Fairmount Schuykill

STORIES FROM OUR REGION – December 2020

Amazon to expand cloud computing services in Philadelphia in 2021

E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. is stretching its reach even further into providing cloud computing services, and the Philadelphia area will play a role in the company’s technology expansion plans.

Saudi company pays $225M for majority stake in Blue Bell’s Arborcrest Corporate Campus

The massive acquisition is part of Sidra’s focus on buying properties that have long-term stability and tenants in the life sciences sector.

New Castle County, DSU partner on $5M COVID test lab

The “next-generation” genomics lab will be used primarily to process COVID-19 tests, leading to faster turnaround times for results and increasing Delaware State University’s research profile.

EDA starts process on Wind Port project with RFQ for construction manager

The New Jersey Wind Port will provide purpose-built infrastructure that supports the Offshore Wind industry’s unique needs, attract millions of dollars in investment, and create thousands of jobs for New Jersey residents.

SEPTA doubles down on commitment to $2B King of Prussia Rail project

SEPTA officials recently gave an update on the Norristown High Speed Line’s proposed extension into the area, which included route changes and updates to its five stations.

Downtown Camden

STORIES FROM OUR REGION – November 2020

NorthPoint plans $1.5B redevelopment of U.S. Steel site in Bucks County, 5,000 new jobs

NorthPoint plans to work on getting township approvals for the phased development of what it is calling the Keystone Trade Center, which developers expect to create between 5,000 and 10,000 new jobs.

N.J.’s life sciences industry stoking real estate demand during pandemic, CBRE report says

Driven by biotechnology firms, New Jersey’s Princeton submarket is one of the most desirable life sciences locations in the nation, attracting major international companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Solvay into the area.

Delaware Innovation Space invests in 3 startups

The Innovation Space recently invested a total of $265,000 in three startup companies through its new First Fund investment program, which aims to invest in early-stage companies focusing on health care, industrial biotechnology, renewable energy, and more.

Spark Therapeutics buys former Penn vivarium in Delaware County

Philadelphia-based gene therapy pioneer, Spark, sees the newly purchased facility as an important part of their plans to bring forward more gene therapies for patients and continue creating the path to a world where no life is limited by a genetic disease.

 

Rising South Jersey industrial hub primed to add another new development

A new industrial development could be in the works for a 9-acre parcel of land in Burlington Township, where the ever-rising demand for warehouse and distribution space has made a stretch of Route 541 a new industrial hot spot.

Amazon leases future mega warehouse near Bear

With a slated ground floor size of more than 1 million square feet, the Amazon facility would be among the largest warehouses in Delaware.

STORIES FROM OUR REGION – August 2020

New development team tapped for $2.6B investment at Philadelphia Navy Yard

While plans call for new, ground up development at the South Philadelphia property, they also involve the adaptive reuse of existing structures into various uses.

Colliers Announces Sale of 32 Building Portfolio Totaling 1,164,939 Square Feet

The buildings of Twinbridge Industrial Park and Veterans Industrial Park in Pennsauken, New Jersey, are 100% leased to 49 tenants.

AnPac Bio Medical Science Opens Lab in Spring House Park

Becoming part of the growing life sciences community in Greater Philadelphia, China-based AnPac Bio-Medical Science has opened its U.S. headquarters and a cancer screening lab in Spring House Innovation Park in Lower Gwynedd.

State panel OKs $2.5 million grant for 300 new Barclays jobs in Delaware

The project includes $6.9 million capital improvements to redesign space within its existing headquarters building in Wilmington to house the new employees.

PECO Financial Incentives

PECO offers technical assistance and financial incentives to help you save energy and money – even on recently completed projects. Incentives expire in 2021.

STORIES FROM OUR REGION – JULY 30, 2020

Radnor-based pharmaceuticals company Idorsia establishes U.S. commercial operations and leadership team

The company has been established to further develop and embed its budding global commercial organization and realize the value of its innovations by ensuring patients can benefit from the its pioneering therapies.

New Jersey to build massive $400M ‘wind port,’ Gov. Murphy says

The 200-acre “wind port” would be located in Salem County next to the Hope Creek nuclear plant with the goal of aiding the state’s fledgling offshore wind industry.

Barclays to add more than 300 new customer service jobs at Wilmington headquarters

The new positions at the banking giant come with a $6.9 million capital investment to redesign the company’s waterfront offices.

Nerd Street Gamers raises $10M to continue rapid growth

The Philadelphia-based esports venue and events company is forging ahead with building out its online platform after seeing a pandemic-related boost.

