REAL ESTATE

Planning begins for Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station

BY Michael Fickes

Philadelphia — Brandywine Realty Trust, Amtrak and Drexel University have selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN, and HR&A Advisors to develop a comprehensive master plan for the area around Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.

Planning will begin immediately. The goal is to develop a vision that locates the station at the epicenter of a dynamic, urban neighborhood that provides opportunities for community development, economic development and improved transportation connections.

A coordinating committee will guide the master planning process. Committee members include representatives from Amtrak, Drexel University, Brandywine Realty Trust, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, City of Philadelphia, New Jersey Transit, CSX Corporation, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Schuylkill River Development Corporation and University City District.

With master planning efforts currently being advanced in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York, Chicago, and now Philadelphia, Amtrak aims to turn congested and tired rail stations and their surroundings into thriving urban neighborhoods that appeal to the millennial and baby boomer generations. As these populations continue to flock to cities to live, work and play, they are demanding walk-able communities with vibrant arts and cultural institutions and access to transportation hubs such as 30th Street Station.

Drexel University and its partners are funding the Joint Master Plan. Drexel is also developing its Innovation Neighborhood project on 12 acres of its campus adjacent to 30th Street Station to attract and launch high-tech businesses seeking a rich research and commercialization environment with unmatched transit access.

The study area also includes parcels already being developed by Brandywine Realty Trust, including the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South.

Development of the master plan is expected to take approximately two years. Opportunities for public comment and involvement will be announced and advertised.

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REAL ESTATE

Tabani Group buys Glen Town Center in Chicago’s MSA

BY Michael Fickes

Glenview, Ill. — The Tabani Group has acquired The Glen town Center in Glenview, Illinois, in the Chicago metro area.

The 267,732-sq.-ft. center is located just 20 minutes from downtown Chicago in the affluent North Shore suburb of Glenview. Dick’s Sporting Goods and separately owned Von Maur, anchor the center. Tenants include Jos A. Bank, Yard House, Bravo! Cucina Italiana and the Regal Glen 10 Movie Theatres, which are also separately owned.

Mid-America real Estate Corporation (www.midamericagrp.com) represented the seller, Situs Holdings, in the transaction.

Mid-America Real Estate Corporation is a member of Mid-America Real Estate Group, a ChainLinks affiliate headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

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Starbucks to open La Boulange eatery in Los Angeles

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Starbucks Corp. plans to bring its La Boulange Bakery café chain to Los Angeles, opening a location with extensive food offerings. The eatery is scheduled to open June 11, and will also serve beer, wine, cocktails as well as milkshakes, the Associated Press reported.

Starbucks purchased the La Boulange chain in 2012. The cafes, based in the San Francisco area, sell breakfast and lunch fare, and typically close before 7 p.m. But the Los Angeles location will have more of a "modern farmhouse" feel to it, the report said, and the menu will be expanded to include build-your-own-burgers and other items for dinner. It will remain open to 10 p.m.

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