Giant Unveils Plan for New Supermarket in Northeast Philly

The Giant Company plans to construct a new store in Northeast Philadelphia in 2021, adding its fifth location within the city.

The Carlisle-based supermarket chain announced Tuesday that it will build the 67,000-square-foot market on Cottman Avenue at the corner of Bustleton Avenue.

The new store will include a beer and wine eatery, expanded plant-based offerings, made-to-order meals and Giant Direct grocery pickup.

“Featuring a new look and the very best of the Giant brand, once completed, our new Cottman Avenue store will serve as a bold sign of our commitment to the city, bringing along hundreds of new jobs all while increasing access to great-tasting and affordable food, inspiring meal solutions and time-saving grocery conveniences to the families counting on us,” said Nicholas Bertram, president of the Giant Company.

Giant has rapidly expanded in Philadelphia over the past few years, adding small-format Giant Heirloom stores in South Philadelphia, Northern Liberties and University City. The company has an existing supermarket on Grant Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, a few miles north of the planned new location.

Construction is expected to begin in March, with an opening anticipated before the end of the year.

“With its diverse neighborhoods, people and undeniable passion for food, there’s no place quite like Philadelphia, and that’s exactly why The Giant Company continues to invest in new stores across the city,” Bertram said.

*Article courtesy of Philly Voice

For more information about Philadelphia retail 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.

Wells Fargo Closing 25 More Branches, Including Two in Philadelphia

Wells Fargo & Co. has announced plans to close 25 more branches, including two in Philadelphia, as part of its broader plan to cut billions of dollars in costs to keep pace with its rivals.

The impacted branches include 5458 Germantown Ave. in Germantown and 2300 Snyder Ave. in South Philadelphia. They are among a batch of locations San Francisco-based Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) filed to close on Feb. 2 with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Other sites are in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Texas, California, Florida, Minnesota, Alabama, Nevada, Idaho, Georgia and North Carolina.

This is the third batch announced so far this year, following 14 filed on Jan. 1 and 22 on Jan. 27. Wells Fargo closed 329 of its 5,200 branches last year and has plans to shutter about 250 more this year. CEO Charles Scharf told investors in July that the bank needs to shave off at least $10 billion in annual expenses, which amounts to 20% of its annual cost base, to rival efficiency at other banks.

Locally, the region’s largest deposit taker closed 13 locations in the Philadelphia area last year as well as another three in the Lehigh Valley and one each in Berks County and the Jersey Shore. All but two came after Scharf’s announcement.

Since the FDIC’s annual deposit data was recorded last June 30, Wells Fargo has reduced its branch count in the immediate Philadelphia region from 172 to 161. When factoring in the broader region that includes Delaware, the Jersey Shore, the Lehigh Valley and Berks County, the bank has gone for 281 locations to 265.

In addition to those, Wells Fargo filed to close its location at 1 South Broad St. in Philadelphia, but that is not a retail branch. It is home to the bank’s private banking operations, which falls under OCC jurisdiction. The reason for the regulatory filing emanates from the bank’s plans to relocate 500 employees at 123 South Broad, 1 South Broad and 1500 Market into one regional hub at Two Logan Square. Wells Fargo announced those plans two years ago and there is still no definite date for the move.

A branch and the Wells Fargo History Museum will remain at 123 S. Broad St., along with the public affairs team on the mezzanine level. The space at Two Logan was vacated by Comcast Corp., which moved to its Comcast Technology Center.

Wells Fargo has about 1,000 back office employees at 401 Market St. in Old City and roughly another 500 retail employees scattered across 36 branches in the city. It has more than 6,000 total employees, though there will be job loss among both retail and non-retail employees as part of the company’s overarching plan.

When asked last year about potential job loss in the Philadelphia region from the closures, a local Wells Fargo spokesman said he had no specific numbers to share but that “some employees will move to other positions in the company, others may choose to retire, while still others will be displaced. We handle displacements in a way that is as responsive to our employees as possible. We communicate openly and honestly with impacted employees and provide severance, career assistance, and other services to assist them.”

The pace of bank branch closings has picked up significantly during the pandemic, as more customers have become comfortable with online and mobile banking platforms. Between annual FDIC reports on June 30, 2019 and June 30, 2020, there were just over 2,642 U.S. bank branch closures and nearly 1,179 new branch openings for a net decline of 1,463 branches. Both the number of closures and the number of new branches are the highest in the last 10 years, and several banks with major Philadelphia-area operations are the most avid consolidators.

