Monday, July 7, 2014

Liberty, Comcast Start Development of 59-Story Tower

Liberty Property Trust and Comcast Corp. have started site preparation for the giant telecommunication company's 59-story headquarters building in Philadelphia, described as the largest private development project in Pennsylvania history. 

Comcast and Malvern, PA-based Liberty (NYSE: LPT)in January announced plans to build the Comcast Innovation & Technology Center, which includes 1.33 million square feet of office space and a 222-room Four Seasons Hotel. 

On Thursday, the companies said they've completed the joint venture and development agreements for the building on the 1800 block of Arch Street. Comcast has signed a 20-year lease for 982,275 square feet, about three-quarters of the office space. 

A Liberty spokesman said general contractor L.F. Driscoll is installing fencing and traffic barriers, planning site layout and doing utility and transit connection work. Large-scale excavation of the foundation will begin in mid-July. 

The venture, 80% owned by Comcast, will be managed by Liberty Property Trust, which holds a 20% interest. 

The project will cost about $933 million, not including tenant-funded interior improvements, of which $40 million will come from publicly funded grants from Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia for infrastructure improvements and public spaces. Liberty is expected to invest about $185 million in the mixed-use development

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