Saturday, November 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Business news in brief

Keystone Property Group, best known as an investor in bargain-priced aging office buildings in Philadelphia and its suburbs, has unveiled a new plan for One Conshohocken. Keystone, run by Bill Glazer, disclosed a redevelopment scheme that includes a public plaza, a 300,000-square-foot office building, a 200-room hotel, and shops and restaurant space, including renovation of a 136-year-old firehouse as a bar. One Conshohocken is also to include 300 free parking spaces. The project is close to Conshohocken´s SEPTA station and the Schuylkill Expressway. The borough and the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority selected Keystone to develop the site last year.
Keystone Property Group, best known as an investor in bargain-priced aging office buildings in Philadelphia and its suburbs, has unveiled a new plan for One Conshohocken. Keystone, run by Bill Glazer, disclosed a redevelopment scheme that includes a public plaza, a 300,000-square-foot office building, a 200-room hotel, and shops and restaurant space, including renovation of a 136-year-old firehouse as a bar. One Conshohocken is also to include 300 free parking spaces. The project is close to Conshohocken's SEPTA station and the Schuylkill Expressway. The borough and the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority selected Keystone to develop the site last year.

In the Region

Hospitals hit by cyber attack

Community Health Systems Inc., which operates 206 hospitals, including five in the Philadelphia region, said its computer systems were subject to a cyber attack in April and June. The stolen information was nonmedical patient identification data for about 4.5 million people who had contact with physicians affiliated with Community Health, which is based in Franklin, Tenn., the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said it had confirmed that the data did not include patient credit card, medical, or clinical information, but did include patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers, and Social Security numbers, Community Health said. In this region, it owns Brandywine, Chestnut Hill, Jennersville Regional, Phoenixville, and Pottstown Memorial Hospitals. - Harold Brubaker

Sierra Club against power lines

The New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club said it will oppose a PPL Corp. proposal to build a 725-mile system of electric transmission lines to deliver power from the Marcellus Shale region to the Eastern Seaboard. Jeff Tittel, the head of the Sierra Club's New Jersey chapter, said his group would challenge the existing business model for utilities, which often rely on far-off plants to send power into populated areas. The $4 billion to $6 billion PPL project is designed to take electricity generated near Pennsylvania's booming shale gas region and deliver it to New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. - AP

Nursing home firms to merge

Genesis HealthCare, a major Kennett Square nursing-home operator owned by private investors, said Monday it will merge with publicly traded Skilled Healthcare Group Inc., of Foothill Ranch, Calif., and start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The value of the all-stock deal was not disclosed. The combined company, which will operate under the Genesis name and be based in Kennett Square, will operate 449 nursing homes and 55 assisted-living facilities. Genesis' chief executive, George Hager, will retain that position in the combined company. Current Skilled Healthcare shareholders will own 25.75 percent of the new company, which had $5.5 billion in revenue for the 12 months ended June 30. The remainder will be owned by Genesis shareholders. The deal is expected to close early next year. - Harold Brubaker

Pa., N.J. jobless rates down

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in July, down from 7.5 percent a year ago, the U.S. Labor Department reported. Payrolls grew by 54,100 jobs to nearly 5.8 million. The number of unemployed people fell to 360,700 from 486,100 a year ago, but has grown by 3,500 since June. New Jersey's rate dropped to 6.5 percent in July from 8.3 percent a year ago, with the number of unemployed declining to 293,000 in July from 375,000 a year ago. Payrolls expanded to just over 3.95 million jobs in July from just under 3.94 million a year ago. The statistics do not reflect pending job losses from the closing Atlantic City casinos. - Jane M. Von Bergen

Shanghai office for law firm

Center City's Duane Morris law firm said Monday that it had opened a new office in Shanghai following approval by the Chinese government. The office is a joint venture between Duane Morris and Singapore based- Selvam L.L.C. and will go under the name Duane Morris & Selvam L.L.P. The firms previously collaborated on the opening of offices in Singapore and Myanmar. Duane Morris said the Shanghai office has five lawyers and will focus on, among other things, "outbound" investment by Chinese clients in businesses abroad. - Chris Mondics

Lannett up on expectations

Shares of Lannett Co., the Philadelphia generic drugmaker, rose 6.6 percent, or $2.50, to close at $40.40 after the company said it expected fiscal 2014 financial results to "far exceed" prior-year numbers. The company reports earnings Aug. 27. Full-year sales will be about $274 million, compared with $151.1 million in fiscal 2013, Lannett said. - Reid Kanaley

Pa. table-game revenue rises

Gamblers lost $61.11 million playing poker, craps, and other table games at Pennsylvania's 12 casinos in July, up 1.9 percent from $59.95 million a year ago, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported. Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem posted an increase of $1.5 million, or 11.5 percent, from 200 tables. Locally, Parx Casino and Harrah's Philadelphia recorded declines in revenue, while SugarHouse and Valley Forge posted gains. Combined, the four Philadelphia-area casinos won $23.6 million from gamblers in July, about the same as they did a year ago. - Harold Brubaker

Elsewhere

Homebuilder confidence up

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose this month to 55, up two points from a revised reading of 53 in July. The latest reading is the third monthly increase in a row. - AP

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