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Old June 25th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #421
Onn
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Actually yes, from a few days ago. Looks like there is a good chance this one could get built, as there are a few businesses eyeing the space.

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Friday, June 19, 2009
As sales slow, regional office market holds its own

Philadelphia Business Journal - by Natalie Kostelni Staff Writer

The Center City office market is so far holding up much better than its metropolitan counterparts across the nation and is expected to continue to withstand the economic downturn with few major scars.

The area’s office market has had limited exposure to the meltdown of major financial institutions that began last fall. It also has been shielded by having had relatively little new construction in recent years that would have saturated the office market.

Nationally, about 55 million square feet of new office space is expected to come on the market this year, and about the same in 2010. In Philadelphia, no new office space is coming online in the next two years in spite of talk of new office towers.

At least one of those towers, American Commerce Center, is making progress despite an environment of tight credit and few deals. GlaxoSmithKline is eying the proposed 2.2 million-square-foot mixed-use tower, which would stand taller than the Empire State Building at 1,500 feet tall. The pharmaceutical company is considering relocating its Philadelphia operations there, which would total roughly 900,000 square feet. Other companies have also reportedly shown an interest in the building, according to market sources. They include Janney Montgomery Scott, Marsh McClennan and KPMG.

Developer Hill International Real Estate Partners made headway late last year with City Council unanimously approving rezoning a surface lot at 18th and Arch streets to make way for the project. American Commerce Center would create a landmark in the city as well as change the skyline and provide new office, retail, hotel and public space.

Hill International needs to land an anchor tenant to kick off the project.


The biggest unknown in the market may link to the recent Wachovia Corp. merger with Wells Fargo & Co. Wachovia is one of the city’s largest tenants and has most of its space along South Broad Street. Common wisdom has Wells Fargo retaining Wachovia’s size here and possibly even growing since the merger gave the San Francisco bank an automatic foothold in a major East Coast market.

Though Philadelphia is positioned better than other cities, that doesn’t mean it’s immune from greater market forces. More tenants are renewing leases rather than incurring the expense of moving. Renewals jumped last year to a range of 60 percent to 65 percent from a historical average of 50 percent to 55 percent, according to Grubb & Ellis.

Those renewals were also short-term deals of fewer than five years, as companies have been wary of making long-term commitments and taking on new debt. Some tenants are also trying to bide time and not make any near-term leasing decisions to get a better handle on where the market might be and what their needs may be in the next year or so.

Despite this, vacancy is expected to creep up over the next two years. Center City’s office vacancy rate hit single-digits last year, hovering at slightly above 9 percent. It ended 2008 at 10.1 percent and has climbed to 11.1 percent so far this year.

One part of the commercial market that isn’t expected to soon rebound is the investment market. Twelve major office buildings valued at $1.5 billion and totaling 7.9 million square feet were up for sale last year. Few made it to the settlement table.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 11:43 PM   #422
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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

City Planners Put Council Back in the Loop on ''American Commerce Center'' Project
by KYW's Steve Tawa



A plan to have city planners have the last word on what would be Philadelphia's tallest building is no longer a plan.

The Philadelphia city planning commission has voted to send the high-rise project known as the American Commerce Center back to City Council, rather than keeping the final say on the matter.

Back in December, city councilman Darrell Clarke introduced zoning legislation for what would be the city's tallest skyscraper (at more than 1,500 feet high) at 18th and Arch Streets, giving the planning commission rather than City Council the last word on a plan of development.

Clarke says that at the time, he had a sense of urgency that they had to fast-track it, to sign on tenants.

But Clarke no longer feels that's the case, because he says he hasn't heard anything lately from Glaxo Smith Kline and TD Bank.

Peter Kelsen, an attorney for the developers, would not comment on prospective tenants but did acknowledge that lead tenants must be signed before construction could start:

"These are household names, recognized by everybody, locally and nationally."

And because City Council had previously handed off final approval to the city planning commission on the Sugarhouse casino project, anti-casino lawyer Paul Boni says there's no consistency:

"The arguments made very publicly were that 'we want to take politics out of this equation,' that 'we want the final word to be with the planning experts.' "

Now, he says, City Council's actions belie that argument.

Source - http://www.kyw1060.com/pages/4852923.php?
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 11:50 PM   #423
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This building will certainly change the look of Philly if it's ever built, especially being in one of America's most historic cities.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 11:51 PM   #424
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Wed, Jul. 22, 2009

Councilman seeks control in plans for city's tallest

By CHRIS BRENNAN
Philadelphia Daily News

[email protected] 215-854-5973

Mayor Nutter's desire for a City Planning Commission with more power over major construction projects bumped up yesterday against City Council's tradition of having the last word.

The American Commerce Center, a 1,510-foot office-and-hotel project proposed for 18th and Arch streets, was a test case last summer for a new approach to city planning.

Councilman Darrell Clarke introduced zoning legislation for the skyscraper, which would be the tallest building in the city and the country. The legislation, approved by Council in December, gave the Planning Commission final say on the plan of development.

