After years of delay and much talk, the Philadelphia Land Bank finally opened for business on Dec. 9, 2015 with the electronic conveyance by the city of 150 properties previously owned by the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. The land bank was originally proposed in 2013 as a means of simplifying the process of transferring vacant tax forfeit property to developers for commercial real estate development.
This blog has previously written about the conflicts that surround the sale or proposed demolition of Philadelphia's old church buildings. Usually, the parties in conflict are the congregation that wants to reap profit by selling the building for a lucrative development as commercial real estate and neighbors who want to preserve the character of the neighborhood. A new type of conflict is arising, this time involving non-profit entities who have rented all or part of older churches as a means of saving on operating costs.
Residents of Philadelphia may have heard a new term being thrown around with regards to commercial real estate investments: crowdfunding. Crowdfunding utilizes the Internet to allow a person to raise and pool capital from a number of small investors. These small investors would then have an interest in the real estate enterprise to which they contributed. However, those interested in starting a crowdfunding venture should keep three crucial points in mind.
Many property owners in Pennsylvania are aware that municipalities have the power to file a lien against property for the amount of unpaid real estate taxes. Property owners, however, are not always aware that municipalities also have the right to file liens for unpaid water and gas charges and that these liens take priority over all other liens, except tax liens. The existence of such a lien can complicate the process of selling a parcel that is subject to a municipal lien.
Most people understand that they must obtain a building permit to begin construction of a commercial building and that they must obtain a certificate of occupancy before the building can be put to its intended use. The owner of a parcel of commercial real estate in North Philadelphia may be about to learn the consequences of ignoring these requirements.
A recently announced hotel project for an important intersection in the northeast neighborhood of Philadelphia known as "Fishtown" provides a useful case study of how a proposed development of commercial real estate must satisfy the local planning authority and the project's neighbors.
Commercial real estate transactions, including sales and purchases, are often strategically important to a company or business. Philadelphia has become a strategic location for investors from New York, as it continues to lure investors with commercial real estate opportunities. Recently brokered was the sale and financing of a 19-story office and retail building in Philadelphia. The property provides 253,732 square feet of office space and 22,723 square feet of retail space.
When developers and business owners are looking into buying a new property, it's often a very exciting time. During property acquisition, however, these developers and business owners must take care to follow all applicable laws and protocols when buying or selling a property. The owners of one Pennsylvania shopping center have recently become familiar with the process.
Commercial real estate is big business. Whether focusing on property acquisition, development or commercial leases, the potential for financial reward and return on investment is significant. However, in order to ensure that a potential deal converts into a successful investment, buyers, developers and sellers need to have a firm understanding of the market and the process of these complex transactions involving commercial real estate. Currently, areas surrounding Philadelphia are the site of what could be described as a commercial real estate boom.
Transactions and business projects involving commercial real estate can be complex because of the many different factors and players involved. In many cases, a successful transaction involves not just negotiating an agreeable deal between a buyer and a seller, but also ensuring that the project-as envisioned by the prospective owner-can go forward as planned. Whether someone is looking to buy an existing property or build a new property, it is critical to look at the zoning laws and what they will allow.