This Week's Philadelphia Deal Sheet
As cell and gene therapy dominate the conversation around life sciences real estate in the Philadelphia area, one of the biggest groundbreakings in years for the sector is in traditional pharmaceuticals.
WuXi STA, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based WuXi AppTec, held a ceremonial groundbreaking on Tuesday for the first phase of a 190-acre manufacturing campus in Middletown, Delaware. The commercial research, development and manufacturing organization's first facility at the site, which the Philadelphia Business Journal reports will be 600K SF, will produce oral, solid and injectable medicines for clinical and commercial purposes, as well as packaging materials for said medicines.
The facility is expected to begin operations in 2025 and employ 500 full-time employees by 2026. At full build-out, the New Castle County complex could total 1.74M SF, which would increase the company's presence in the Philly region by several multiples. WuXi Apptec operates a multibuilding facility for the contract manufacturing of biologic therapies in the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
Bart Blatstein's Tower Investments has purchased the site of Piers 38 and 40 from the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority for $18M, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. Though Blatstein has not set a plan for what to do with the site, he already holds several large properties in the area, a stretch along the Delaware River in South Philly with several big-box and strip retail centers. Two decades ago, Blatstein used a similar strategy to amass and then develop a raft of properties in Northern Liberties, catalyzing its transformation from post-industrial blight to million-dollar homes.
PhilaPort held a sealed bidding process led by Binswanger to dispose of the sites in October, and while it didn't set any use restrictions on the 12 acres, an application to add the two 180K SF warehouse buildings to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places is still pending.
A joint venture of the Keith Corp. and the Kiel Group has sold the 310K SF distribution center it developed this year for $54.5M to an undisclosed buyer. The building, with 36-foot clearance height, 40 loading docks and 81 trailer stalls, is leased to online apparel retailer Revolve Group and disposable container company Arcadian Crossing Consumer Products. A JLL Capital Markets team of John Plower, Ryan Cottone, Jeff Lockard and Ryan Barros represented the JV in the transaction.
A 26K SF commercial building that helped kick off a revival of downtown West Chester has been sold to Boston-based investor Jon Barry, who grew up in the town, for $8.25M, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. An affiliate of local developer and investor Pearl Properties sold the fully leased property, which has housed a location of regional chain Iron Hill Brewery since the 1990s.
Local commercial brokerage MPN Realty has elevated Nadia Bilynsky to the role of managing director, where she will lead the company's retail leasing division. Bilynsky has been with MPN since 2011. In the brief time she has held her new role, she has landed leasing assignments at commercial properties including the retail portion of life sciences development 3.0 University Place.