After major capital improvement upgrades at One Washington Square in Philadelphia, Rubenstein Partners is seeing some leasing momentum. The firm has signed three new leases totaling 36,738 sf at the 850,000 sf Class A property located in the heart of the historic section of Center City. The leases include:
- A 20,443 rsf relocation, expansion and extension for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, the largest realtor in the Tri-State Area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. This transaction represents a long-term commitment by the company to remain and grow at One Washington Square.
- A 12,605 rsf new lease for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Inc., a non-profit group that focuses on free speech and other individual rights at America’s colleges and universities.
- A 3,690 rsf new lease for engineering firm AKRF, Inc., representing an expansion for the New York City based company into Philadelphia.
In November 2013, affiliates of Rubenstein acquired the property via a purchase of the note from the special servicer. The strategy was to initiate a foreclosure proceeding, while simultaneously pursuing a deed-in-lieu transaction which ultimately occurred much earlier than expected. The business plan was to implement a significant capital plan and to commence a rebranding and leasing campaign for this 75% leased building. The initial phases of the capital plan, focused on the property’s main lobbies, exterior, and elevators.
One Washington Square overlooks Independence Mall and is steps away from Independence Hall, Federal Courthouses, high-end housing, hotels, restaurants, and historic and cultural sites. It also is located on a main east-to-west artery and is close to public transit. Floor plates range from 14,000 rsf to 39,000 rsf.
“It’s gratifying to see that our vision to enhance One Washington Square and reintroduce the property to the Philadelphia market is paying off,” said Craig Zolot of Rubenstein Partners. “These three new transactions, along with the current high level of leasing interest in the building, confirm the market’s recognition of the property’s desirability and our completed capital upgrades – as well as the increasing vibrancy of the Independence Mall submarket. We believe there is major momentum in this area and we are confident that One Washington Square will be able to capitalize on it.”
Rubenstein Partners was represented by Jack Soloff, Jim Mullarkey and Les Haggett of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in the transactions. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach was represented by Jim Wilson of the Mahoney Realty Group; The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education was represented by Neil Brazitis and Sid Smith of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; and AKRF was represented by Cindy Weiner with The Flynn Company.