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  • Posted March 17, 2016

With Three High-Rises, Pantzer Properties Focusing Increased Attention On Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA—Score another point for New York developers who have made the trek down the New Jersey Turnpike to put stakes in the ground in the City of Brotherly Love.

New York-based Pantzer Properties has acquired Executive House on City Line Avenue in Philadelphia, PA, which it is renaming The Point at City Line. The 20 story class B+ high-rise property consists of 302 units and 344 parking spaces across two acres. The Point at City Line is Pantzer’s third high-rise acquisition in Philadelphia since 2014. The sale price was not disclosed. The seller was an affiliate of Berkshire Group, and Cushman & Wakefield brokered the transaction. Hyland Levin represented Pantzer Properties in the purchase.

“We’ve been in and around the Philadelphia market since the early 1970s,” company co-president Jason Pantzer tells GlobeSt.com exclusively. “We’ve owned a bunch of property, we had owned quite a bit in southern New Jersey and northern Wilmington as well.”

The company sold some of those properties and “thinned out our portfolio, but kept a presence” in the market, Pantzer explains.

“We saw an opportunity in 2014 to buy a really wonderful location we now call The Point at Rittenhouse Row, which is on 16th and Sansom Streets,” he says. “That we bought from AvalonBay, and so we were very much interested in buying that deal. It was a deal in a superb location and it had a master lease with Oakwood. It was the result of a merger, so we saw some opportunities.”

Pantzer has renovated the lobby and common area hallways of the former Oakwood property and added a fitness center on the second floor, he says. Retail space has also been leased. The building is now fully occupied. At the same time, in an off-market transaction, Pantzer bought the next-door property, The Sansom, a 104-unit property.

“We were able to take an 84-unit property and a 104-unit property and create synergy with 25,000 feet of retail right there,” Pantzer says.

Pantzer believes it can achieve economies of scale operating the three properties, while keeping its focus on well-located high-rise properties, accessible to transit and highways, with good retail in urban in-fill locations, he says.

“We want to continue to add to that portfolio,” he says. “It’s been a methodical approach, but we wanted to jump in with terrific locations and properties that have significant upside.”

Philadelphia is the fifth largest MSA in the country, Pantzer points out.

“Sometimes it tends to not get the attention that it should, because its neighbors to the north and south are New York and Washington, DC, so it’s not as big as those two, but it certainly has significant infrastructure, far beyond education and medical,” he says. “We feel that in the past few years, there has been institutional interest in investing in Philadelphia, people have really seen the demographic growth and the potential. It’s got wonderful economic engines and we think as far as an urban core—a place to live downtown—as well as a place to live in the suburbs, it works for both, and that’s unusual for a city to work for both.”

Correction, 3/17/2016: Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the second high-rise Pantzer acquired in Philadelphia as The Phantom. It is actually called The Sansom.

Steve Lubetkin
Steve Lubetkin is the New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. His video work for GlobeSt.com has been honored by the Garden State Journalists Association. He has produced audio podcasts on CRE topics for the NAR Commercial Division and the CCIM Institute. Steve also reports on-camera and covers conferences for NJSpotlight.com, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC. Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996. He is a vice president of the Voice management board. Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the new book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional. You can email Steve at steve@statebroadcastnews.com.

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