New York, New York
In early 2001, an entrepreneurial real estate family aproached Pitcairn Properties with an intriguing proposal: Would we, this family wondered, be interested in joining them in the development of a parcel of land located adjacent to the Empire State building? The idea was to create a multi-family residential high-rise within Manhattan’s garment district. The challenge was to make sure that the project delivered in every respect from quality of design and construction to value generation.
Ground was broken for the 168- unit 36 story high-rise project on June 3, 2002. The project was structured so that it would receive a 22-year abatement of real estate taxes, 10 years of direct tax credits, an exemption from New York City’s 2.75% mortgage recording tax, and low-interest mortgage financing via bonds issued by the New York State Housing Finance Agency. The project benefited significantly from these tax credits which enhanced net cash flow from the property.
By the fall of 2003, The Magellan had opened to great acclaim, subsequently achieving 100% lease-up within six months.
Bell Atlantic Tower
The Bell Atlantic Tower project called for the construction of a 55-story, 1,370,000-square-foot tower at 1717 Arch Street – an enormous undertaking by any standard. Begun in 1988 and completed in 1991, the project added an important new feature to the Philadelphia skyline and provided new corporate homes for Bell Atlantic and the law firm of Dechert Price & Rhoads, among others. A landmark still to this day, the iconic structure is known for its breath taking beauty and quality construction.
At 1500 Chestnut Street, Pitcairn engineered a $12 million renovation of the former mid-market apartment building located near Philadelphia’s City Hall – converting the circa-1922 20-story building into one of the most successful luxury residential condominium projects in the city. Featuring an elegant lobby and fitness center, newly finished hallways and common spaces, operable floor-to-ceiling windows in every unit, completely renovated living spaces, and 11 ultra-luxury penthouses. The 160-unit building was quickly sold out despite the economic downturn at the time.
The Ellington has won acclaim within the local real estate community, earning five William Penn Awards of Excellence by the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia for 2006, including Best Condominium Home of the Year under $500,000, Best Conversion of the Year under $500,000, and Best Adaptive Reuse of the Year.
201 Old Country Road
Melville, Long Island, New York
This class “A” office building, located in Suffolk County, New York, was a vacant single-tenant building that had been neglected when Pitcairn Properties acquired it in 1999. The 217,000 square-foot building with first-class finishes was located in a prime Long Island submarket. Pitcairn Properties saw potential and believed this asset could be converted into a multi-tenant building with amenities that would attract a loyal tenant base and elevate the building’s value over time.
Pitcairn Properties executed on this vision by commissioning architects, engineers, and a construction team to revamp the building with a new infrastructure, fiber optic communication cable, a brand-new cafeteria and gym, and new landscape treatments, while hiring brokers to begin to lease the space even before the acquisition deal had formally closed. The building was sold in 2006 at an occupancy above 95%,and achieving peak of market pricing and providing superior returns to our investors.
Chesterbrook and Glenhardie Corporate Center
Located in the heart of the Route 202 office corridor in Wayne, PA, the Chesterbrook and Glenhardie office complex has long had a superior brand image in the Philadelphia MSA and northeast region due to its asset quality, prime location, and innovative development. With the purchase of this vast 1.2 million square foot complex in 2006, Pitcairn took an aggressive approach to stabilizing the portfolio and refining the management model. Tenant occupancy soon grew from 82% to 95%, with more than 200,000 square feet of positive leasing absorption.Through management restructuring, Pitcairn acheived an annual savings of $300,000. Plans were also made for a new development project that would add 60,000 square feet of office space to the complex. At Chesterbrook and Glenhardie, Pitcairn has created a stable, core, low-risk asset with an anticipated hold period of 10 years.
Bucks County, PA
Keystone Park is a 400-acre business complex located at the interchange of Route 413 and Interstate 95 within minutes of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Pitcairn Properties developed 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial facilities on 170 acres of the park under a management contract with The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company. Subsequently, it acquired the remaining 175 acres of ground and has developed four light industrial buildings totaling 275,000 square feet for its own portfolio.
Pitcairn Properties partnerships included specialized joint venture projects with Alco Standard encompassing ground up development in New Jersey, Indiana, Georgia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, Illinois and Nevada; as well as build-to-suits for Unisource Worldwide (a wholly owned subsidiary of Alco Standard) in Florida and Wisconsin.
Spring Lake Heights, NJ
Pitcairn aquired the management contract for Ocean Aire Apartments, an 82 unit residential property in Spring Lake Heights, NJ in October 2008. Pitcairn embarked on a significant undertaking to reposition the property in the market. Through the rebranding process the property was renamed Ocean Aire, and went through phases of significant property upgrades.
Pitcairn identified substantial maintenance and capital needs, as well as upgraded the properties exterior appearance which dramactically impacted the properties curb appeal. Projects completed included new exterior property lighting, redesigned signage, and new iron railings. In addition, the pool area was extensively rehabbed to enhance the amenity package at the property.
Remarkably, Pitcairn was able to tackle a large delinquency problem at the property while not just maintaining, but significantly increasing occupancy. Occupancy had increased from 80% to 99% in the time since Pitcairn took over management. Pitcairn also implemented a unit renovation program, taking dated units and updating appliances, lighting, windows, and doors in order to realign the units with the market. Renovations had been well received by the market, and a decrease in inventory allowed for rental increases on all units. Pitcairn’s complete rebranding of the property also included a newly launched internet marketing campaign. A significant increase in traffic stemmed from the new name, logo, and marketing collateral material.
In less than one year, Pitcairn managed to stabilize property occupancy while enhancing the quality of apartment exteriors, interiors, and amenities for current and future residents and enhancing value for ownership.
Regency on Elm
Pitcairn aquired the management contract for Regency on Elm, a 79-unit residential property located in downtown Morristown, NJ in October 2008 and immediately began a complete repositioning of the property in the market. Through the rebranding process the property was renamed Regency on Elm, and went through phases of significant property upgrades.
Pitcairn identified and began extensive work to address the property’s significant deferred maintenance issues and capital needs. Projects included the installation of a new state of the art HVAC system, elevator replacement, as well as a complete renovation of the lobby and hallways. In addition, Pitcairn completed a comprehensive unit renovation project, updating appliances, lighting, windows, doors, and balconies in order to make units the best in class in the market. Renovated units were in high demand and are achieving 30% higher rents.
Pitcairn undertook a complete re-branding of the property, including new name, logo, and marketing collateral. With the re-branding complete, Pitcairn launched a new advertising campaign utilizing the latest internet-based technology. As a result, traffic to the property increased significantly. This campaign utilized several marketing channels to effectively showcase the property, more than doubling weekly traffic to the property since taking over management.
Pitcairn’s customer service orientation has also proven to satisfy existing tenants not just with renovations, but also with an online work order system to more efficiently meet their needs. In less than a year, Pitcairn began to recognize and demonstrate the exciting potential at Regency on Elm.
Glenview Corporate Center
Lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania
In 1989, Pitcairn entered into a syndicated fifty-fifty partnership with First Westinghouse Equities Corporation (FWEC) to acquire a prominently located 78-acre tract in Lower Bucks County. Acquired for $7.5 million (with an additional $2.5 million for closing, infrastructure, and site improvement), that tract would ultimately become the Glenview Corporate Center.
As the project’s developer, Pitcairn oversaw all entitlements and the early construction of three buildings totaling approximately 215,500 square feet. In 1990, 3.52 acres were sold to State Farm Mutual Insurance Company, and three years later, a 60-year ground lease was signed with Outback Steak House; construction of a new 25,000 square-foot building began soon thereafter.
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