Brandywine Realty Trust, Radnor, says it will redevelop 1900 Market Street, which houses Nasdaq's Philadelphia Stock Exchange operations and investment and law firm offices, "as a Class A office building."
Brandywine says it is committed to offices at 1900. "The redevelopment program will commence in early 2013 and be completed by 2015," Brandywine said in a statement today.
Brandywine paid $34.8 million to buy the 457,000 sq ft building in 2011. Last summer its lead tenant, the politically connected law firm Cozen O'Connor, announced plans to vacate 200,000 sq ft. But, given the sale price of $76 sq ft, "the building's existing tenant base, current below-market leases and purchase price will provide an attractive yield," the landlord predicts.
Given the lack of big office tenants in Philadelphia over the last 20 years -- a lack echoed by GlaxoSmithKline's move today from the last of its former 800,000 sq ft complex near 16th and Vine into 200,000 sq ft down at the old Navy Yard -- Cozen's departure fed speculation that 1900 Market, with an open atrium at its center and Nasdaq's remaining local offices in the basement, could be turned into high-end apartments and expanded, echoing developer Ron Caplan's plans for the vacant nearby AAA building, or the Brandywine-Independence Blue Cross plan for the vacant lot at 1919 Market.
But Brandywine and other landlords have also said the "Class A" offices nearby, including One Liberty Place, the former Verizon and Mellon towers, and the Comcast building, are successfully attracting tenants.
Separately, Brandywine says it has agreed to sell Princeton Pike Corporate Center, an eight-building/800,000 sq ft office center in Lawrenceville, NJ, to an unnamed buyer for $121 million, or $151/sq ft, to close within 30 days.