Bridge Development Partners Sets its Sights on Philadelphia for Industrial Investment

As Bridge Development Partners begins construction on the second and final phase of Bridge Point 78 in central New Jersey, the real estate company is turning its attention to Philadelphia.

The Chicago-based developer, in partnership with DH Property Holdings, landed a lease with TJX Cos. last year for a 283,000-square-foot build-to-suit at 9801 Blue Grass Road in Philadelphia. Bridge is hopeful the build-to-suit for TJX Cos. – which operates the TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods retail chains – is the first of many industrial deals it will eventually have in Philadelphia.

“We found that right in the middle of Covid,” said Jeff Milanaik, a partner with Bridge who oversees buying and developing industrial buildings throughout the Northeast. “There are other sites we are looking at and we are very much focusing on Philadelphia.”

Bridge is a privately-owned company formed in 2000 that focuses on industrial development. In the time since Milanaik joined the company in 2014, Bridge has amassed more than 12.5 million square feet of industrial space across the Northeast valued at $2.6 billion. Bridge Point 78 is among the crown jewels in that portfolio.

Located in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, the industrial center has been developed on a former Ingersoll Rand manufacturing site that was “very complicated,” Milanaik said. “We weren’t afraid to take on challenges but the magnitude to take this on was huge.”

Environmental remediation along with its hilly topography made development challenging at the 400-acre site and $50 million was spent on site work alone. Bridge partnered with Texas Teachers Retirement System to develop Bridge Point 78 in two phases to manage the risk of constructing a total of six buildings with 3.86 million square feet.

The first phase consisted of four buildings totaling 2.2 million square feet and the second phase, now underway, involves two buildings – one totaling 1.4 million square feet and another at 262,500 square feet – all on 100 acres.

That risk, however, was coupled with the reality that demand for large warehouse-distribution buildings remains high in the New Jersey market where land is constrained, Milanaik said. With the first phase, Bridge moved ahead with building 975,000 square feet on speculation and soon leased it to Uniqlo Co.

“That really validated the park,” he said.

The remainder of the buildings in the first phase leased up to Scotts Miracle-Gro and Mark Anthony Brands, a beverage distributor. Last October, Bridge sold the first phase for $275 million to PGIM Real Estate.

“We’re really bullish that we’re at the right place at the right time,” Milanaik said.

That goes for the Philadelphia region as well and Bridge’s focus on it. “I like that market a lot,” he said. “It’s the eighth fastest growing MSA in the country. My sons went to Villanova and lived in Center City and I got comfortable with the city, and the supply of modern distribution buildings are lacking. We have taken a real liking to it.”

When it comes to investment and development, Milanaik said he’d “like to be as close to Center City as I can.”

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

International Paper Pays $11.6M for Warehouse in Chester County

International Paper Co. has paid $11.6 million for a 415,700-square-foot warehouse in West Sadsbury, a rural enclave on the far western edges of Chester County where it abuts Lancaster County.

The building at 4581 Lower Valley Road was sold by VMM Eckman Management, an entity affiliated with J.D. Eckman, a Reading company that does highway construction, according to Chester County property records.

Thomas J. Ryan, a spokesman for International Paper, confirmed the purchase and said the company would disclose its plans for the building at a later date. Bill Beers, zoning officer for West Sadsbury, said he toured the building with a representative from International Paper. “They are going to use it for warehousing, basically for box storage,” Beers said.

International Paper operates another facility in Chester County in Toughkenamon in addition to maintaining several warehouses and production plants in Pennsylvania and South Jersey.

The West Sadsbury building sits on 42 acres. As it is currently configured, a portion of the building is office space.

International Paper is based in Memphis, Tennessee. Industrial packaging – the boxes used in e-commerce and to store and move products such as fruits, vegetables, beverages and durable good such as refrigerators – accounts for 70% of the company’s revenue. Its packaging is also used in the health care and pharmaceutical industries. The company also makes paper used for printers, books and labels among other items.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Leasing Keeping Pace With Philadelphia’s Distribution Center Building Boom

With a fresh round of stimulus checks hitting households’ bank accounts, retail spending surging and consumers still gravitating towards online shopping as a means of social distancing, the economic backdrop could hardly be more supportive of the burgeoning distribution sector.

Even as the volume of distribution centers under construction has skyrocketed by 70% in the Philadelphia area during the past six months, leasing has largely kept pace.

Just in the past 12 months, tenants such as Amazon, Target, Elogistic and DNA Motoring have leased more than 13 million square feet worth of 21st century distribution space in the Philadelphia metropolitan area alone.

In that light, it’s easy to see how the market’s current tally of 10 million square feet worth of unleased, modern distribution centers, which is mostly made up of properties currently under construction, could be nearly fully leased less than 18 months from now.