ChenMed continues Philadelphia expansion, opens fifth primary care center for seniors

The new center, located in South Philadelphia, will offer services that help reduce barriers to healthy living such as transportation assistance, on-site medications, and more.

Stories from our Region – June 25, 2020

 

PECO: Financial Incentives Helping Businesses Save Now…and Tomorrow.

For businesses in the PECO service area of Greater Philadelphia that are planning for their next energy upgrade or that have recently upgraded equipment, PECO offers a variety of ways for businesses of all sizes to save.

Amazon’s Philadelphia-area Leasing Spree Continues

Amazon.com Inc. has leased a 283,000-square-foot building on 2400 Weccacoe Avenue in South Philadelphia as part of its web of last-mile distribution centers around the region.

JLL Arranges $10.1M Financing for Philadelphia-area Industrial Property

JLL worked on behalf of the borrower to place the loan with Wells Fargo Bank. Located at 100 Friars Blvd., the property is situated on 12.69 acres and is approximately 15 miles from Center City Philadelphia.

Red Solo Cup Manufacturer to Open New Facility in New Castle

The first major tenant of the Delaware City Logistics Center is Dart Container, maker of the ubiquitous red Solo Cup as well as other Styrofoam and plastic food packaging containers and cutlery.

D.C.-area Real Estate Brokerage Enters Philadelphia Market with Eye on Life Sciences

Scheer Partners Inc.’s entry into Philadelphia comes as other commercial real estate firms have bolstered their life science practices, citing continued demand from tenants in the sector looking for space.

Chase ramps back up Philadelphia-area expansion after pandemic-fueled pause

JPMorgan Chase opened 23 local branches in just 15 months before COVID-19 caused it to hit the pause button, but the nation’s largest bank is now ready to ramp back up the expansion plans.

COVID-19 Impact on Real Estate Markets

COMMENTATOR: Adam Mullen, Market Leader for the Greater Philadelphia Region, CBRE

While the full impact of the global health emergency that is COVID-19 continues to unfold, the effects of this pandemic across the commercial real estate community is being felt in notable ways.  Some commercial asset classes will fare better than expected, while others will be significantly impacted in the short-term.

Industry opportunities and challenges are taking root now, and not surprisingly, hospitality and most retail are taking a hit, while the industrial sector is expected to maintain and perhaps even grow.  Here is an early snapshot based on what we know today.

INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC OUTLOOK

Office leasing will slow in the short term, vacancy will rise, and demand will increase for agile workplace offerings. The greatest impact will come in markets with a high concentration of oil & gas and travel & leisure jobs. There is less new office construction in this cycle, which will aid the sector’s recovery.

The economic slowdown will negatively affect most retail, especially retailers and centers already struggling to compete with e-commerce. There is resilience and strength in grocery-anchored and pharmacy-anchored centers. The eventual removal of social-distancing requirements might cause a surge in pent-up demand.

Industrial & Logistics will see a short-term slowdown in leasing, but rents will hold steady. The sector will be a net beneficiary due to strong e-commerce growth and retailers diversifying their supply chains.

Strong demand endures for multifamily assets. Pressure will emerge for most property types due to job losses and resulting economic hardship.

Hotel revenue will decline by an average of 37 percent for 2020, with a recovery beginning in 2021. The impact will be greatest in gateway cities with substantial tourism and convention business. Some hotels may be converted to uses as medical and quarantine facilities.

Overall, transaction volumes for commercial real estate are declining, bidding pools are smaller, and sellers are delaying bringing assets to market.  Repricing asks have increased as have deals that have fallen out of contract.

Looking Ahead

The economic fallout across the country and in most regions of the world is and will continue to be significant, balanced by what is expected to be a strong recovery in the U.S. A global recession has likely already started, and the U.S. also is expected to endure a recession, with GDP declines in the first and second quarter. CBRE sees the U.S. economy stabilizing in the third quarter, starting to recover in the fourth, and growing at stronger rates in 2021 due to pent-up demand.

We also foresee unemployment rising to above 6 percent from 3.5 percent by mid-year, registering a loss of as much as 8 million jobs.  However, the federal stimulus package of $2 trillion or more and the associated liquidity support will prevent worst-case economic scenarios from happening and will help underpin the recovery.

While debt financing remains available, it is constrained and will remain so until stimulus programs are approved, implemented and begin to gain traction.  Government-sponsored entities (Fannie and Freddie), banks and life-insurance lenders generally have ample capital with minimum interest-rate floors or higher spreads. CMBS and debt funds are under duress; some have exited while others are repricing.