TD Bank recently filed to close 81 of its 1,223 branches, including 11 in this region. PNC closed 160 branches last year and plans to close at least another 120 this year.

Local banks have also accelerated the pace of their pruning efforts. Univest Bank said last October that it plans to close eight of its 39 retail branches, or 20% of its footprint, and Fulton Bank recently announced plans to cut 10% of its footprint.

Here is the full list of local branches Wells Fargo has closed since the start of 2020:

    • 260 Exton Square Parkway, Exton
    • 43 E. Main St., Norristown
    • 1131 N. 5th St., Perkasie
    • 8001 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia
    • 399 Bristol Pike, Croydon
    • 599 E. Lancaster Ave., St. David’s
    • 75 St. James Place, Ardmore
    • 500 Chesterbrook Blvd., Chesterbrook
    • 25 W. Skippack Pike, Ambler
    • 951 Trenton Road, Fairless Hills
    • 2701 West Chester Pike, Broomall
    • 500 Hurffville-Cross Keys Road, Sewell
    • 451 White Horse Pike, Atco
    • 201 Philadelphia Ave., Egg Harbor City
    • 2002 W. Liberty St., Allentown
    • 335 Main St., Emmaus
    • 1 N. Broadway, Wind Gap
    • 301 W. Main St., Kutztown

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail 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.

Draught Horse Pub near Temple University Permanently Closing After 20 Years

Draught Horse Pub & Grill, a go-to watering hole for Temple University students and faculty for the last 20 years, is permanently closing this month, Director of Operations Mike Frost told the Business Journal on Monday.

The North Philadelphia concept, known for an extensive beer menu and pub food like tacos, burgers and sandwiches, will close by Feb. 17, Frost said.

The staple Temple eatery has operated just off the school’s campus at 1431 Cecil B. Moore Ave. since it opened in February 2001. Since that time, the bar has been a tried-and-true spot for students looking to watch a sports game, take a break from studying or participate in activities like late-night karaoke.

Draught Horse may potentially “try to relocate and reopen at some point in the near future,” though plans remain up in the air, Frost said. Temple University owns the building.

“We just couldn’t come to real terms on an effective long-term lease and that’s the gist of it,” he added.

Having occupied the location since its inception, Draught Horse essentially operated under its original lease agreement.

With the lease finally expiring at the end of February, the restaurant was again “seeking long-term and [was] only offered short-term,” Frost said. In a Covid-19 world, short-term lease agreements are particularly “not advantageous” as restaurants struggle with continued capacity limitations, social distancing guidelines and other restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

Draught Horse is part of the portfolio held by local hospitality company Stable Investment Group, formerly known as Frog Spring Holding LLC. The group’s other businesses include two New Jersey locations of taco-and-margarita-bar concept Taco Caballito in Logan Township and Cape May, the latter of which adjoins with a gastropub from the group dubbed Iron Pier Craft House.

In the short term, Stable Investment Group plans to “continue investing” in the Taco Caballito brand “and moving that brand to the forefront of our planning dynamics,” Frost said.

Draught Horse’s closure comes on the heels of popular Temple University-area sandwich shop franchise Lee’s Hoagie House, located across the street at 1428 Cecil B. Moore Ave., also permanently closing. Earlier in the fall, neighboring pizza shop Pazzo Pazzo at 1614 Cecil B. Moore Ave. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and was taken over by new ownership.

Foot traffic has dipped around the North Philadelphia school’s campus as Temple operated primarily online for the bulk of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The school will continue to predominantly operate virtual classes during the spring 2021 semester, though “expanded in-person class instruction” will take place, according to the university’s website.

In October, Frost told the Business Journal that the Draught Horse had totaled about 30% of typical pre-pandemic sales year-to-date thanks to a strong January and February before the health crisis took hold. On top of the diminished day-to-day presence of students and faculty, another major blow to business came via lost revenue from events like holiday parties, fundraisers, or outings typically held by different departments at the university.

At that time, Frost also speculated that less than 33% of college restaurants and bars could survive the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent switch to virtual instruction.

