Comcast Venture to Build $1.2 Billion Philadelphia Tower

Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, plans to develop a $1.2 billion, 59-story office tower next to its Philadelphia headquarters that would be the country’s tallest building outside of New York and Chicago.

Comcast formed a joint venture with Liberty Property Trust, based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, to build the tower beginning mid-year and finishing by the end of 2017, the companies said in a statement. The project will include a Four Seasons hotel.

The property, called the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, will be built on the 1800 block of Arch Street in the Center City district of downtown Philadelphia. It will be the largest private development in Pennsylvania history, Comcast and Liberty said. The glass-and-stainless-steel building was designed by British architect Norman Foster and will include loft-life spaces.

At 1,121 feet (342 meters), the project would be taller than existing properties with more stories. The current tallest building outside New York and Chicago is the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, at 1,018 feet, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s Skyscraper Center website.

Comcast plans to sign a 20-year lease for at least 957,000 square feet (89,000 square meters), or about 75 percent of the Philadelphia building’s rentable office space. The company will hold 80 percent of the joint venture that will own the tower, with Liberty holding the rest and managing the property.

The partners will provide about $900 million of the project cost and tenants will pay for about $300 million of interior improvements, the companies said.

The new building also will house the operations of local TV stations NBC 10/WCAU and Telemundo 62/WWSI, as well as offer space for local technology startups, according to the statement.

The project will create more than 20,000 temporary jobs, Comcast and Liberty said.

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