Thursday, October 10, 2013

Buzzing about FMC's new office space

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal

Ten years ago on Christmas Eve, when most people were likely making last-minute gift purchases at the mall,Brandywine Realty Trust announced that it had lined up three firms to kick off the construction of Cira Centre.
Two Center City law firms jumped over the Schuylkill River and a hedge fund crossed over City Avenue to be the first tenants to sign onto the 28-story, 728,000-square-foot office building.
While a couple of suburban tenants took space in the building, most of it was filled by other downtown firms who saw the attraction of the building’s Keystone Opportunity Zone too alluring. The KOZ designation gives tenants who move into the space breaks on state and local taxes. At the time, Brandywine came under fire for luring several downtown, tax-paying firms to Cira Centre.
Could that be happening again?
The latest round of speculation in the real estate community has FMC Corp., which is currently housed at Mellon Bank Center at 1735 Market St., fixed on becoming a tenant at Cira South and giving Brandywine the ability to move forward with that building. The chemical company has been in the market for 220,000 square feet of space.
Brandywine already has the University of Pennsylvania committing to about 150,000 square feet of the proposed building, which, when I last saw the plans, was about 35 stories and between 400,000 and 600,000 square feet. The real estate company wanted to pre-lease a certain amount of space before proceeding with construction of the building, which has a KOZ that runs until 2025.
Ken Gedaka, a spokesman at FMC, said no final decision have been made but maybe soon.
“We’re working on it and we’re getting close,” he said. “I know the rumor mill in the brokerage community is buzzing.”
Indeed it is.
The company has narrowed its search to Pennsylvania and “Philadelphia is a very good possibility,” Gedaka said. “We’re excited about what we’re going to be doing.”

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