in Conshohocken

27 Aug 2014, 9:32 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

One Conshohocken

One Conshohocken

The $200 million mixed-use project that Keystone Property Group is looking to build in Conshohocken is moving forward as the developer recently presented updated details for the mega-development and announced that architecture and consulting firm Gensler will lead the planning and design of the project.

Conveniently located near a SEPTA train station, One Conshohocken was unanimously approved as a transit-oriented development by the Conshohocken Borough Council last year in December. Keystone’s project, which is part of the Conshohocken Redevelopment Master Plan, will reconvert four properties at the intersection of Fayette and Elm Streets into a vibrant public plaza flanked by offices, a new hotel, restaurants and shops. The existing properties include a grass covered area at the corner of West Elm and Fayette Streets, an office building at 1 West First Avenue and another one at 100 West Elm Street, a parking garage off West First Avenue, as well as the 136-year-old Washington Firehouse.

According to the Montgomery News, the updated version of the project calls for a 300,000-square-foot Class A office tower. This is a 50 percent increase in from the 2013 proposal which included a smaller building of only 200,000 square feet. Additionally, One Conshohocken will have a 200-room boutique hotel targeting business travelers, while the old firehouse at the corner of West Elm and Fayette Streets will be incorporated in the development as a brew pub and restaurant that will offer indoor-outdoor dining and event experiences. The existing parking garage will be replaced by a six-story parking facility with around 1,200 spaces with 300 spaces for public use. The public plaza, which was designed as the centerpiece of the project, will have 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of retail space that will lease at around $40 per square foot.

Phase I of the project, which includes the plaza, the 15-story hotel and the conversion of the firehouse, will break ground next spring. As for the office building, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that it will be built as soon as an anchor office tenant is secured. Scheduled for completion by the end of 2017, the entire project is expected to generate up to 1,000 new permanent jobs.

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Rendering courtesy of Keystone Property Group


Revel owners fought to shut down early, and what to do about new A.C. eyesores

19 Aug 2014, 8:44 am

f the owners of the Revel Casino Hotel had it their way, they would have closed the facility on Monday.

Construction Starts at Panda Power Funds’ Second 829-MW Power Plant in Pennsylvania

13 Aug 2014, 4:16 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Local and state officials last week joined Dallas-based private equity firm Panda Power Funds and representatives of Gemma Power Systems and Siemens Energy Inc. to celebrate the official start of construction at the 829-megawatt Patriot Generating Station located near Williamsport, Pa., the largest city in Lycoming County. This is Panda Power Funds’ second electric power plant in Pennsylvania—its predecessor, the Panda Liberty power plant, broke ground three months ago on a 33-acre site near Towanda, Pa.

Artist's rendering of the Panda Patriot power plant

Artist’s rendering of the Panda Patriot power plant

Designed by POWER Burns and Roe of Oradell, N.J. to be one of the cleanest natural gas-fueled power plants in the nation, the Patriot facility is specifically located in the heart of the Marcellus Shale, the largest source of natural gas in the United States which encompasses 104,000 square miles and runs from upstate New York through Pennsylvania, West Virginia and western Ohio.

Originally developed by Virginia-based power plant developer Moxie Energy, the project was picked up by contractor Gemma Power Systems in December 2013 after Moxie completed the sale of controlling interest in the facility to Panda Power Funds.

 The Panda Patriot facility is scheduled for substantial completion in spring 2016 and will be powered by Siemens H-class gas turbines that are projected to achieve operating efficiencies of 60 percent. The plant will be cooled with air instead of water, which will reduce water consumption and minimize waste water discharge into the the Western Branch of the Susquehanna River.

The Patriot Generating Station will occupy 85 acres in Montgomery, Pa. and will require over $800 million in construction costs. In December last year, Venture Capital Post reported that Panda Power Funds worked with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Ares Capital, Union Bank and Investec to raise $651.5 million in debt capital.

According to a news release, is expected to produce between 750 and 850 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to cover the power needs of up to 1 million homes in northern Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the project will contribute an estimated $5.85 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy during the plant’s first 10 years of operation. The construction process will take an average of 200 skilled and non-skilled workers with a peak workforce of about 500. Additionally, the plant will create around 30 technical jobs to operate the facility and 45 indirect jobs within the community.

