Home » MHN City Pages  »  Philadelphia  

$140 Million Upscale Shopping Center Underway in Lower Macungie

16 Apr 2015, 8:10 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

One of the largest open-air shopping centers in the U.S. in recent years is under construction in Lower Macungie Township, north of Philadelphia.

Hamilton Crossings - Lower Macungie

Hamilton Crossings – Lower Macungie

Developed by a joint venture between the Goldenberg Group of Blue Bell, PA, and New York City-based TCH Development, the $140 million Hamilton Crossings will sit on 70 acres of land located between Hamilton Blvd. and the Route 222 Bypass at Krocks Road. As mentioned in a news report by Lehigh Valley Business, the construction site was formerly occupied by two abandoned iron mines. The site is currently being cleaned of mine wash, a highly saturated material with no structural strength that has to be removed from and replaced with clean fill, the news report said.

Hamilton Crossings will encompass 565,000 square feet of upscale retail space which, according to the news source, has already been leased to several big-box tenants such as Whole Foods and Costco—marking the retailers’ first supermarkets in Lehigh Valley—, Target and Dick’s Sporting. Other tenants include Five Belowm Designed Shoe Warehouse, ULTA Cosmetics, Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, Rally House and Pier 1 Imports, and several others which haven’t been disclosed by the developers. In Total, Hamilton Crossings will house 33 businesses, including up to eight restaurants, and will feature shopper-friendly amenities such as 22 miles of walking and bike paths, a rain garden with 160,000 plants and outdoor gathering places.

The massive shopping center is scheduled for opening in July 2016. The retail project will have a positive impact on Lehigh Valley’s employment market, generating 495 construction jobs. Additionally, almost 620 full-time jobs and 300 part-time jobs will be created after the shopping center opens. The development project will also bring the first adaptive traffic control system in the region: seven high-tech traffic signals placed at intersection around the shopping center that will communicate with each other and make real-time adjustments to the duration of light based on the flow of traffic. These signals will be equipped with video cameras and will be connected to a computer that will help alleviate traffic, according to lehighvalleylive.com.

Courtesy rendering

Joint Venture Grabs 116-Unit Luxury Rental Community in Suburban Philadelphia

9 Apr 2015, 2:31 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Silk Factory Lofts - Lansdale, PA

Silk Factory Lofts – Lansdale, PA

A luxury apartment complex in suburban Philadelphia was acquired by a joint venture between Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises and First Capital Advisors of Wheaton, Ill. JLL represented the seller, an affiliate of Morgan Properties of King of Prussia, Pa. The property was sold at an undisclosed price.

Located at 200 S. Line St. in Lansdale—a thriving submarket that is home to several major pharma companies, but has limited supply of multifamily properties as no new properties are currently under development—the Silk Factory Lofts is an adaptive reuse project of the former Interstate Hosiery Mills, a silk mill that was built in 1922 to produce women’s full-fashioned silk hosiery.

In 2004 the 145.046-square-foot industrial asset was added to the National Register of Historic Places and changed ownership shortly after. As previously reported by Patch.com, the property was transformed into apartments by Marathon Design & Construction LLC, of Narberth, doing business as Lansdale Holding Group Associates, LP. The developer paid $1.5 million for the former factory, according to data provided by PropertyShark.

Four years later the Silk Factory Lofts—which went into foreclosure in July 2010 after developers fell behind on their loan—was acquired by Morgan Properties in a sheriff sale at a bargain price from lender GE Business Financial Services, Inc.

Silk Factory Lofts courtyard - Lansdale, PA

Silk Factory Lofts courtyard – Lansdale, PA

The Silk Factory Lofts includes 116 luxury apartments in a combination of one, two- and three-bedroom units with open floor plans, modern finishes, high ceilings and large windows that maximize the use of natural light. The list of amenities includes a fitness center, a community room and landscaped courtyards. According to a press release, the new owners plan to upgrade unit finishes and complete improvements to common areas. The apartment complex was 99 percent occupied when the deal closed.

“The Silk Factory Lofts feature architectural character and desirable open floor plans in an area that primarily offers garden style apartment properties. It is one of the few historic properties in the area that has been converted to multifamily use,” said Andy Sands, managing director of LEI and head of the firm’s multifamily activities, in a prepared statement.

Images via the Silk Factory Lofts’ Facebook Page

$52 Million FedEx Distribution Center Coming to Upper Merion

1 Apr 2015, 3:52 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A new FedEx ground distribution center was approved for development in Montgomery County.

The Times Herald reported that Charlotte, NC-based SunCap Property Group LLC is set to break ground on the $52 million construction project in May, following a favorable decision by the Upper Merion planning commission and board of supervisors.

