Saudi Company Pays $225M for Majority Stake in Blue Bell’s Arborcrest Corporate Campus

Spear Street Capital has sold a 90% stake in Arborcrest Corporate Campus for $225 million, four years after it bought the office property for $140 million.

Saudi Arabia-based Sidra Capital acquired the majority position in the five-building, 855,600-square-foot suburban office complex located in Blue Bell. Spear Street retained 10% ownership in the property.

The acquisition is part of Sidra’s focus on buying properties that have long-term stability and tenants in the life sciences sector. Among Arborcrest’s tenants are Signant Health, which opened in February a new headquarters in 110,000 square feet at 785 Arbor Way. The company conducts clinical trials. Other tenants include Pharmaceutical Research Association, a research organization, and Abington Memorial Hospital has an outpatient facility at the campus.

The current occupancy at the time of the sale wasn’t available.

Spear Street of San Francisco bought the property from Corporate Office Properties Trust, which acquired the campus in 1997 when it engaged in a sale-lease back transaction with Unisys. For decades, Unisys occupied about 960,000 square feet at the property but dramatically scaled back its presence to just a fraction of that when COPT bought it. That left a lot of vacant space in buildings that had essentially reached a point of obsolescence.

At one point in 2006, COPT considered selling the 137-acre property at Union Meeting Road and Penllyn Blue Bell Pike in the Blue Bell section of Whitpain but decided to hold onto it and redevelop it as a corporate campus for multiple tenants. Nearly $100 million was spent repositioning it before it was sold to Spear Street.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

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