ULI Philadelphia Blog

Re-Cap: Case Study of a Deal: SoNo

On Thursday, April 10th, ULI Young Leaders hosted Case Study of a Deal. This educational event was the second in a three-part series  This session focused on the construction / leasing phase of SoNo and speakers included:

  • Matt Handel, Vice President of Acquisitions and Leasing, Alliance Partners
  • Trevor Pritchett, COO, Yards Brewery and Taproom (Yards)
  • Katie Rivard, Regional Real Estate Director, Target
  • Max Ryan, Director of Development, Alliance Partners

The SoNo Deal focuses on the  acquisition  and leasing of the former Destination Maternity headquarters and warehouse. Although, the property cuts the outlook of the typical industrial building and located in an industrial park, it enjoys the advantage of proximity to the Philadelphia center city, easy accessibility from a highway network (I-697) and the added flexibility of adapting to alternative uses.  The project now has three tenants: Yards, Target and the City of Philadelphia Archives.

Yards Brewing was looking for a space to complement their strategy of marketing and retailing their products in a meaningful way. This property allowed for the possibility of a significant retail presence, a full-service restaurant, private event place sitting over 500. Trevor Pritchett explained , “it was difficult to find a space that would allow you to be a profitable manufacturer in a location that would allow you retail in a meaningful way.” 

The City of Philadelphia claims the space next to Yards. This tenant  does not need to have much parking, minimal need for a loading dock and just a ‘front of the house’, library type of façade. Their space requirement although similar in size to Yards’ is different because of the use, and  makes them perfectly fit the profile of the tenant required to maximize the existing facility.

The facility included one last space of  50,000 feet to rent. The Developer faced issues with many prospective tenants who had requirements that made the space incompatible such as having a rectangular instead of a square layout, not being situated within 2 miles around a brewery etc. However, the space did attract Target due to variety of different store concepts (University college type, densely suburban, Urban (CBD) and Very dense urban neighbourhood stores) which were driven by specialising the stores for their target customer and immediate neighbourhood.

The third and final installment of this program will be held on May 10th and will focus on the operation/disposition with a focus on the Westin in Philadelphia. Registration now available.

Thank You to Our supporting Event Sponsors:

                                  Villanova Center for Real Estate Color NEW

Aminat Akanji is currently a Real Estate Development graduate student at Thomas Jefferson University, East Fall, Philadelphia, PA.




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