Westinghouse seeks new Philly-area HQ

Westinghouse Lighting is planning to sell its 230,000-square-foot world headquarters in Northeast Philadelphia, and find a new home, preferably nearby.

"It most likely will be smaller," says Kathleen Katz, senior director of marketing at Westhinghouse. The company moves its imported lightbulb inventory faster, ships goods pre-packaged, and doesn't need all the warehouse and product-finishing space anymore.

It would be convenient to stay in Philadelphia, but "we can walk into Bucks County," so that and other nearby locations are also possible, Katz told me. Before finding a enw location, "we want to find out the market for selling the existing building," constructed by the former William F. Lotz & Co., builder to three generations of Philadelphia factory owners when the city was an industrial center.

Frank Roddy, president of broker Roddy Inc., which represents Westinghouse, says he hopes to sell the building for around $40 a square foot, which is around what new facilities are selling for in Pennsylvania's import-storage warehouse corridors along I-81 and I-78. It would cost $75/sq ft to replace the facility, he figures. "We think it's probably the premier piece of industrial real estate available in Philadelphia," Roddy added. But "it is a large facility" and such deals "don't happen overnight."