Other restaurants around Philadelphia-area colleges have met a similar fate during the pandemic, including Italian eatery Zavino University City. The restaurant – normally a hotbed for students, parents and faculty from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University – has been shuttered for months.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail 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.

TD Bank Closing 81 Branches, Including 11 in the Philadelphia Region

TD Bank will close 81 of its 1,223 retail branches, almost 7% of all locations, as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates the switch from brick-and-mortar to digital banking.

Cherry Hill-based TD, the U.S. retail banking arm of Toronto’s TD Bank Group (NYSE: TD), said the closings will take place by April 23. They include locations in 15 states in the bank’s Maine-to-Florida footprint, including 10 of the 123 situated in southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, and one in Delaware. TD will also shutter 23 locations in five New England states, 21 in the New York City metro area, 14 in Florida, six in the Washington, D.C., metro, and four in the Carolinas.

Here are the TD branches closing in the Philadelphia region:

    • 1428 Old York Road in Abington
    • 1560 Paoli Pike in East Goshen
    • 90 Upper Silver Lake Road in Newtown
    • 111 S. 11th St. in Philadelphia
    • 25 Second Street Pike in Southampton
    • 212 E. Lancaster Ave. in Wayne
    • 1506 Berling Road in Cherry Hill
    • 601 College Drive in Blackwood
    • Route 38 and Eaterstown Road in Mount Holly
    • 129 S. Black Horse Pike in Runnemede
    • 1803 Marsh Road in Wilmington

Ernie Diaz, executive vice president and head of consumer distribution at TD, said the bank has a strategy to enhance its branch network and respond to changing customer expectations for digital, mobile and connected channel options.

“Those efforts were underway prior to the pandemic, but were paused in 2020 in an effort to provide colleagues with much needed stability in uncertain times,” Diaz said. “The decision to move forward with these changes at this time reflects our commitment to reinvesting in the business and in our communities in new and different ways. Stores are a vital part of our strategy, and we will continue to invest in them, which can mean identifying new locations, renovating existing locations, and expanding our ATM network.”

When asked about potential layoffs, TD said some employees would be impacted, though the bank is trying to redeploy them in other positions within the company. It did not have a specific number but said TD is “committed to treating our impacted colleagues fairly and with respect and supporting them with resources to assist with the transition.”

TD, the Philadelphia region’s second-largest retail bank with more than $27 billion in deposits, did not make clear how much money it would save via the branch reduction or what it would do with any money saved.

Most large banks had already been pruning their branch networks over the past decade due to the growing popularity of online and mobile banking. The continuing trend of customers handling transactions online or by phone or ATM has accelerated due to the pandemic as most branch lobbies were closed or restricted from March until June and have measures in place to curtail the spread of Covid-19, such as limiting the number of people who can enter the space. Banks in response have accelerated their branch cutting.

TD, though, has not been nearly as aggressive as its competitors on that score. Between 2010 and 2020, FDIC data shows TD’s local branch footprint declined by just 8.6%, much lower than chief competitors Wells Fargo Bank (-12%), PNC Bank (-12%), Citizens Bank (-18%) and Bank of America (-28%).

Since the start of 2020, data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shows that TD only shuttered 13 locations. Conversely, Wells Fargo closed 329 last year and has plans to shutter about 250 more this year. PNC closed 160 branches last year and plans to close at least another 120 this year.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail 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.

Boyds ‘Seriously Looking’ for Permanent Suburban Store as Ardmore Pop-Up Proves to be Bright Spot for Retailer

 

For retailers such as Boyds, a clothing and accessory store that caters to well-heeled Philadelphians, the pandemic has been challenging and this past holiday shopping season even more vital to its future.

The retailer opened a pop-up store at Ardmore’s Suburban Square in October to test the suburban market for the first time in its more than 80-year history while maintaining its flagship on Chestnut Street in Center City.

The results on how Boyds fared during this past holiday season are bifurcated and reflect how the pandemic is affecting where people shop.

“Sales for the holiday season were very, very mediocre but a little better than I anticipated,” said Kent Gushner, who oversees the family-owned business, about Boyds’ Center City store.

Sales were down by 35%, which is a lot, but Gushner thought it would be worse.

“The week between Christmas and New Year’s is an important week for us,” he said. “It wasn’t great but a little better than expected.”

