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AQ Rittenhouse Apartment High-Rise Sells for $51.1M

31 Aug 2015, 1:04 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

An out-of-state investor recently expanded its presence in Philadelphia with the acquisition of a newly constructed apartment building in the city’s downtown. The property changed hands for $51.1 million.

AQ Rittenhouse in Philadelphia

AQ Rittenhouse in Philadelphia

LaSalle Investment Management is now the new owner of AQ Rittenhouse, a 110-unit LEED Silver certified multifamily community at 2021 Chestnut St. in Rittenhouse Square. The Chicago-based company purchased the asset from a joint venture between Aquinas Realty Partners and MB1 Capital Partners.

The transaction was completed by the Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Capital Markets team comprising Brett Segal, Mike Margolis and Dave Dolan of the Philadelphia office, under the guidance of Steven Schultz of the Northern New Jersey office and Blake Okland of ARA, a Newmark Company.

The sale of AQ Rittenhouse marked the first transaction of its kind for ARA Newmark in Philadelphia since the company was acquired by BGC Partners Inc. in December 2014.

According to Segal, the apartment building recently began lease-up at a rapid pace. The project was developed to the highest standards and is now equipped with many premier amenities uncharacteristic of typical multi-housing residences in Philadelphia. One such feature is a rooftop sky terrace that offers year-round entertainment options with both indoor and outdoor living space via its retractable glass curtain wall.

AQ Rittenhouse also boasts a prime location, since Philadelphia’s Center City is home to over 440 full-service restaurants and over 1,000 retailers, while Rittenhouse Row (only one block from the building) is recognized as a “high street” retail corridor with some of the highest rents and most fashionable boutiques on the East Coast. Market Street, the thriving heart of the city’s economy and home to 25.2 million square feet of office space, is also located nearby.


Developer Adds Retail Component to Upcoming Apartments in Philadelphia

31 Aug 2015, 1:01 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The increasing pedestrian traffic along the Delaware riverfront in Philadelphia prompted developer PMC Property Group to add ground-floor retail to its 250-unit apartment community currently under construction near the Ben Franklin Bridge.

One Water Street by Varenhorst

One Water Street in Philadelphia

The upcoming One Water Street residential project at 230 N. Columbus Blvd. entails an investment of $50 million, according to The Inquirer. Construction began last November and is expected to be complete by April 2016.

“The sense is that there is considerable activity there, and we are going to try to accommodate some retail,” PMC Executive Vice President Jonathan Stavin told the newspaper.

Architectural firm Varenhorst originally designed the lower floors of the complex as parking and will need to reconfigure this portion to allow for retail.

The project, which consists of separate 13- and 16-story sections, is located near the recently landscaped Race Street Pier and the historic building that now houses the FringeArts theater and restaurant venue. The property is also close to the Race Street Connector, which links the waterfront to Old City and will soon benefit from $1.3 million in improvements. Plans call for new lighting, walkways and other upgrades starting next year.

Rendering courtesy of Varenhorst

Affordable Housing Community in Camden Changes Hands

26 Aug 2015, 4:25 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

A 184-unit affordable housing community on South 8th Street in Camden has a new owner.

Liberty Park Townhomes in Camden, N.J.

Liberty Park Townhomes in Camden, N.J.

Tryko Partners of New Jersey recently purchased the Liberty Park Townhomes from Vesta Corp. of Connecticut for an undisclosed amount.

Tryko, which specializes in affordable housing projects, is planning to invest approximately $1.5 million into the property’s renovation, in exchange for tax abatements.

The improvements will be performed through the developer’s PILOT, or “payment in lieu of taxes,” agreement with the City of Camden.

“This transaction involved a great deal of positive cooperation and persistence among many parties, with each of us eager to see this property succeed,” noted Tryko Partners’ Uri Kahanow, director of acquisitions. “It provides a great example of how public and private organizations can work together in the best interest of city residents and to improve neighborhoods.”

