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Brandywine Buys Share of $383M IRS-Leased Office Building In UCity It Sold In 2015

The office building at 2970 Market St. in Philadelphia, which sits between 30th Street Station and the FMC Tower, is leased to the IRS until 2023.

Brandywine Realty Trust has bought back into an office building that it sold over six years ago.

A joint venture of Brandywine and two unnamed institutional investors acquired the 863K SF property at 2970 Market St. in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia for $383M, Brandywine announced in its first-quarter earnings report. The company paid $28.6M for a 20% equity interest and will be responsible for the property's management and construction management.

The JV secured a $257M mortgage to finance the transaction, making for a debt-to-value ratio of around 67%, Brandywine announced. One of the two unnamed investment partners could be MSD Partners, the investment office primarily backed by the personal wealth of Dell Corp. founder Michael Dell, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports

The building at 2970 Market, which stylistically mirrors the neighboring 30th Street Station, is fully leased to the IRS through 2030, a deal that Brandywine sealed with the General Services Administration after acquiring the vacant former U.S. Post Office building for $28M in 2007 and completing a $252M renovation, PBJ reports.

Brandywine sold the building to Korea Investment Management Co. in 2015 for $354M, which was the highest price ever paid for an office building in Philadelphia's history until Silverstein Properties' $452M acquisition of 1735 Market St. in 2019. The new sale price of $383M for 2970 Market now slots in at second place, ahead of its 2015 sale and the 2017 sale of the Centre Square complex for $328M.

Since the sale of 1735 Market, the pandemic's effect on office occupancy and the explosion of Philadelphia's life sciences market has coincided with an incredibly quiet two years in the city's office investment market. As it is, 2970 Market is so close to where Spark Therapeutics is planning a $500M biomanufacturing facility and where Brandywine's Schuylkill Yards megaproject is rising that it could be an appealing potential target for life sciences redevelopment, either after the IRS' lease expires or if the GSA seeks to vacate the building early.