PHILADELPHIA-J. Grasso Properties has acquired the Public Ledger Building at Sixth and Chestnut streets from Santa Ana, CA-based Triple Net Properties for $43 million, or just north of $91 per sf. This comes less than six weeks after the locally based developer acquired the Curtis Center, an adjacent 885,786-sf landmark office property for $94 million, as reported.

Like the Curtis Center, the 12-story, 471,271-sf Public Ledger property was also developed for Curtis Publishing Co. It was completed in 1928, shortly after the Curtis Center was built. At the time, both buildings were connected. Joseph Grasso tells he will again join the two. “We’ve devised a way to connect them with a covered walkway,” he says. “With the additional scale, we can afford to enrich the property amenities and give tenants in both buildings access to them. We will also save on operational costs,” he adds.

Triple Net acquired the building for $35 million in February 2004, and Grasso says, “Invested about $3 million in capital improvements, including a new roof and cooling system and renovation of the lobby.” As with Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management, the seller of Curtis Center, Triple Net was closing a fund. “We didn’t really expect to make another buy so soon, and competition was heavy,” Grasso says, “but the opportunity came along, so we grabbed it.” The two properties dominate the west side of Independence Mall.

Lizann McGowan and Robert Fahey in the local office of CB Richard Ellis represented Triple Net in the sales transaction, and Grasso was represented in house. The building is 91% leased, Garrett Miller, a Grasso principal, tells The asking rent rate, he says, is $22.50 per sf, plus electric.

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