Drafting the Next Chapter for an Historic Library
The Library Company of Philadelphia—Real Estate Analysis and Planning

A private independent historic library had the foresight to acquire a number of adjacent properties in the last decade, totaling 53,000 SF, but determining the most beneficial use of the real estate in support of the Library’s mission was mind-bogglingly complex. LCP asked us to help clarify the spectrum of options. We first dove into the zoning and entitlement potential of the properties in different combinations, with and without different adjacent properties. We quantified the relative values of different land use options, highlighting ones resulting in a net financial gain, and identified steps to explore them. We also:

  • Created multiple innovative strategies for the non-profit
  • Clarified its negotiating positions with neighbors
  • Supported potential beneficial alliances among non-profits
  • Created entitlements options, including maximizing transfer of development rights
  • Achieved consensus with 18-member board of trustees
  • Uncovered significant value in real estate assets

A Strategy For Expansion, Empowering Action
Part of the real estate analysis involved potential alignment with one or more sister institutions, which could be beneficial not only to the institutions in question but to the City of Philadelphia and its historic attractions – a true upside for all. With the initial strategy and array of options complete, we continue to assist with further options and potential fund raising as the Library Company looks forward.

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