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PHILADELPHIA-Five leases worth a total of 33,590 sf were signed in the 325,000-sf, 22-story 1500 Walnut building in Center City Philadelphia. The building’s typical floor size is 14,553 sf. The building at 1500 Walnut, which is located near rail stations, is receiving $9 million-worth of capital improvements and has a 160-space parking garage underneath the building.

“The building caters to a smaller tenant, who would otherwise get lost in a bigger building,” Joseph Muldoon, senior vice president of Binswanger, who represented both the landlord and a majority of the tenants, tells GlobeSt.com.

Grubb & Ellis represented EDS Inc. who took 13,680 sf; Silva & Associates took 7,292 sf; PICA took 5,086 sf; James Jarret Schwartz represented by Perna Frederick Real Estate took 4,500 sf; and Hurley, Francis & Associates took 2,032 sf. Local veterinarian Adrian Alexandru who invests in real estate around the country, owns the building, which is his only office building in Philadelphia. Alexandru’s company is operated as 1500 Walnut Enterprises LLC.

According to Muldoon, three of the new leases are five-year terms, one is a three-year term and another is a seven-year term. Most of the businesses that have signed leases recently have relocated from other buildings in Philadelphia because rents are getting higher. Taking lease at 1500 Walnut is $19.50 plus electric. “That’s an attractive number in this market,” says Muldoon.

1500 Walnut has 275,000 sf of class B office space with about a 50,000 sf parking lot underneath the building. There are about 40,000 sf remaining. The building is rated B “because of its age” according to Muldoon.

“A couple of years ago, it was the center of the Center City business district. Now the center is shifting north,” says Muldoon. “But 1500 Walnut is at the heart of the retail district, so tenants can enjoy shopping and dining after work or during lunch hours.”

“The building has a pretty checkered past. The previous owners did not put any money into this building,” Muldoon says. “One of the things about it is that its history is not great, but that’s turning around.”

Now, Alexandru is spending $9 million on capital improvements. Only three out of six elevators were working. The property will receive new HVAC, new granite countertops and quarry in the bathrooms as well as repaired elevators, which all should be running by the end of this month, according to Muldoon, who explains that the improvements makes his job easier. “I mean, what’s not to like about new heating, bathrooms and elevators?” says Muldoon. “The neat thing about these old buildings is that when they are fixed up they are just as nice, and more unique than the new ones.”

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