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January 15, 2014

Comcast to build $1.2bn innovation and technology centre in Philadelphia

Media and technology company Comcast, in collaboration with Liberty Property Trust (LRY) has revealed plans to build a new $1.2bn, 59-storey Comcast Innovation and Technology Centre in Philadelphia, US.

COmcast Building

Media and technology company Comcast, in collaboration with Liberty Property Trust (LRY) has revealed plans to build a new $1.2bn, 59-storey Comcast Innovation and Technology Centre in Philadelphia, US.

Designed by UK architect Foster + Partners, the new 1,121ft tower will be built on the 1800 block of Arch Street in the Centre City district of downtown Philadelphia, alongside Comcast’s global headquarters.

The glass and steel building will have a rentable space of 1.5 million square feet, which will house a new Four Seasons hotel and a block-long lobby with a glass-enclosed indoor plaza, complementing Comcast Centre’s existing outdoor plaza.

Foster + Partners founder and chairman Lord Norman Foster said the project incorporates a unique and sustainable model for a mixed-use, high density development, which combines spaces for high-tech research with restaurants, gardens, fitness facilities and a significant public reception space.

"At ground level this ‘urban room’ embraces the city; it opens the building to the public and anchors it as a vital new neighbourhood," Foster said.

"It also links directly into the below ground public transport system."

"Above this, the highly flexible loft-like spaces and studios are designed for a dynamic way of working – an engine for the city’s evolution as the kind of leading technology hub presently associated with Silicon Valley.

Features of the atrium include a restaurant and a new concourse offering direct links with SEPTA’s Suburban Station, providing ease of access as well new options for travellers.

The US mass media and communications firm also intends to lease 75% of the Philadelphia building’s rentable office space for 20 years, and hold 80% of the joint venture company that would own the tower. LRY will hold the remaining 20% and manage the asset.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said: "This building will serve as yet another physical monument to the transformation of this city, home to global companies, transformative technologies, standard-setting buildings, and some of the most talented entrepreneurs in the United States."

The new building will also accommodate local TV stations including NBC 10/WCAU and Telemundo 62/WWSI and offer space for local tech start-ups.

Construction of the mixed-use tower is scheduled to begin in the summer this year and is anticipated for completion in the fall of 2017.


Image: The 59-storey Comcast Innovation and Technology Centre will be the tallest buildings in the US outside of New York and Chicago. Photo: courtesy of Foster + Partners.

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