March 4, 2015

What Will Philly Look Like in 20 Years?

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Everything about Center City is in growth mode: population, jobs, office space, retail and restaurant locations, even outdoor cafes (if it's ever warm again). What will it take to keep it that way in the long term—till 2035? Come hear more about it on March 17 at our 4th annual Philadelphia Future of Center City at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, starting 7:30am.

City of Philadelphia deputy mayor of economic development Alan Greenberger (snapped at a previous Bisnow event), who will be a speaker, tells us that the local economy is anchored by jobs in Center City, University City and the Navy Yard. The fundamentals are there: a diverse economy, access to talent, ease of connections nationally and internationally, urbanity and livability. "Building on those fundamentals, in the context of better schools and economic opportunity for all Philadelphians, will be key,” he says.

A hospitable business and development environment is also important. During Alan's tenure as deputy mayor, he's overseen the rewrite of the Philadelphia Zoning Code and the initiation of a five-year comprehensive plan for the city, Philadelphia 2035. Both initiatives are the first of their kind for the city in over 50 years.

Out-of-towners are also believers in City Center. Nashville-based Southern Land Co's second foray into Philadelphia is a high-visibility site on Rittenhouse Square, the last undeveloped parcel there, at 1907-1914 Walnut and 1906-1920 Sansom. Mixed-use is the thing to do with it, Southern Land CEO Tim Downey tells us. The company's mission is to "create beautiful communities," he says, focusing on residential development supported by retail, office and recreation projects that allow residents to live in "thoughtful communities that deliver long-term benefits for all involved, including our residents and neighbors." To hear more, please join us on March 17 for our 4th annual Philadelphia Future of Center City at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, starting 7:30am. Sign up here!

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Keystone Commits to Conshohocken

Keystone Property Group believes in Conshohocken—so much so that the fourth property it's acquired in the borough, SORA Conshohocken at 125 E Elm St (below), is now its HQ building, after a relocation from Bala Cynwyd. The company is firming up plans for SORA as a mixed-use project consisting of four properties. Keystone president Bill Glazer tells us that he's seeing a marked increase in office users seeking a more dynamic, lifestyle-oriented workplace, driven largely by an influx of Millennial workers. Mixed-use facilitates this kind of workplace.

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"We're working to create new spaces and reposition older assets in order to meet market demand for culturally significant, cutting-edge office design that enhances the quality of life of its users," Bill adds. Plans for the site call for a public plaza flanked by restaurants, shops, a 200-room hotel and a new Class-A, 300k SF office building. Keystone will also restore the 136-year-old Conshohocken Firehouse, repurposing it as a brewpub with indoor/outdoor dining and events.


Cedar Realty Bags Another Grocery-Anchored Asset

Cedar Realty Trust has acquired the 90k SF Lawndale Plaza in northeast Philadelphia for $24.5M from investors Peter Abrams and Fred Levin and equity partner Glenville Group. The center is anchored by a market-dominant, high-volume ShopRite. At Bisnow's Philadelphia Retail Real Estate Summit last week, Cedar Realty Trust COO Nancy Mozzachio alluded to the fact that her company was about to close on another asset in Philly. She explained that Cedar Realty specializes in supermarket-anchored shopping centers, with about 1.5M SF in Philadelphia.


Meet the Credit Suisse Mafia
Some of Real Estate's Most Powerful Financiers

In 2009 the rug was pulled out from under Credit Suisse as legal troubles spawned a mass exodus. But that didn't destroy the global financial services juggernaut's strong network. In fact, several went on to make quite a splash in the industry. Here's a look at some key players then and what they're up to now:

1) Steven Kantor

Then: MD in charge of all leverage finance

Now: Co-Founder of CCRE and CEO of S2K Partners

Son of Edwin Kantor, he apparently rides around Manhattan in a customized, chauffeured Mercedes Sprinter with a built-in office, massage chairs and two big-screen TVs. Steve had a meteoric rise at Credit Suisse where he was in charge of real estate finance and securitization and eventually running global real estate investment banking. In 2006 he was put in charge of all leverage finance. After leaving Credit Suisse, he hopped on board Cantor Fitzgerald, where he became one of three co-founders of Cantor Commercial Real Estate (CCRE). Now inactive at CCRE, he and his father have their own company, S2K Partners, a private equity firm that invests in media, entertainment and leisure. He notably joined forces with American idol creator Simon Fuller to bid on the $400M-plus Standard Hotel last year.

Click here to see the rest.

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Airbnb Reportedly Hits $20B Valuation

This has already been a busy year for the real estate and sharing economy startup Airbnb. Between launching a new "hotel tax" earlier this year, and the first Airbnb-related tenant eviction in a New York rent-stabilized apartment, the company has made constant headlines. Some have even called Airbnb the No. 1 threat to the hotel industry.

Continue reading here.


Do You Do Retail Business
in the Washington, DC area?

Headed to ICSC's annual expo in Las Vegas this spring? If so, we hope you'll join our party for the Metro Washington DC region at the Wynn Hotel's incomparable Tryst Nightclub from 5:30 to 8:00 PM on May 18.

We're honored to announce that our supporting firms include these top retail players of the DC region:

Founding Partners
Acadia Realty Trust
ASB Real Estate Investments
Calkain Companies
Combined Properties
Cushman & Wakefield
Douglas Development
Federal Realty Investment Trust
JBGR Retail
McCaffery Interests
Miller Walker Retail Real Estate
Peterson Companies
Potomac Development
Roadside Development
Vornado/Charles E. Smith
Washington REIT (formerly WRIT)

Presenting Sponsors
Papadopoulos Properties

Founding Sponsors
Continental Title Group
Divaris Real Estate
Goulston & Storrs
Renaud Consulting
Rosenthal Properties
Shulman Rogers

More information? Please check out our event page, or contact

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