Boyds opened up the temporary Suburban Square location in October. Gushner was motivated to test it out after the civil unrest, vandalism and looting over the summer in Philadelphia left him frustrated and angry.

“That, by far, has been a bright spot,” he said. “It’s worked out to be a very good decision on our part.”

In Suburban Square, Boyds has been catering to existing customers who live in the suburbs and aren’t coming into the city for work or to shop. The store is also capturing new customers who never venture into Philadelphia and, but for the pop up, wouldn’t have been introduced to the retailer. “It’s been great,” Gushner said.

As a result, Boyds has extended its lease at Suburban Square until the end of June and has started conversations about finding a permanent suburban location at Suburban Square or another Main Line location. “At this point, we’re not close to signing on the dotted line but seriously looking,” Gushner said.

The lackluster sales in Center City can be mostly attributed to a lack of foot traffic generated by office workers who typically come into Philadelphia for work during the week and to those who come in for shopping and dining on the weekends. That has affected retailers across the city.

“We have to figure out how to get the vibrancy back in the city,” Gushner said. “We’re trying to stay positive and stay realistic on what life and business in the city will be like when this passes and what the new normal will look like. I think there will be some permanent changes that will happen in the city that will affect us.”

With that, Gushner also sees opportunity not only in the suburbs but with what will undoubtedly be less competition as retailers continue to close.

In the meantime, Gushner and his team are working out new issues that crop up from running more than one location. “We’re learning on the fly,” he said.

Boyds has operated one store for more than eight decades and that was part of the retailer’s core business philosophy to stay focused on a single location. But, as with so many other things, Covid shifted that thinking and forced a change that wasn’t anticipated.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail 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.

Sneak peek: Wawa Opening First Standalone Drive-thru Location in Bucks County on Friday

Wawa is taking to Bucks County on Friday to open the first standalone drive-thru-only convenience store in its footprint that includes more than 900 locations.

The 1,800-square-foot store at 549 W. Trenton Ave. in Morrisville will boast a single-lane drive-thru that has a capacity for 12 cars at a time. The location will operate daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It will employ about 30 people.

Menus, available on digital boards as well as on mobile devices via scannable QR codes, include bundle deals like a Breakfast Sizzli and coffee for $4.29; a $7.99 lunch combo consisting of a shorti hoagie, choice of side such as mac and cheese or soup, and a large soft drink; and build-your-own dinner combos of pasta with a protein and vegetables or a bowl ranging from $6.99 to $8.99. The popular chain’s newest menu items, like burgers and fries, will also be available (burgers hit the menu daily at 4 p.m.).

The Falls Township location has been in the works since March, said Terri Micklin, director of construction at Wawa. While drive-thrus had been a strategy on the Media company’s radar before Covid-19 hit, the pandemic “acted as a catalyst to accelerate that going forward.” The Trenton Avenue property had already been zoned and approved for a quick-service restaurant with a drive-thru, so Wawa was able to open the store quickly.

 

The Morrisville spot was pinpointed for the brand’s first drive-thru-exclusive store because of its ability to hit the market quickly coupled with a strong, established customer base in the Falls Township area, Micklin noted.

A Wawa store typically ranges from about 5,800 to 6,000 square feet. The new location, which Micklin added sits on about three-quarters of an acre of developable land, clocks in at less than half of that traditional size. Buildout costs ran about $2 million, similarly less than 50% of the costs of a standard shop.

“It allows us to get greater density and put these in different places and could create a lot of opportunities for our growth strategies going forward,” Micklin said. More businesses are looking at this type of property as a result of Covid-19, she added, noting the retail industry has “seen a shift where customers are looking for more contactless approaches” during the pandemic.

Wawa opened its first location with a drive-thru on Dec. 18 at 570 Rancocas Road in Westampton, New Jersey. Over the next 12 to 18 months, the chain is planning to add between five and 10 drive-thru-specific locations throughout its footprint, which encompasses Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.

Whether those new potential locations will be standalone drive-thrus or new shops outfitted with a drive-thru component is still being determined, and will that decision will be informed as the chain uses the Westampton and Falls Township locations to get a pulse on how the format performs, Micklin noted. Since the Westampton store opened, the location has continued to update its menu in response to customer feedback. Some of the most popular items ordered at the drive-thru include burgers, fries and specialty beverages.

