There is much we can learn by analyzing a market’s largest commercial real estate sales in a given year. Looking at each the industrial, retail, and office sectors, it’s interesting to see the varying demand for size, price and class from sector-to-sector. This tells us a lot of about the direction of economic growth for a region; and for a real estate investor, it also showcases where the best investment opportunities for the future may lie.
Here is a look at the largest commercial real estate sales that took place in Central Pennsylvania in 2019, grouped by sector and sorted by highest sell price.
- 400-500 S. Muddy Creek Road – Albertsons Distribution Center (Lancaster County)
U.S. Realty Advisors purchased the Albertsons distribution facility for $117,050,000, or approximately $76 per foot for the 1,539,407-square-foot property on January 2, 2019. The subject Albertsons Industrial portfolio is comprised of a dry bulk/cold storage facilities in Denver, PA and in Melrose, IL. The sole tenant of the portfolio is Albertsons and they signed a 20-year lease with nine five-year extension options (and a one-year extension option) as part of the sale-leaseback transaction. Albertsons is under an Absolute Net lease paying $5/sf in base rent. Their lease requires that the tenant is responsible for operating expenses, real estate taxes, utilities, repairs, maintenance and capital expenditures, in addition to its obligation to pay base rent.
- 221 S. 10th Street – (Cumberland County)
This 885,802 SF, class B industrial warehouse sold on September 26, 2019 to Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust for $84.8 million, or $96 per square foot. The sale is part of an industrial portfolio (see #4 below). At a total price of $18.7 billion, this sale of 179 million square feet of urban, infill logistics assets constitute the largest private real estate transaction in history. The portfolio includes high-quality logistics assets across 36 major U.S. markets that GLP aggregated over the past four years.
- 2601 River Road – Turkey Hill (Lancaster County)
W.P. Carey purchased the Turkey Hill food production and distribution facility for $70 million, or approximately $170 per foot for the 412,248-square-foot property on June 27, 2019. Built in 1980, Turkey Hill leased back the property for 25 years; the lease is triple net, with annual escalations. The buyer reported a weighted average cap rate of 7.1% for their acquisitions for the quarter, which totaled approximately $123.5 million, indicating this was probably priced in the 6s as the largest acquisition. The site was described as mission critical for the tenant, which has invested in many additions and improvements. It was noted that the site is powered through clean energy sources including wind turbines and hydroelectric energy. Turkey Hill had been a division of Kroger, but was sold earlier in the year to Peak Rock Capital.
- 21 Roadway Drive – (Cumberland County)
On September 26, 2019, Global Logistics Properties Ltd sold the class B industrial facility for $53.5 million, or $96 per square foot. The buyer was Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust. The 558,700 square-foot industrial facility was built on 36.16-acre site with an 8-acre pad site available to be developed into a 150,000 SF facility. The sale is comprised of an industrial portfolio totaling 64 million SF that Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust acquired located throughout the U.S. The sales price was reported at $5.3 billion. The portfolio was 95% leased at the time of the sale. The sale is part of a larger transaction in which Blackstone Real Estate Partners fund acquired 115 million SF for $13.4 billion; therefore, the overall sales price was reported at $18.7 billion for 179 million SF among two translations.
- 950 Walnut Bottom Road – Stonehedge Square Shopping Center (Cumberland County)
On November 25, 2019, this 88,657 square foot Giant anchored grocery center was sold for $30.7 million, or $346 per square foot to RW Partners, Inc.
- 2547 Brindle Drive – Shoppes At Susquehanna Marketplace (Dauphin County)
On April 1, 2019, The Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace in Harrisburg, PA were sold to an individual investor for $33.5 million, or $305 per square foot. The 110,000-square-foot shopping center was completed in 2004 and about 98% occupied by 25 tenants at the time of the sale. It was previously owned by a joint venture between Clarion Partners and Bayer Properties. The property was initially listed in January 2019 with an asking price of $38.17 million.
- 235-295 Cumberland Parkway – Parkway Plaza Shopping Center (Cumberland County)
On November 25, 2019, this 82,599 square foot Giant anchored grocery center was sold for $22.3 million or $270 per square foot. Parkway Plaza and Stonehedge Square (see #1) were part of a portfolio of Giant supermarket-anchored shopping centers in mid-to eastern Pennsylvania sold to RW Partners, Inc. for $127,000,000. The Giant grocery stores make up approximately 75% of this portfolio’s gross leasable area generate 80% of the portfolio’s revenue.
- 903-905 Loucks Road – Two Guys Commons (York County)
On August 19, 2019, Urban Edge Properties sold Two Guys Commons to Vastgood Properties, LLC for $13.15 million, or about $119 per square foot. At the time of the sale, the 110,980-square-foot retail property was fully leased to five tenants which included Crunch Fitness, Aldi, Ashley Furniture HomeStore, Tractor Supply, and Old Country Buffet. Based on in-place NOI, the transaction yielded a cap rate of about 7.5%.
- 100 Crystal A Drive – The Hershey Company (Dauphin County)
The three class B office buildings totaling 239,089 SF were sold on December 2, 2019 to the Penn State Medical Group for $28,445,835. Built in 1991, the buildings were sold by The Hershey Company for $118.98 per square foot. The seller was motivated to sell the property as they moved their operation into their corporate headquarters. The buildings will serve as Penn State Health headquarters and allow for moving some personnel from the Hershey Medical Center campus, creating space there to allow for expanded clinical services. Penn State Health leased office space in 2017 at that time The Hershey Company gave option purchase rights to the building. Penn State Health exercised their option to purchase the building.
- 425 N. 21st Street – Plaza 21 (Cumberland County)
This 62,304 SF class B Office Building sold on September 16, 2019 to J & R Investments, Inc. for $9,300,000. Built in 1970 and renovated in 2009, this building was sold by Select Capital Commercial Properties for $149.27 per square foot. The building is leased to primarily to Geisinger System Services.
- 2400 Thea Drive – Synertech Building (Dauphin County)
On December 2nd, 2019, Istar Harrisburg LP sold the building in Harrisburg PA, to Real Capital Solutions, Inc for $9,100,000 or approximately $43.94 per square foot. The subject property is a 207,115, four-story class B office building located at 2400 Thea Dr in Harrisburg, PA 17110. The building sits on a 10.62-acre lot. It was constructed in 1999.
- 305 N. Front Street – (Dauphin County)
On July 17, 2019, this 120,000 SF office property was sold by Harrisburg Riverfront Development to Select Capital Commercial Properties for $7,950,000 or $65 per square foot. Built in 1989, this property sits on 1.2 acres
In Central Pennsylvania and across the nation, it’s fair to say that the commercial real estate market delivered its fair share of ups and downs. Now that we’ve taken a closer look at the largest industrial, retail and office real estate sales of 2019, there are a few interesting points worth noting in each sector.
Industrial – Industrial real estate continues to lead all other real estate sectors with $1.2 billion in sales volume in 2019. The average price was $56.80 per square-foot, with the average property selling for $7.15 million.
Retail – A total of $200 million was invested in Central PA’s retail real estate market in 2019, a decrease from 2018. The average sale price was $142 per square foot.
Office – Annual volume levels for Central PA’s office real estate market stayed consistent with 2018 with $270 million in total sales. The average office property sold for $1.16 million. The average sales price was $102 per square foot.
What do you feel is the most important or interesting trend to emerge from the largest commercial real estate sales to take place in Central Pennsylvania in 2019? Share your thoughts by commenting below.