But supply risk is not completely out of the picture. Massive, long-term redevelopments projects continue to push through the planning stages.

By this summer, NorthPoint is planning to start the first phase of its redevelopment of the former U.S. Steel Plant in Lower Bucks County, which could eventually be home to 15 million square feet of new industrial space. Hilco is also planning a 15 million-square-foot industrial campus to eventually take shape at the site of the former SEC Oil Refinery in Southwest Philadelphia.

Investors and developers will need to keep a watchful eye on construction tallies over the next several months. As the pandemic abates, households may likely shift spending away from e-commerce and back towards in-person services, such as restaurants and entertainment, which could cause distribution leasing to soften, even as more speculative construction accumulates.

But a portion of the pandemic-induced shift to e-commerce spending and at-home delivery will likely be permanent. For now, developers can’t seem to build distribution centers fast enough, and the Philadelphia industrial market’s stellar performance looks set to continue well into 2021.

*Article courtesy of CoStar

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Bucks County Distribution Center Leased by Amazon Sells for $21.3 Million

Demonstrating continued demand for infill facilities across the greater Philadelphia region, a recently redeveloped last-mile distribution center fully leased by Amazon in Levittown has sold for $21.3 million, more than double the price it fetched when it last traded hands in 2019.

Built in 1963, the last-mile distribution facility underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation between 2018 and 2019 to upgrade functionality. The renovated facility now features new exterior panels, new HVAC equipment, new car and trailer parking, expansion of vacant land for conversion to additional car and van parking, new LED lights and a new roof. Amazon leased the distribution center in October 2020, according to CoStar data.

The Amazon facility is situated on a 9.9-acre parcel that has immediate access to Interstates 95 and 476 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, providing the e-commerce titan access to nearly 2 million people within a 30-minute drive. 

Philadelphia’s industrial market faces some challenges, from the region’s recently pummeled economy and from speculative construction. But retailers’ ongoing shift to e-commerce sales and faster deliveries have been driving industrial leasing as tenants store most of their inventory in local logistics centers as close to their customers as they can, Adrian Ponsen, CoStar’s director of market analytics for the Philadelphia area, wrote in a recent report.

Ponsen also noted Philadelphia’s industrial vacancy rate, hovering around 5%, remains near 25-year lows. The vacancy rate is even tighter in Bucks County, sitting at about 3.8%, according to CoStar data.

“Any sharp upturn in vacancy looks unlikely for the foreseeable future as distributors continue to realize the strategic advantages of locating in the Philadelphia area: a large blue-collar workforce located squarely between New York and Washington, D.C., right in the middle of the largest cluster of purchasing power in the western hemisphere,” Ponsen wrote.

*Article courtesy of CoStar

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

PhilaPort to Start Work on New $42M Warehouse

PhilaPort plans to break ground on Thursday on a new $42 million, 201,621-square-foot distribution center that is part of a broader capital investment program at the port.

The building at 445 Pattison Ave. will be leased to Holt Logistics Corp. as part of the company’s lease at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. The facility will have 32 loading docks and provide storage for dry cargo arriving at that terminal. PhilaPort also intends to leverage the facility to attract new ocean lines and other business to the port. Once operational, it is expected to create 200 to 300 jobs.

A second phase totaling 217,000 square feet could eventually be built that would incorporate refrigerated warehousing.

In late 2016, the state announced it would invest more than $300 million in infrastructure, warehousing, and equipment at the port. The work aimed to double container capacity and position it for future growth at its Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, its automobile-handling operations, and the Tioga Marine Terminal.

Southport Auto Terminal, a $110 million vehicle processing facility, opened at PhilaPort in October 2019. Glovis America, Inc., a third-party logistics provider for Hyundai Auto Group, operates the 155-acre complex. The building processes Hyundais and Kias coming in from Korea.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Giant to enlist robots at new Philadelphia facility to keep up with online grocery demand

Giant Co. will pilot new automation technology at a 124,000-square-foot fulfillment center the grocer has under renovation in Philadelphia.

Giant will use micro-fulfillment technology developed by Swisslog that uses robots and bins to process orders at the distribution center at 3501 Island Ave. in the Eastwick section of Philadelphia. Giant announced in January 2020 that it leased the space and would redevelop the building to accommodate its grocery business.

Swisslog is headquartered in Switzerland and has its American headquarters in Newport News, Virginia. It makes software, robots and other technology that automates distribution in warehouses.

Giant will use the robots to store and retrieve products in conjunction with manual picking capabilities to fill online orders, a business that has significantly grown during the pandemic. The combination of automation and manual picking is expected to enable the fulfillment center to handle about 15,000 online orders a week for delivery throughout Center City and South Philadelphia, the company said.

