Photo: Business Insider
*Note: Developer Brandywine Realty Trust has contacted us with comments on this slideshow, which Brandywine says contains numerous inaccuracies and mischaracterizations. We’ve posted Brandywine’s comments in the various slides where appropriate.Remember how back in December of 2009 we said that the Voorhees Town centre, located in Voorhees, New Jersey, was the most depressing commercial real estate disaster ever?
Well to be truthful, there’s a place far worse than the Voorhees Town centre and not only is it in the same town, it has the most ironic name possible: Main Street.
Developed by Radnor-Conco in the 1980s (completed in 1987) and acquired by Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN) in 1997, Main Street was originally conceived as an upscale enclave of the already affluent town of Voorhees. It consists of a mixture of retail space, apartments, and plenty of high-end office space. There’s also two multistory parking garages for residents. An event space called The Mansion still remains popular and has hosted a number of high-profile weddings in recent years.
But since the early 1990s, Main Street has never taken off. Shops were too overpriced for the community and the housing was as well. Today, the only retail shops open include Main Street Pub, a few medical centres and the aforementioned Mansion. You seriously need to see this place to believe what an utter failure it has become.
Brandywine's comment: The article states that 'since the early 1990s, Main Street has never taken off'. The truth is, while the project's retail space did not materialise as traditional retail uses, the project has enjoyed occupancy rates as high as 98% during this time.
Brandywine: The author states that the playground is now gone. What he failed to mention is that Voorhees Township, the owned of the playground equipment, closed the playground to create a new playground in a new location.
Brandywine: The author states that the parking lots are 'near-deserted'. The truth is that the parking lots are sized to accommodate maximum usage at peak times for the office, retail, residential and Main Street's catering operation. The catering operation regularly conducts multiple meetings/functions with peak attendance at nearly 1,000 guests.
Brandywine: The author states that this is a photo of a 'row of businesses and the office tower'. What the author may or may not realise (As indicated in his later photographs) is that the photo depicts the rear entry/exists for employees of businesses that actually occupy the suites.
Brandywine: The author states that 'a health and wellness centre is one of the few businesses in here'. The truth is, the entire complex is 74% leased to 26 companies.
Brandywine: The author states that this is a photo of a 'marketing firm that appears to be closed.' The truth is, the photo depicts the rear entry/exit for employees of Cooper Health System, the current occupant of the suite.
Brandywine: The author states that 'there's got to be a store open around here somewhere'. The truth is, this photo depicts the rear entry/exit for employees of Barolin and Spencer, the current occupant of the suite.
Brandywine: The author states that L'osteria is closed. While it may be closed when the photo was taken, the truth is the cafe is open Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch to coincide with the hours of the office tenants for whom it serves.
Brandywine: The author states that 'the directory needs to be updated.' The truth is, the directory accurately depicts our current tenant roster.
Brandywine: The author states that this is a picture of a 'scary looking Plaza 1040' office tower. The fact is and as is clearly shown in the photo, the photo depicts Plaza 1000. We fail to see the 'scary looking' aspects of the photo.
Brandywine: The author states that this is a photo of 'a street of apartments and empty storefronts'. The truth is, the 'street' shown is simply a pedestrian-only walkway for the condominiums (rather than apartments) and the Promenade which is nearly 80% leased by its business and office tenants.
Brandywine: The author states there is 'no signage anywhere' to note that this is a gym. The truth is, the gym does in fact have signage.
Brandywine: The author states that this photo depicts 'The Mansion underneath the office tower'. The fact is, The Mansion is adjacent to the office tower and actually is sited on its own, subdivided parcel of ground.
Brandywine: The author states that this is a photo of 'zero retail next to The Mansion' While factually accurate regarding the retail aspects, the truth is our Plaza 1000 building (of which this suite is a part) is an office building and never had retail space for lease.
Brandywine: The author comments that 'Morgan Stanley has an office for all 3.4 of its clients at Main Street'. I won't dignify the '3.4 clients' comment but the truth is, Morgan Stanley has been a tenant in the building for over 15 years and recently extended its lease for another 7 years.
Brandywine: The author states that 'Cooper Medical has an auxiliary office down here. Closed obviously.' While the office may have been closed at the time the photo was taken, the truth is Cooper continues to occupy the space and the suite is open during normal business hours.
Brandywine: The author states that this is a photo of the 'empty street next to the Pub'. While the street is not open to vehicular traffic (see my comment to photo #11 above), the structure at the end of the 'street' is actually leased and occupied by Cooper Health System.
Brandywine: The author states that this is a photo of a fountain that has been abandoned. The truth is, this photo depicts a reflecting pool that will be operational within the next few weeks. We do shut the pool down during the late fall through late spring to ensure no problems associated with freezing conditions.
Brandywine: The author states that this photo depicts 'more apartments and empty storefronts'. The truth is, this photo depicts owner/tenant-occupied condominiums with only one of the storefronts actually being vacant. The balance of the storefronts are leased and occupied by tenants during normal business hours.
Brandywine: The author states that 'It's amazing how there's literally not one business open here'. The truth is, the office and retail tenants shown in this photo are open Monday - Friday during normal business hours with the two restaurants (one of which, Catelli's Restaurant, the author either failed to see during his tour or this operating restaurant did not fit the portrayal he was trying to achieve).
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