Aside from the forthcoming new drive-thru stores, Wawa is planning to add about 60 new locations throughout its territory in 2021, Micklin said. The company is leaning into adopting drive-thrus in an effort to increase convenience and accessibility in response to evolving customer demands, she added.

In an effort to similarly achieve that goal, the chain quickly expanded delivery and curbside into all of its stores by the end of 2020, said Alex Costabile, vice president of strategy. There are some exceptions, such as some Philadelphia locations that don’t have a parking lot, making it difficult to orchestrate curbside pickup.

When the pandemic hit, curbside pickup was primarily in a pilot program phase and delivery was available at roughly 25% of locations, Costabile added. A few months into Covid-19, delivery demand tripled and Wawa expanded its third-party delivery partnerships throughout the year to include DoorDash, UberEats, Postmates and Grubhub.

Delivery revenue increased more than 700% year-over-year from 2019 to 2020, Costabile said. Meanwhile, over 10% of all mobile app orders, which allow customers to order and pay ahead of time, are now for curbside pickup.

“One of the key things we want to be is available to our customers in any way that they want,” Costabile noted.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Bucks County retail space for sale or lease or about any other Bucks County 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 Bucks County commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Bucks County commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Bucks County commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

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

Giant to anchor $24M redevelopment of former Sears in Northeast Philadelphia

The Giant Co. will locate one of its grocery stores in a portion of a vacant Sears in Northeast Philadelphia that will undergo a $24 million redevelopment.

Giant will occupy about 60,000 square feet of the three-story, 237,151-square-foot property at Great Northeast Plaza at the intersection of Bustleton and Cottman avenues. It is one of several tenants that have leased space at the former department store, which closed in April 2018 and is now being transformed into a retail complex.

Ashley Flower, spokeswoman for Giant, confirmed the grocer will have a new store at the center but declined to provide additional details. Giant currently operates a store on Grant Avenue that is about three miles away from Great Northeast Plaza.

The redevelopment project is essentially leased up with a list of tenants that underscores which retailers are willing to strike deals during a pandemic as they look forward, banking on a brighter future. In the case of Great Northeast Plaza, a grocery and furniture store — Ashley Furniture is taking 52,000 square feet — will serve as anchors to the vacant Sears space. Grocers have become essential retailers during the coronavirus and, as more people are buying and sheltering in their homes, furniture and other durable goods have been in high demand.

Other tenants in the lineup include: Planet Fitness with 23,000 square feet, Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa with 2,800 square feet and Hairbuzz with 22,000 square feet. This is in addition to Starbucks and Jollibee, two retailers that will occupy newly built structures on outparcels. TD Bank and Holy Redeemer are existing tenants.

Late last fall, Abrams Realty and Development and Bock Development paid $28.75 million for the former Sears with a plan to redevelop it. At the time, the project was 98% pre-leased though details of the new tenants were limited. That it leased up so quickly, even during the pandemic, didn’t surprise the developer.

“That’s how strong the Cottman Avenue Corridor is and is actually getting stronger,” Abrams said. “The corridor is going through a renaissance of sorts and our project is part of it. We could have leased a lot more space if we had it, especially outparcels.”

Most of the redevelopment is expected to be completed by November.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail 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.

 

 

PREIT to Relinquish Primary Control of Fashion District Philadelphia Under Bankruptcy Agreement

 

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust will relinquish much of its involvement in Fashion District Philadelphia beginning Jan. 1, leaving its partner in the project, Macerich Cos., to control the operations and make decisions involving the Philadelphia retail center, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed by PREIT.

The arrangement arose as part of PREIT amending its loans and credit agreements through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy from which it exited last week and detailed in SEC documents.

As part of the new agreements, a $100 million payment was made and funded by Macerich on a $301 million loan backed by Fashion District Philadelphia. That payment reduced the outstanding principal on a Wells Fargo loan involving Fashion District to $201 million, according to SEC documents. The loan agreement was also modified to mature Jan. 22, 2023, with the potential of a one-year extension.

“In connection with the execution of the [Fashion District Philadelphia] loan agreement, the governing structure of PM Gallery LP was modified such that, beginning January 1, 2021, Macerich will substantially control the entity’s operations and, subject to limited exceptions, control major decisions,” PREIT said in SEC documents.

