Thursday, May 27, 2010

EPA renews lease at 1650 Arch

"The regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency has renewed its big lease at 1650 Arch St. in Center City for another five years.

The agency re-upped on 304,000 square feet on floors 1 through 14 and the 16th floor at the building. The EPA first moved to the building in 1997, when it initially signed on to a 10-year deal with two five-year renewal options.

The lease is the largest completed in Center City this year and keeps a major anchor tenant at 1650 Arch, which continues to suffer from the loss of Wolf Block.

“It was a win for both parties,” said the landlord, Berhinger Harvard. The General Services Administration represented the EPA.

Wolf Block, the defunct law firm, vacated 176,000 square feet last spring and though the space remains vacant, there are a lot of tenants looking at the space, McGowan said. A major renovation is set to begin this summer regardless of the vacancy, he said.

If a big-enough tenant lands in the building, which is likely, some of the work can be customized. In all, Behringer Harvard plans to complete a five-year, $7 million interior and exterior capital improvement program. The upgrades are aimed at repositioning the building as a top-tier office structure and making it more attractive to existing and prospective tenants.

The Class B building was constructed in 1973 and sits just on the outskirts of the prime Center City office district. The 27-story, 587,800-square-foot tower had once been the headquarters for Cigna Corp. The building took a hit in the 1990s when Cigna relocated to Two Liberty, where it has its offices, and was vacant until the EPA moved in 1997, taking a chunk of the space."

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