Monday, February 16, 2015

Third Comcast skyscraper possibly in the works as Center City block bought piece-by-piece

by Natalie Kostelni, Staff writer for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Liberty Property Trust has been quietly assembling a series of properties at 19th and Arch streets in Center City for what many speculate could be the site of the third skyscraper for Comcast Corp.
Liberty is pursuing what could eventually amount to a block bound by 19th, Arch, Cherry and 20th streets. The location is cater-corner to where Liberty (NYSE: LPT) is developing the Comcast Innovation & Technology Center and is a stone's throw from the Comcast Center. Another tower in that area would establish an expanded urban campus for the cable giant and continue to push the city's Central Business District deeper into Logan Square.

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has already taken the entire 1.3-million-square-foot innovation center that's currently under construction and executives have said in the past that they anticipate the company continuing to grow and add employees. Comcast said it's not currently planning for a third building. "We're focused on building the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center," said John Demming, Comcast spokesman.

Liberty, which declined to comment, made its most recent purchase Dec. 1 when it acquired 120-22 N. 19th St., a small two-story building occupied by the Support Center for Child Advocates. The site is on the corner of 19th and Cherry and the building is 8,700 square feet.

"It was time," said Frank Cervone, executive director of the child advocacy center of the sale.
The organization bought the building in 2001 for $742,000 and totally gutted and renovated it. Since then it has experienced a significant increase in its caseload, Cervone said. When it moved in, it had 21 employees and now has 34 and what once were conference rooms have been converted into offices. Things have gotten tight.

"We literally have desks in the center of the hallway," he said.
With its building sold, the organization is in the process of looking for about 15,000 square feet of new space, and is expected to move out of the building it sold to Liberty by next summer.
Liberty has also made overtures to buy the building that houses the Russell Byers Charter School at 1911-13 Arch St. The building totals 55,000 square feet.

"We've had very preliminary talks," said Laurada Byers, co-founder of the school. Byers said she didn't have any timeframe or additional information on a potential sale.
Liberty has been buying other sites on the block and, according to city property records, closed on the sales of two more properties last July. They were: 102-18 N. 19th St., which is a parking lot totaling 22,660 square feet; and 100 N. 19th St., which is also a parking area totaling 1,751 square feet.
In December of 2013, Liberty paid $5.75 million for another parcel on the block at 1919-23 Arch St. That site totals 21,600 square feet.

Full story:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.