Property Description

The property is a 300,000 SF industrial facility located in Philadelphia, PA. The property is 100% leased to the United States of America through the General Services Administration (“GSA”), and is occupied by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NARA houses The National Archives at Philadelphia at the property.

  • We acquired the property on July 7, 2017 for $26.4 million. The property is 100% leased through November 2032 with a firm term through November 2027. The property is comprised of 10,200 SF of office space, 9,800 SF of conditioned logistics space, and 280,000 SF of warehouse space of which 40,000 SF is climate controlled for the storage of historically significant archived documents. The facility was constructed in 1996 as a build-to-suit for NARA. NARA executed an early extension in 2012 that included the construction of a 40,000 SF expansion to house the climate controlled archival space.
  • The going in or “cash” cap rate was 6.41%. The average or GAAP cap rate was 6.62%.

Property Images

Investment Thesis

  • The critical property facilitates NARA’s ability to meet the requirements of their mission, and offers additional space to grow with the agency
    • The property is mission critical and has a high probability of lease renewal. The property serves as a Federal Records Center and The National Archives at Philadelphia, the primary retention facility for historically significant records of the Federal Agencies and Courts dating from 1789 to the present in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
    • The site was constructed as a build-to-suit for the tenant, and they have already exercised an early renewal and expansion.
    • The site offers additional expansion opportunity, and meets NARA’s most pressing requirements: security and geographic access to the regions it serves.
  • Investment grade tenant limits credit risk
    • The property is 100% occupied by NARA through a lease with the GSA. The lease is guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America (rated AA+ by S&P and Aaa by Moody’s).
    • GCC acquired the property at an approximately 420 basis points spread to the comparable U.S. Treasury security.
  • Opportunity to acquire a well located Class A, institutional quality industrial asset with good re-leasing potential
    • The property and market area benefit from substantial infrastructure improvements throughout the region, providing access to the greater Northeast United States. The subject location benefits from its proximity to I‐276 (Pennsylvania Turnpike), 3.2 miles to the direct north, and I‐95, 3.7 miles to the east, which links to Center City Philadelphia and I‐76 (15.8 miles west). I‐95 links with Delaware to the south and New York to the north and I‐76 connects Center City with the suburbs to the west.
    • The configuration and market will keep real estate fungible. The property is configured to accommodate three sided loading with 21 dock high knockout panels, 24’ clear height and 40’x40’ column spacing.

Market Description

As one of the nation’s most active industrial markets, the Greater Philadelphia Industrial Market is comprised of the I-81 Corridor (Northeast Pennsylvania through the Lehigh Valley and south to Central Pennsylvania) and the Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey counties along the I-95 Corridor within the Philadelphia MSA. Its logistical significance along the Eastern United States distribution network is unrivaled in terms of access to multiple population centers. The market area’s core growth lies in its robust warehouse/distribution segment and outstanding highway, port, rail, air freight, and intermodal infrastructure.

The property lies near the center of the largest population concentration in the U.S. with 47 million people located within 200 miles and 40% of the U.S. population within a day’s drive. Due to the growth and development of the region’s port infrastructure and major distribution centers nearby, Greater Philadelphia was recognized by CBRE as one of the top 20 emerging global logistics hubs, one of only three U.S. regions to make the list. High barriers to entry and a lack of developable sites for bulk warehouse distribution have historically created a significant demand surplus relative to supply in the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Industrial Submarket.

The Northeast Philadelphia industrial submarket boasts a direct vacancy rate of 5.1%, which improves to 3.4% among buildings completed since 1990. Submarket absorption for 2016 was a positive 696,126 SF. Due to land constraints, there has only been 343,000 SF of new deliveries over the past 10 years, and none since 2012.

Tenant Description

NARA is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives. NARA is officially responsible for maintaining and publishing the legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress, presidential proclamations and executive orders, and federal regulations. NARA also transmits votes of the Electoral College to Congress. The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) resource for the public and the government. Congress has charged NARA with reviewing FOIA policies, procedures and compliance of Federal agencies and to recommend changes to FOIA. NARA’s mission also includes resolving FOIA disputes between Federal agencies and requesters.

NARA’s holdings are classed into “record groups” reflecting the governmental department or agency from which they originated. Records include paper documents, microfilm, still pictures, motion pictures, and electronic media. Archival descriptions of the permanent holdings of the federal government in the custody of NARA are stored in the National Archives Catalog. The archival descriptions include information on traditional paper holdings, electronic records, and artifacts. As of December 2012, the catalog consisted of about 10 billion logical data records describing 527,000 artifacts and encompassing 81% of NARA’s records. There are also 922,000 digital copies of already digitized materials.

Most records at NARA are in the public domain, but NARA also stores some classified documents until they can be declassified. Its Information Security Oversight Office monitors and sets policy for the U.S. government’s security classification system.  Many of NARA’s most requested records are frequently used for genealogy research. This includes census records from 1790 to 1940, ships’ passenger lists, and naturalization records.

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