PHILADELPHIA-Equivest Management Inc., the locally based firm that represents the owner and manages the Philadelphia Design and Distribution Center, has sold the 677,000-sf asset for just shy of $28.5 million, or about $42 per sf. The buyer is a partnership controlled by Brooklyn, NY-based Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates.

Senior directors James Sheehan, James Vesey and Jerome Kranzel in the locally based capital markets group of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller and also procured the buyer. “There was tremendous interest in the property,” Sheehan tells, “because it’s exceptionally well located and because it’s an interesting building, which has been converted into a very cool 21st century mixed-use facility.”

The one- and two-story building was originally developed in 1926 as a factory for renowned radio manufacturer A. Atwater Kent. Its saw-tooth architectural profile immediately gave it landmark status. In the 1980s, it was renovated and converted into a mixed-use facility that is currently 94% occupied by a diverse mix of warehouse, office and retail tenants.

The largest is the City of Philadelphia, which uses space to store all of the city’s voting machines. Material Culture, a retailer of salvage and antique furnishings from around the world, operates a 70,000-sf showroom in the center. Temple Physicians and Resources for Human Development are among the office tenants.

PDDC’s location at 4700 Wissahickon Ave. in the East Falls neighborhood also added to its appeal, according to Sheehan. It neighbors Budd Commerce Center, which is Conshohocken-based Preferred Real Estate Investments’ redevelopment of the former Budd plant site. “These adaptive re-use projects are attracting capital from national real estate investors,” Sheehan says. Furthermore, an interchange of the Route 1 Expressway has been added, significantly improving access.

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