Santa Monica, California-based Macerich (NYSE: MAC) will take a lead role in all leasing, management, marketing, specialty leasing, legal and accounting efforts, according to PREIT. While the Macerich team will be leading the efforts, PREIT said it will continue to be present in decision-making and overall strategy for the property on an operating level as a 50/50 partner.

“We are appreciative of our partners at Macerich who have increased their investment in Fashion District Philadelphia, which has not only allowed us to finalize our credit agreement but also ensures that we will continue to operate Fashion District Philadelphia as 50/50 partners, with Macerich taking a lead role in day-to-day operations,” said Joseph Coradino, PREIT CEO, in a statement.

All employees will be retained by Macerich, PREIT said.

In other matters involving PREIT’s finances, the company amended credit agreements totaling just over $1 billion and borrowed $55 million. The company has pledged nine of its malls and three other properties to back the loans. PREIT owns regional malls including Willow Grove Mall, Cherry Hill Mall and Fashion District Philadelphia, which it redeveloped with Macerich.

The compensation committee of PREIT’s board also approved payments to reimburse Coradino and CFO Mario Ventresca Jr. for a 25% pay cut each took to their respective base salaries between July 27 and Sept. 30. Coradino has a base salary of $850,000 and Ventresca has a base salary of $450,000, according to the company’s most recent proxy statement.

PREIT (NYSE: PEI) has long been associated with what is now branded as Fashion District Philadelphia but had been known for decades as the Gallery.

PREIT and Macerich redeveloped the Gallery in a 50-50 joint venture that was initiated in 2014. The partnership received $90.5 million in tax payer handouts from the state and the city to support the redevelopment of the mall. Of that tax support, $55 million was in the form of tax increment financing, a controversial financing tool since TIFs are often put in areas where development would likely have happened without the financing.

The subsidies were approved based on estimates that a redeveloped Gallery would generate $194 million in new tax revenue over two decades, create jobs and boost overall economic growth in the city.

Fashion District Philadelphia opened in September 2019. The 1.1-million-square-foot urban mall has been struggling since the onset of the pandemic that initially shut down every mall and retail center in the state. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic then led some of Fashion District’s tenants to temporarily shutter operations. For example, City Winery, AMC Theater and Round One have remained closed and Century 21, a discount retailer, filed bankruptcy and vacated its store.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail 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.

New Jersey Bank Picks High-Profile Philadelphia Building for its First Pennsylvania Branch

OceanFirst Bank will open its first retail branch in Pennsylvania after signing a 10-year lease to occupy 2,000 square feet at 1500 Market St. in Center City.

The Toms River, New Jersey-based bank has been shopping for a high-profile Center City location to serve as its first branch for more than a year. Susanne Svizeny, the former Wells Fargo executive who joined parent company OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: OCFC) last year in the newly-created role of president of the Greater Philadelphia region, said the building is the perfect choice.

Nightingale Properties and Wafra Capital Partners, which jointly own the two-building Market Street complex formally called Centre Square, last year launched a $12 million renovation of the plaza, retail and lobby areas in an effort to give the 45-year-old office complex a refresh. The new OceanFirst branch will be on the Market Street side of what is informally known as the “Clothespin Building” because of the giant clothespin sculpture outside its main entrance. It is situated across from City Hall and right next to a main entrance to Suburban Station and the Market Street Line.

“It’s just such a great location with all of that foot traffic,” Svizeny said. “I know a lot of our customers will be happy to know they can do business with us in the city now. And it really shows our commitment to the city.”

Virtually every major bank operating in the region has a branch on Market Street between City Hall and 20th Street — the city’s main business corridor. In all, there are 11 different banks that operate 17 retail locations with a combined $16.5 billion in deposits in that five-block strip. Many of those are among the locations for each bank with the highest number of deposits. When factoring in the entire 19102 and 19103 zip codes that also include busy streets such as John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Chestnut Street and Walnut Street, there are 17 different banks with 51 branches that hold a combined $35 billion in deposits, or more than 18% of all deposits in the entire eight-county area.

OceanFirst will be the second bank branch at Centre Square. Santander Bank has one facing 15th Street.