The combination “will create a flexible solution ideal for streamlining grocery e-commerce order fulfillment,” the company said a statement.

The partnership with Swisslog was made in conjunction with Peapod Digital Labs, which is Ahold Delhaize USA’s digital and e-commerce platform. Ahold Delhaize USA is a division of Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize and is the parent company of Food Lion, Giant Food, the Giant Co. and other grocery brands.

Ahold USA and its brands are working on expanding e-commerce fulfillment capabilities as part of creating an omnichannel supply chain. The goal is to become the “leading omnichannel grocery retailer in their markets,” the company said.

Ahold USA will have a total of 18 self-managed traditional distribution centers and 28 e-commerce fulfillment centers as of March 1. By 2023, the company expects this network to expand to more than 27 distribution centers with additional e-commerce fulfillment centers as well as its so-called “click and collect” locations.

Though the Philadelphia fulfillment center will use automation, Giant said it intends to hire 200 people to work at the new facility. No details were released on that hiring but the warehouse is expected to open this November.

The company also named Angel Cordero, a 20-year veteran of Giant who most recently served as manager of the Heirloom Market in University City, as manager of the new facility.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Amazon Leases Philadelphia Building Previously Eyed for Indoor Farming

Amazon.com Inc. has leased another building in Philadelphia, growing its portfolio of last-mile distribution centers throughout the region and adding — one fulfillment and last-mile distribution center at a time — to its expansive real estate footprint.

The online retailer signed a lease on a 65,856-square-foot building at 13200 Townsend Road in Northeast Philadelphia.

Hydroponic farming, while often associated with cannabis growing, is an agriculture technology that relies on water and minerals rather than soil nutrients to mass-produce plants.

When Covid hit, plans were shelved and the building was marketed for sale or lease. Colliers said in a statement that it secured a long-term lease with a “nationally recognized, but confidential e-commerce company,” and that the “farm concept is now pivoting to another more suitable location.” Several sources confirmed Amazon as the tenant.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has ratcheted up its leasing activity throughout the region during the last year, signing multiple leases on buildings that it will use as last-mile warehouse-distribution centers and 13200 Townsend is the latest.

Amazon’s Philadelphia-area footprint 
Scroll through the map below and click on the red and blue dots to see Amazon’s 22 leases in Philadelphia, its surrounding counties, South Jersey and Delaware.

Map Legend
Last-mile distribution Fulfillment

In all of those real estate deals, Amazon has leased space rather than purchase a building for its use. As of the end of last year in North America, the company leased 285 million square feet of space and owned 8.4 million square feet of fulfillment, data centers and other properties, according to its 2020 annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Including its office space, physical stores and its warehouse space, Amazon leases a total of 454 million square feet in North America and internationally and owns 20 million square feet, underscoring the sheer size of its global real estate footprint.

It is common for logistics companies to lease rather than buy real estate, said Susan M. Wachter, a professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. There are many reasons a company such as Amazon prefers to lease space rather than own it.

“They are expanding fast and purchasing isn’t compatible with a fast move in and move out and leasing is generally the more efficient way of going because it allows you more flexibility than an ownership structure,” Wachter said.

By leasing and not owning its real estate, Amazon can also invest its money back into its business operations instead.

Amazon has been rapidly expanding its network of last-mile distribution and fulfillment centers here and across the country. The effort accelerated as a result of the pandemic and the increase in online shopping by consumers who buy everything from groceries to furniture online. The company’s commitment to growing its real estate presence underscores its confidence those buying habits will remain post-pandemic.

The company said last summer it expected to increase its warehouse capacity by 50% before the end of 2020. By comparison, Amazon grew its distribution network by 15% in 2019.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Philly Housing Agency Sells Airport-Area Industrial Site to Frankford Arsenal Owner Alliance HSP

Alliance HSP, which owns much of the Frankford Arsenal complex in Bridesburg, has acquired a warehouse near Philadelphia International Airport from the city’s housing authority.

The Bryn Mawr-based investment group bought the 40,900-square-foot industrial building on 3.8 acres of land at 3440 Bartram Ave. from the Philadelphia Housing Authority for $3.63 million, commercial real estate firm said in a release on Thursday.

PHA, which had owned the property since 1990, stored equipment and vehicles there that it used to maintain its apartment units.

Matt Handel, Alliance’s acquisitions director, said his company plans to market the property to “ ‘last mile’ industrial users” seeking proximity to I-95 and the airport. The term “last mile” generally describes warehouses close to population centers that serve as final way points between far-off factories and customers’ homes.