Map of FedEx locations in Pennsylvania

Map of FedEx locations in Pennsylvania

The new FedEx distribution facility will be built at 600 River Road near the Blue Route and Schuylkill Expressway, on a vacant, 65-acre property currently owned by Keystone Coke Co. According to data provided by PropertyShark, Keystone acquired the industrial property in 1978 for $857,000, and the site is now valued at $2,520,360. SunCap entered an agreement to purchase the site from Keystone. The commercial developer also agreed to buy 32 EDUs (equivalent dwelling units for sewage effluent) at $6,800 per unit for a total of $217,600. Additionally, SunCap will pay a fee of $522,734 to the Upper Merion Township Transportation Authority and another $63,180 to the township as an in-lieu fee.

Scheduled for completion in November 2016, the one-story facility will have 305,733 square feet of space. The development project also includes three adjacent buildings that will total 10,164 square feet, as well as 601 parking spaces. Approximately 200 FedEx employees will work at the Upper Merion location.

Currently, FedEx has 20 locations in Pennsylvania.


Fort Washington Holiday Inn Gets New Ownership

26 Mar 2015, 6:33 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Haverford Hotel Partners and Haverford Properties, Inc. are now the new owners of a full-service hotel located 19 miles north of Philadelphia.

Fort Washington Holiday Inn Express - rendering

Fort Washington Holiday Inn Express – rendering

The two companies joined forces to acquire the Fort Washington Holiday Inn Montgomery County for an undisclosed price. However, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported that the total investment amounts to approximately $19 million, including acquisition costs and the upcoming redevelopment process. The sale was arranged by Joe McCann of Optimum Hotel Brokerage.

Located at 432 Pennsylvania Ave. with easy access to King of Prussia Mall, Valley Forge National Historic Park and Downtown Philadelphia, the eight-story hotel sits on a seven-acre property off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was built in 1975 by an unnamed investor based in Washington, D.C. and has been under the same flagship ever since. According to the Journal, in recent years the hotel’s occupancy declined progressively and the business was struggling to survive—which made the transaction even more complicated, as the sale involved a year-long due diligence and zoning approvals. Additionally, the seller shut down operations earlier this year, and more than 60 employees were laid off, according to a news report by Montgomery News.

As part of the repurposing process, the Holiday Inn in Fort Washington will be rebranded as a Holiday Inn Express. This means that it will no longer operate as a full-service property, and the existing 230 guest rooms will be reduced to 168, and the remaining space will be redeveloped into a 1,822-square-foot restaurant. A free-standing restaurant of approximately 8,000 square feet will be built on a separate pad site on the property, as well as a flagship coffee shop—probably a Starbucks with a drive-through window.

The newly branded hotel is scheduled to reopen in December.

Rendering credits to Haverford Hotel Partners

Patriot Equities Picks Up 530K Sq. Ft. Office Park in Allentown

18 Mar 2015, 4:08 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The former LSI Corp. headquarters in Pennsylvania’s fast growing Lehigh Valley was recently acquired by Patriot Equities, a real estate development and investment company based in Wayne, PA.

1110 American Parkway NE - Allentown, PA

1110 American Parkway NE – Allentown, PA

Located at 1110 American Parkway NE in Allentown, directly off Route 22 and close to the Lehigh Valley International Airport, the 145-acre property consists of a pair of distinctive green-glass buildings totaling 563,000 square feet of Class A office space. The buildings, which are connected by a glass atrium, also feature two parking garages as well as additional surface parking.

The office campus first opened in 2002 and was developed by a subsidiary of Lucent, an AT&T joint venture, to serve as headquarters for Agere Systems. According to WFMZ 69News, the office park was Agere’s home only for a few years. In 2007 the tech company was forced to merge with LSI Logic because of some serious financial problems it was facing.

In a press statement Patriot Equities announced that LSI—which was recently acquired by San Jose, CA-based Avago Technologies—retained approximately 110,000 square feet in a portion of one of the buildings on a long-term basis. Additionally, Intel purchased a business unit from Avago and has agreed to lease 80,000 square feet of space in addition to the 50,000 square feet the company is currelty occupying on the office campus. As for the remaining available space, Patriot Equities is negotiating with several big-box potential tenants. CBRE was selected to provide ongoing property management services at the location.

While the property’s sale price has not been disclosed by Patriot Equities, a news report by Lehigh Valley Business revealed that Allentown-based Mission Capital Advisors arranged $41 million in acquisition and repositioning financing for the office campus at 1110 American Parkway NE. Reportedly, Patriot Equities could spend approximately $7 million to renovate the property.

Image via Mission Capital Advisors

Leave a Reply