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PHILADELPHIA-The 42,754-sf building at 2410 Locust St., which was converted into a telecommunications exchange in the mid-1990s, has been sold to an unidentified New York City-based investment group in a 1031 exchange. The price tag is $15.3 million, just shy of $358 per sf.

The four-story building was completed in 1928 as a manufacturing plant for Hires Root Beer. Approximately 25 years ago, the locally based Geddes, Brecher, Qualls & Cunningham architectural firm acquired the building and converted it into offices for its own use.

The building is located on the fiber optics loop in Center City near the University City neighborhood. In the early 1990s the architect began repositioning the property as a “telco hotel/mission critical facility, fitting it with fiber optic cable for use as a telecommunications exchange building,” says Douglas Rodio, an investment sales specialist in the local office of Marcus & Millichap.

Rodio represented 2401 Locust Associates, which is headed by Melvin Brecher, in marketing the building for sale and also procured the buyer. He tells GlobeSt.com the building is 90% occupied by regional and national credit tenants. Among them are Verizon and Level 3 Communications. “Rent rates vary widely, depending on each tenant’s specific requirements and uses,” he says, “but they are far from traditional. They range from $30 per sf to upwards of $100 per sf.”

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