In addition to its six-building, 208,000-square-foot section of the Arsenal property, Alliance owns the site at Fifth and Spring Garden Streets that is now home to Yards Brewing Co. and a Target store.

*Article courtesy of The Inquirer

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

With Amazon Locked in, Sale Price of Philadelphia Warehouse Tops $70M

An entity affiliated with GLP Capital Partners of Santa Monica, California, paid $71.5 million for 2400 Weccacoe Ave., a warehouse in Philadelphia leased to Amazon.

GLP US Management II LLC bought the 283,000-square-foot building in November, according to Philadelphia property records. When the sale was announced, neither the sale price nor the buyer were disclosed and weren’t immediately available through public records.

 

The transaction involving 2400 Weccacoe comes up on property records under 2414 Weccacoe Ave. and included the sale of 10 Wolf St. and 2410 Weccacoe Ave., which are two smaller, adjacent parcels.

The bought the combined properties for $16.75 million in September 2019, according to tax records. It sits on 13.5 acres and was vacant at the time the Wharton partnership bought it.

Wharton launched a $10 million redevelopment of the former manufacturing building that included tearing out the rail beds, installing a new roof, leveling interior floors, and upgrading loading docks among other upgrades. It was rebranded as the SoPhi Logistics Center.

The renovations were part of the real estate company’s plans to seize on market forces catering to the growth of online retail. The property has access to Interstates 95 and 76, Philadelphia International Airport, PhilaPort and the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. It is also adjacent to Center City.

The plan worked. Amazon decided to lease the entire building in a deal first reported by the Philadelphia Business Journal last June. The property became one of several sites the online retailer has leased throughout the region in the last year as it continues to organize a network of smaller, last-mile distribution centers.

The successful conversion of the building from manufacturing space into industrial space all but erases its most recent past. The building was once occupied by Hyundai Rotem, a South Korean company. Rotem was awarded a $274 million SEPTA contract in 2006 to build rail cars for SEPTA and other transit agencies.

The company arrived in Philadelphia with great fanfare, promising jobs and a long tenure in the city. In April 2006, Pennsylvania officials had announced Hyundai Rotem would relocate its U.S. headquarters to Philadelphia from Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Rotem ultimately produced defective rail cars for SEPTA, ceased operations in Philadelphia and closed the plant.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Amazon Takes More Warehouse Space in Philadelphia for Last-Mile Distribution

Amazon.com Inc. has leased 94,000 square feet in Philadelphia for last-mile distribution as part of its continued expansion throughout the region.

The online retailer signed a long-term lease on a portion of a building at 700 Ramona Ave. in North Philadelphia, according to those familiar with the deal. The building had been vacant.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been one of the most active companies leasing industrial space throughout the region as it continues to build not only its network of last-mile distribution centers but larger warehouse buildings as well. In 2020, the online retailer signed onto more than 3 million square feet of space in the Philadelphia area, South Jersey and Wilmington in a mix of large and small warehouse facilities.

Among the more recent last-mile spaces it signed onto are 3750 State Road, a 235,000-square-foot building in Bensalem; 3025 Meeting House Road, a 207,500-square-foot building in Philadelphia; 2400 Weccacoe Ave., a 283,000-square-foot building in Philadelphia; and 2891 Benigno Blvd. in Bellmawr, New Jersey.

Those leases add to the other last-mile facilities Amazon already has in West Deptford, King of Prussia, Lansdale, Langhorne, Philadelphia and throughout South Jersey.

On a larger scale, Amazon signed leases last year on a 1.25-million-square-foot building under development in Carney’s Point, New Jersey, and an 820,000-square-foot facility at a former General Motors plant in Wilmington. It also opened in November a new 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Berks County. The facility is the online retail giant’s 15th large fulfillment center in Pennsylvania.

The pandemic has accelerated the growth of Amazon’s distribution footprint as more consumers buy everything from groceries to furniture online. The company’s commitment to growing its real estate presence underscores the its confidence that those consumer buying habits will stick around post-pandemic and address demand for deliveries that happen within hours of an order being placed.

The company said last summer it expected to boost its warehouse capacity by 50% before the end of 2020. By comparison, Amazon grew its distribution network by 15% in 2019.

Research conducted by the Puget Sound Business Journal, a sister publication of the Philadelphia Business Journal, shows the company has at least 70 logistics facilities in development across the United States.

The building at 700 Ramona totals 283,000 square feet and is vacant. It sold last April for $8.5 million. The building had been occupied by Simkar Inc., a manufacturer of lights and lighting fixtures that filed for bankruptcy last year. The building was sold as part of the bankruptcy liquidation.

*Article Courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philly Industrial space for sale or lease in Philadelphia and Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.