Svizeny said the location will be what OceanFirst calls one of its “super branch” locations that serve as regional hubs. Despite the “super” moniker, they are not larger than a normal retail branch. The super branches do not have traditional teller lines, instead focusing on universal bankers serving both transactional and customers service needs in an open floor plan that features a large, U-shaped table near the entrance.

Svizeny said the plan is to have the branch open by May and the bank will employ SOSH Architects of Atlantic City for the work on the space that is now gutted. Since opening a loan production office at Two Logan Square late last year, Svizeny said OceanFirst has built up $1 billion in loans, largely commercial real estate and commercial and industrial. It was also an active player in the Paycheck Protection Program.

In addition to the loan production office at Two Logan, OceanFirst has locations in Doylestown to serve the eastern suburbs and Newtown Square to serve the western suburbs and Delaware. Svizeny said the bank would like to add another in the King of Prussia/Conshohocken area if it can find the right bankers.

Long based in Ocean County, OceanFirst entered South Jersey through four acquisitions between 2016 and 2019:

OceanFirst Chairman and CEO Christopher Maherhas said in recent years that moving into New York and Philadelphia were strategic priorities. It took care of New York earlier this year by acquiringCountry Bank Holding Co. of New York City as well as Two River Bancorp of Tinton Falls in Monmouth County. Sources have said OceanFirst has been talking to other banks about finding a strategic fit in southeastern Pennsylvania, where deals in prior years have thinned the options for companies as large as OceanFirst.

“I know that Chris is always talking to other CEOs, but that’s a question for him,” Svizeny said.

For now, though, OceanFirst will focus on its organic growth and its new Center City location.

The following is a list of all retail bank branches on Market Street between 15th and 20th streets, with deposits listed as of June 30, according to FDIC data:

    • Santander, 1500 Market, $47M
    • Citizens,1515 Market, $187M
    • Firstrust, 1515 Market, $439M
    • PNC, 1600 Market, $8B
    • Republic, 1601 Market, $415M
    • Truist, 1635 Market, $66M
    • M&T, 1650 Market, $56M
    • Wells Fargo, 1700 Market, $131M
    • Citizens, 1735 Market, $2.5B
    • Meridian, 1760 Market, $28M
    • PNC, 1801 Market, $196M
    • BofA, 1818 Market, $118M
    • Republic, 1818 Market, $137M
    • TD, 1900 Market, $716M
    • Santander, 2000 Market, $3.1B
    • Citizens, 2001 Market, $315M
    • Wells Fargo, 2005 Market, $75M

*Article Courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail 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.

Goose Island Brewhouse in Fishtown Permanently Closes in Covid-19 Fallout

The popular Goose Island Brewhouse is Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood has permanently closed after nearly two-and-a-half years of operation, the latest fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 10,500-square-foot brewpub announced the shuttering late Friday afternoon via its Facebook and Instagram accounts. Goose Island Beer Co. is based in Chicago, and has been owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev since 2011.

Goose Island Beer Co. opened its Philadelphia concept at 1002 Canal St. in spring 2018. The local brewhouse was well-trafficked by Philadelphians across the city, Fishtown residents and people attending shows at neighboring music venue Fillmore Philadelphia. The project includes indoor space as well as a large outdoor seating area.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia, Philadelphia Distilling and the apocalypse-themed restaurant Mad Mex also stand near to Goose Island Brewhouse.

Goose Island Brewhouse is situated across the street from the planned 35,000-square-foot Brooklyn Bowl entertainment complex that expects to open by the end of 2021. That development comes from the New York-based bowling company in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

Fans of Goose Island Brewhouse took to social media on Friday to lament the closure.

“Now it’s official – worst year ever!” one Facebook user wrote. “You guys were our Friday nights, our work happy hours, the first place we brought our newborn son, our go to during covid!! My heart is shattered!”

“We are so sad to hear this news,” an Instagram user wrote. “We have LOVED the time we spent at Goose Philly playing music, enjoying the atmosphere (and the amazing brews!!!) The staff has always been kind, helpful, and fantastic!!!!”

The closure is among the latest in a wave of permanent shutterings that have washed over the region’s hospitality industry due to the pandemic. Other concepts that have permanently closed recently include Chef Tyler Akin’s Res Ipsa, Stephen Starr’s Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar in Old City, and Trattoria Giuseppe in Newtown Square.

*Article Courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail 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.