Based on the length and success of the containment activities, this outlook may change and we at CBRE continue to stay focused on the overall impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the commercial real estate industry.

CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm. Based in Philadelphia, Adam Mullen leads CBRE’s Greater Philadelphia Market. [email protected]

UPS Opening a Facility on a Keystone Opportunity Zone

The United Parcel Service (UPS) announced in February that it will build a million-square-foot warehouse facility in northeast Philadelphia. The new facility is expected to employ 1,000 and will hire 352 full-time workers by 2022.

The 138-acre site is one of the largest industrial properties in the city and is known as the former Budd Co. property. The location is also a city and state Keystone Opportunity Zone. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf shared plans to provide approximately $9 million in public training and incentive funds to UPS.

This expansion is a part of a large development project to expand facilities in Philadelphia County and three other Pennsylvania counties, including a “super hub” in Harrisburg.

The overall expansion will create more than 1,700 full-time jobs and be valuable in market accessibility for businesses in the region.

The digital convenience retailer, GoPuff, has also chosen to expand operations throughout Greater Philadelphia. In late 2018, GoPuff opened a $4 million 30,000-square-foot headquarters in Philadelphia and added 10 new warehouses throughout Pennsylvania.

Coatesville, PA Aircraft Plant is Building Presidential Helicopters

Six VH-92A Presidential Helicopters will be built in Coatesville, PA as a part of a $470 million Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program.

The project was awarded to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company. Sikorsky is headquartered in Connecticut and has plants throughout the East coast.

Sikorsky entered into a contract with the U.S. Navy to build the helicopters and is expected to complete all six by the end of 2022.

This project is a major win for the local economy with early 36 percent of the project will be completed at the Coatesville plant. The helicopters will be sent to other locations throughout the country and the project will be completed in Stratford, Connecticut.

Last summer, Eastern Air Lines relocated its headquarters from North Carolina to an approximately 18,000 square-foot space in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The region continues to be chosen as the premier location for major projects and companies looking to relocate.

Young Entrepreneurs Are More Likely to Start a Business in Greater Philadelphia

Philadelphia ranked the third U.S. city for a low cost of living, an abundance of highly-skilled talent, and young entrepreneurs. Last year, Philadelphia ranked 11th on this list, a sign of major growth for our region.

LendingTree found that the average age of entrepreneurs in Philadelphia is slightly younger than 38 years old. Whereas other major U.S. cities, such as Boston (#10), New York City (#16), and Los Angeles (#40), attract entrepreneurs slightly older at 39 to 40 years old.

The study found that younger entrepreneurs are attracted to cities with a lower cost of living.

“Older entrepreneurs may have higher returns, but younger founders are willing to try new things,” said Derek Miller, a research analyst at LendingTree. “That can lead to breakthroughs and culturally defining businesses.”

In Philadelphia, the cost of living is approximately $2,700 cheaper than San Francesco, CA (#38), the Silicon Valley capital.

“There’s always a risk for an entrepreneur,” said Miller. “But when the cost of living isn’t as high, many young people are willing to take that risk.”

The world-class universities and colleges in Greater Philadelphia also create a rich talent pool of young entrepreneurs.

Last month, Drexel University announced a partnership with DXC Technology to open a new AI studio on Drexel’s campus. The partnership is expected to attract and retain top talent to the Greater Philadelphia region.

Greater Philadelphia Named the “Cradle of Cures”

Earlier this month, Amicus Therapeutics opened its new $25 million Global Research and Gene Therapy Center in West Philadelphia’s uCity Square neighborhood.

The new 75,000-square-foot facility occupies the top three floors of 3675 Market Street and features an open-space design with state-of-the-art labs and offices.

“Philadelphia is a magnet for talent in gene therapy and an engine for innovation,” said John F. Crowley, Chairman and CEO of Amicus. “This new global research center located in the ‘cradle of liberty’ will become part of the ‘cradle of cures’ as we move many gene therapy programs forward toward patients in need.”

In the next few years, Amicus expects to grow its staff to over 200 researchers.

Amicus partnered with the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 to gain exclusive global rights to develop possible treatments for 50 rare diseases in collaboration with Penn’s Next Generation Gene Therapy Technologies from the Wilson Lab. This partnership with Penn combined with its expansion in uCity Square allows Amicus to grow its research capabilities.

Amicus continues to focus on discovering, developing, and delivering medicines for people living with rare metabolic diseases. During 2019 BIO, Amicus’ President and COO, Bradley Campbell, said the company chose to operate in Philadelphia because of the innovation, entrepreneurship, and universities here.