A joint venture, led by Hilco Redevelopment Partners and including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has secured a $500 million loan provided by PCCP LLC for the redevelopment of The Bellwether District, a 15 million-square-foot mixed-use industrial park in South Philadelphia.
In January 2020, HRP agreed to purchase the property for $240 million. In mid-2020, the Chicago-based developer acquired the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery site spanning 1,300 acres out of bankruptcy for $225.5 million. The Girard Point facility, the largest source of air pollution in the city, previously suffered an explosion and was defunct for nearly a year before the purchase.
Following the sale, the redevelopment effort began with decommissioning the 150-year-old refinery, which included the demolition of more than 100 buildings, 3,000 tanks and vessels along with wastewater treatment plants, as well as remediation work, such as the removal of approximately 30,000 tons of asbestos.
With construction set to begin this year, The Bellwether District is scheduled to welcome its first tenants in 2023. The redevelopment will create more than 9,500 construction and project-related jobs as well as 13,770 permanent jobs, and could potentially generate $41 million in tax revenue annually for the city.
The campus that will include life sciences, research lab, e-commerce and logistics space will take shape along Schuylkill River, bordered by Interstate 76 and Penrose Avenue. The redevelopment is roughly 7 miles from Philadelphia’s Center City, within 4 miles of Philadelphia International Airport and some 11 miles from the Port of Philadelphia.
PCCP LLC is an active lender in a variety of commercial real estate sectors. In November, the real estate finance and investment management firm provided a $150 million refinancing package for a 423,777-square-foot office tower in Lower Manhattan.
Recently the company teamed up with Panattoni Development Co. to develop a speculative industrial park dubbed Tyger Ridge Logistics Center and totaling 1.5 million square feet in Duncan, S.C. Meanwhile, another industrial redevelopment is underway for HRP: one of the top industrial projects in Northern New Jersey, HRP Hudson Logistics Park in Jersey City. The 427,155-square-foot initial phase of the project is slated for a late 2022 delivery.