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Goldenberg Group Set To Pay King's Ransom For Market East Parking Lot

The parking lot at Eighth and Chestnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia

Goldenberg Group is close to putting together a site for potential Class-A development in Market East.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority has an agreement in place to sell the parking lot at 801-817 Chestnut St. to Goldenberg Group pending approval by its board of directors, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. Goldenberg Group CEO Ken Goldenberg is on the board of Market East Associates, a joint owner of the lot with PPA, which will also sell its stake to Goldenberg.

The lot is set to sell for $24.2M, or over $800/SF, about 10 times what vacant land or parking lots garner on average in the area, the PBJ reports. The high price, combined with Goldenberg Group's ownership of the neighboring lot at 800 Market St., only pencils out if a large and/or trophy class building is in the Blue Bell-based company's plans, Drexel University land expert Kevin Gillen told the PBJ.

Goldenberg Group has secured a zoning variance for the lot at 800 Market St. that lasts for another three years, and the structure of the sale, which allows for closing to take place around that time, aligns with the company's presumed strategy to firm up development plans by 2021.

The northernmost portion of Goldenberg Group's parcel sits across the street from the nearly completed Fashion District Philadelphia retail development. Owner PREIT recently sold the office condo above the building to New York-based Thor Equities in a transaction that also values the Market East submarket quite highly.