Plans call for the re-siding of all buildings, new windows, repairing and repaving of all parking areas and sidewalks, installation of new signage, updated landscaping throughout the property, as well as infrastructure improvements including the reparation of sanitary lines, and replacement of hot water systems and electric outlets.

Furthermore, the capital improvements will bring an innovative, high-tech security system where cameras located throughout the grounds provide feed linking directly to the police department. “The program will provide peace of mind for our tenants by enabling public safety professionals to successfully and easily monitor the neighborhood,” Kahanow explained.

Vesta Corp. and its financing partner, MMA Capital Management LLC, selected Tryko from a pool of potential buyers based on the firm’s track record in Camden and reputation among affordable housing operators.

Tryko Partners entered the Camden market when it purchased Crestbury Apartments in early 2013, also supported by a Pilot program awarded by the city. The company in late 2014 completed a $2.6 million transformation of the 392-unit affordable housing property, which included the greatly successful security program that is also planned for Liberty Park Townhomes.

Cliveden Apartments Up for Sale in Philadelphia

25 Aug 2015, 4:46 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Greysteel has been retained as the exclusive advisor and agent for the sale of Cliveden Apartments, a 40-unit residential building in Northwest Philadelphia.

Cliveden Apartments in Philadelphia

Cliveden Apartments in Philadelphia

The firm’s multifamily investment sales team handling the assignment is led by Caleb Brown and Ari Firoozabadi.

Located in the city’s Mount Airy neighborhood, the property offers a mix of studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom-one bathroom units. Recently completed improvements included a new elevator, windows and hot water heaters, as well as upgrades to half of the community’s units.

Residents at Cliveden Apartments have easy access to a variety of independent shops, restaurants, art galleries, clothing stores, coffee shops, fitness centers, and professional offices. The property is also within blocks of SEPTA Regional Rail’s Chestnut Hill East and West line stations, with convenient access to nearby top-tier universities and medical centers.

“Cliveden Apartments represents a unique, value-add opportunity in one of the fastest developing markets in Philadelphia,” Greysteel Senior Investment Associate Caleb Brown said. “Mount Airy’s retail and restaurant amenities coupled with the blossoming arts and entertainment district along Germantown Avenue have made the area an increasingly attractive destination for artists, young professionals, and families.”

Rebuilding of Northern Philadelphia Neighborhood Begins

24 Aug 2015, 7:58 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Joined by local dignitaries, the Philadelphia Housing Authority celebrated the groundbreaking of a 10-year, multi-phase project that aims to completely transform the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood in North Philadelphia.

Sharswood/Blumberg Neighborhood Transformation Groundbreaking

Sharswood/Blumberg Neighborhood Transformation Groundbreaking

The entire development entails an estimated investment of $529 million, representing the agency’s most ambitious and dynamic initiative in nearly a decade.

Plans call for a mix of 1,200 new residences, including affordable, market-rate, rental, and home-ownership units, as well as 500,000 square feet of commercial space along Ridge Avenue that will be anchored by a new PHA headquarters and a supermarket. According to Kelvin Jeremiah, PHA president & CEO, the economic impact of this transformation on the area could reach $1.4 billion.

The first phase will bring 57 affordable rental units that will go up on three vacant parcels owned by PHA next to the Norman Blumberg Apartments. PHA will invest more than $22 million into the project, which marks its first Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, an affordable housing finance program created by the federal government to allow public housing authorities to expand funding options beyond what is provided by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Sharswood/Blumberg redevelopment was prompted by a $500,000 Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Planning Grant that HUD awarded PHA in December 2013.

It took nearly 40 planning meetings with residents and stakeholders before the local agency could come up with a blueprint for a new, prosperous and self-reliant community. The project is set to rise in an area north of Girard College, south of Cecil B. Moore Avenue, and between 19th and 27th Streets. About 500 families are being relocated to make way for the new development.

Photo credits: Philadelphia Housing Authority

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