Philadelphia skyscraper to be tallest building outside of New York and Illinois in the U.S.

January 16, 2014

Business, Did you know?

Philadelphia skyscraper to be tallest building outside of New York and Illinois in the U.S.

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA- Comcast Corp. already built the tallest skyscraper in town. On Wednesday, it announced plans to build an even taller one.

The Philadelphia-based media giant said it plans to build a $1.2 billion, 1,121-feet tall technology center that, upon completion in late 2017, will be the largest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago.

The 59-story, Norman Foster-designed glass and stainless steel tower will rise in downtown Philadelphia next to the existing Comcast Center, which stands 975 feet tall and opened in June 2008.

Comcast Corp. said the building would become the “dedicated home” for its expanding workforce of “technologists, engineers, and software architects.” It will also boast a media center that will be home to the region’s local NBC and Telemundo affiliates.

The joint venture between the global media and technology company and real estate investment trust Liberty Property Trust is getting $40 million from the city and state, with Philadelphia providing $10 million and Pennsylvania $30 million in grants and $4.5 million in job creation tax credits.

Comcast holds 80 percent of the venture and Liberty 20 percent. Construction is set to start this summer with completion by fall 2017.

“We continue to be proud to call Philadelphia our home, and are thrilled to build a world-class media, technology and innovation center right in the heart of the city, to bring NBC 10 and Telemundo 62 downtown, and to create thousands of jobs and further drive economic activity in the region,” Comcast chairman and chief executive Brian L. Roberts said in a statement.

One World Trade Center will be the tallest skyscraper in the U.S. at 1,776 feet when it opens this year. The Willis Tower in Chicago stands 1,451 feet, while the world’s tallest building is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 2,717 feet.

The new Comcast tower would be just seven feet shy of the 1,128-foot John Hancock Tower in Chicago and nine feet taller than Moscow’s Mercury City Tower, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Daniel Safarik, editor at the council, said the expense of building such towers is immense. Last year, of 73 buildings that were 200 meters or taller, just one was in the United States, the 750-feet tall Courtyard-Residence Inn Central Park in New York, which opened in December.

Safarik said the proposed Comcast tower is likely to hold onto to its title as tallest in the U.S. outside of New York and Chicago.

“It looks like Philly may hang onto that title,” he said.

The building is set to have more than 1.5 million rentable square feet and will include a Four Seasons hotel and a block-long lobby with a glass-enclosed indoor plaza that will offset the Comcast Center’s outdoor plaza.

The lobby will feature a restaurant and a concourse that provides direct connections with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s regional commuter train hub, Suburban Station, which will be extended for access to the new building.

“This is a very special project. It is an opportunity to create a unique and sustainable model for mixed-use, high density development, which uniquely combines spaces for high-tech research and development with restaurants, gardens, fitness facilities and a significant public reception space — a window on Philadelphia,” Foster said.

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Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

v

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

v

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Hotel portion of tower

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center
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Video: Architecture of Philadelphia

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Video: Philadelphia Pennsylvania – Its Form, Design and the City Layout – 1960s

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Philadelphia
Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and second largest city on the East Coast of the United States.

Population
Philadelphia: 1,547,607 (2012 est)
Philadelphia-Reading-Camden: 7,429,428

Philadelphia Skyline

Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Philadelphia

 

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A History of Philadelphia’s “Gentleman’s Agreement”

Philadelphia didn’t build anything taller than City Hall until the mid-1987
Philadelphia City Hall                      548ft (167m) 9 floors 1901

One Liberty Place                               945ft (288m) 61 floors 1987
Two Commerce Square                    565ft (172m) 41 floors 1987
G. Fred DiBona Jr. Building            625ft (191m) 45 floors 1990
BNY Mellon Center                            792ft (241m) 54 floors 1990
Three Logan Square (Verizon)       739ft (225m) 55 floors 1991
One Commerce Square                      565ft (172m) 41 floors 1992
Comcast Center Comcast                  975ft (297m) 58 floors 2008

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Video:Promise for a Better City (1944-1964) – Philadelphia: The Great Experiment

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