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Rendering courtesy of Panda Power Funds

Brandywine Shopping Center in Glen Mills to Include 140,000 Sq. Ft. Wegmans Store

6 Aug 2014, 6:58 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The recent sale of a large parcel of land on Route 202 and the Route 1 loop and southwest of the intersection of Routes 1 and 202 in Glen Mills, Pa. unveiled Wegmans’ big plans for Delaware County.

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the nearly 30-acre parcel was sold for an undisclosed amount by D.O.H. Family, LP to Carlino Development, which went under the name Chadds Ford Investors, LP in the acquisition. KarMar Realty Group represented both parties in the transaction.

Brandywine Mills

Brandywine Mills

Shortly after the deal was concluded, the Rochester, NY-based supermarket chain signed a long-term ground lease for a portion of the land with plans to build a new store at the site.

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2015, the 140,000-square-foot store will be developed by Carlino and will be Wegmans’ seventh store in the region and the 17th in Pennsylvania. Once functional, the store is expected to draw shoppers from north Wilmington, Chester County and the rich suburbs of Delaware County, the Inquirer predicts.

The new Wegmans store is part of a massive construction project that Carlino Development has envisaged for the intersection of Routes 1 and 202. According to the Delaware County Daily Times, the 30-acre site will be replaced by an upscale shopping center made of stone and glass that will enliven the now-underdeveloped area. The project received final approvals from the Delaware Planning Commission in December 2013.

Brandywine Mills project plans

Brandywine Mills project plans

Called Brandywine Mills, the new shopping center will also include 40,000 to 50,000 square feet of retail space available for lease to around 15 tenants, as well as around 750 parking spaces. When completed in September next year, the mega retail center is expected to generate more than 1,000 jobs in the area.

“When the new Wegmans is completed it will be 16 miles from the store in Malvern and is ideally placed to serve Delaware County, southern Chester County and northern Delaware,” said Justin Soss, executive vice president of KarMar Realty Group, Inc. “When the new extension of the loop road is completed the property will have easy ingress and egress from both Routes 1 and 202,” he added.

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Images courtesy of Carlino Development and Catalyst Commercial Development

PREIT, Macerich $107 Million Investment to Redevelop The Gallery

30 Jul 2014, 7:00 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The Gallery - exterior

The Gallery – exterior

The Gallery at Market East, one of Philadelphia’s largest urban malls located in the heart of the city, is about to get a major makeover. Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), which owns the 1.4 million-square-foot property, announced this week a joint venture with Macerich to revamp the bleak mall into the city’s only multi-use property that will offer accessible luxury retailing in the Center City area.

As such, the California-based investment trust will invest nearly $107 million to redevelop the 40-year-old shopping complex located at 9th and Market Streets. Under the terms of the agreement, Macerich will acquire a 50 percent common ownership interest in The Gallery. Furthermore, the development, leasing and management of the mall will be handled jointly by the two partners, while the companies will also split the costs related to future development projects at the site.

The Gallery – interior

Built in 1977 in an effort to encourage the urban shopping experience in downtown Philadelphia, The Gallery was designed by Bower and Fradley/Bower Lewis Thrower and Cope Linder Associates. Over the years it became a popular shopping and dining venue for visitors, office workers and city dwellers; however, according to Naked Philly, some voices went as far as to name it an “architectural failure” because of its unattractive, box-shaped design and bland façade. In 1984 the shopping complex expanded as Gallery I on the east side and Gallery II on the west, but the expansion did nothing to create the expected buzz for the corridor between the city’s historic district and all the hype in the downtown area.

PREIT purchased Gallery I from The Rouse Company in April 2003 in a $469 million bulk acquisition that also involved Cherry Hill Mall, Moorestown Mall and Exton Square Mall. One year later the real estate investment trust paid around $32 million for Gallery II, according to a report on the transaction by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Gallery’s current anchor tenants are Burlington Coat Factory, Old Navy, Five Below, and Modell’s Sporting Goods. Century 21, a New York-based discount designer department store, will officially join the mall’s anchor tenant roster in October when it opens its first flagship store in the city. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, earlier in April the retail chain leased 100,000 square feet of space at the former Strawbridge & Clothier store at The Gallery.

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Images via Google Street View and The Gallery’s Facebook page


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