Clarke said he had supported that fast-track approach then because the developer had hot prospects for tenants - GlaxoSmithKline and TD Bank. Those leads have since cooled, Clarke added.

In an unrelated zoning case, Planning Commission Executive Director Alan Greenberger testified in May that the new approach relieved Council members of "many difficult pressures" because "development in the city has become too complex."

That didn't sit well with Clarke.

"I didn't appreciate some of the language used in the testimony," said Clarke, who introduced legislation last month to return to Council final authority for the plan on how the American Commerce Center would be built.

The Planning Commission considered Clarke's new legislation in a meeting yesterday, voting unanimously to support it. Greenberger said the commission must "earn" any new powers.

"It is certainly our preference that plan of development review begin with the commission and end there," Greenberger said. "But that's a long-term goal."

Clarke's new legislation is on hold for a Council hearing until his colleagues return from summer recess Sept. 17.

"Given the economy, the likelihood that it will actually be built is somewhat limited," Clarke said of the massive project.

Plans call for a 1,210-foot office tower topped by a 300-foot spire and a 477-foot hotel attached by a sky bridge to the tower.

The project is going nowhere until the developer, Hill International Real Estate Partners, receives financing.

Peter Kelsen, an attorney for the developer, said lead tenants must be signed before construction on the tower would start. He declined to comment about GlaxoSmithKline and TD Bank.

A GlaxoSmithKline spokesman said the pharmaceutical giant has made "no decisions on moving" from its local offices.

A TD Bank spokeswoman said she would not "speculate or comment on rumors."

Source - http://www.philly.com/philly/news/po...l?text=med&c=y
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Old July 24th, 2009, 07:21 AM   #425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyGuy85 View Post
Wed, Jul. 22, 2009

Councilman seeks control in plans for city's tallest

By CHRIS BRENNAN
Philadelphia Daily News

Councilman Darrell Clarke introduced zoning legislation for the skyscraper, which would be the tallest building in the city and the country.

Source - http://www.philly.com/philly/news/po...l?text=med&c=y
Tallest in the country, huh?

I'm from the Philly area...history tells me to not hold my breath for this project.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #426
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Nice, but looks too similar to Libeskind's original proposal for the Freedom Tower...however it would make a great landmark for Philadelphia!!!
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Old July 30th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #427
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Wow! Amazing project for Philadelphia!!! I hope it will get built! Philadelphia deserve it!!!
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Old July 30th, 2009, 09:41 PM   #428
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Your right, Philadelphia needs it. It's not a very inovative, but it will fit nicely in the Philly skyline if it ever gets built.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #429
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Anyone have any recent news?

I'm getting worried about this project, hopefully they'll put it on hold till the economy comes back.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 10:42 PM   #430
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guess this buildings officially done huh? what a shame, would have been the best thing to happen to philly
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:11 PM   #431
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guess this buildings officially done huh? what a shame, would have been the best thing to happen to philly
Not at all, where did you get that? It has a very good chance of getting built, quite a few large scale tenants are looking into this building. Once the economic climate gets better, I suspect it will probably get built. The ACC has a lot going for it.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 09:57 AM   #432
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Not at all, where did you get that? It has a very good chance of getting built, quite a few large scale tenants are looking into this building. Once the economic climate gets better, I suspect it will probably get built. The ACC has a lot going for it.

That would be nice, but in the last article about ACC the guy mentioned that there is a limited possibility that this will get built, of course he was referring to the economy which is silly because they should wait it out, they're building for the future not now. Ya know when things seem just too good to be true? This is one of those things.

I just won't hold my breath for this building, Philly should have buildings this tall for the size of a city that it is but unfortunately it doesn't and probably never will. There is no news of cancellation which is good but there isn't really any good news either, that's recent anyway. I'd bet this thing is a dud, but let's hope I'm wrong. (Knock on wood)

Last edited by Jay; August 18th, 2009 at 10:06 AM.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 07:45 PM   #433
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That would be nice, but in the last article about ACC the guy mentioned that there is a limited possibility that this will get built, of course he was referring to the economy which is silly because they should wait it out, they're building for the future not now. Ya know when things seem just too good to be true? This is one of those things.

I just won't hold my breath for this building, Philly should have buildings this tall for the size of a city that it is but unfortunately it doesn't and probably never will. There is no news of cancellation which is good but there isn't really any good news either, that's recent anyway. I'd bet this thing is a dud, but let's hope I'm wrong. (Knock on wood)
It's in a really good location though. I was down there, this is a perfect spot for a building of this magnitude. Lots of foot traffic. Because of the immense retail side to this building, I think it has more going for it than you think. I don't really see this one as "too good to be true". But until we get more information and the economy gets better, your right, it will be touch and go.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 10:25 PM   #434
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Lol I think it's a Freedom Tower Look-a-like, but still it looks pretty good. I'm probably going to do a big tour through the United States, including Philadelphia, but I suppose I won't see alot of this tower yet.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 11:47 PM   #435
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beautiful.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 11:29 PM   #436
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Is the parking lot still there?
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Old October 18th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #437
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Two things: 1.Refresh the design of this supertall so it has more oomph and 2. recast the statue of Wm. Penn atop City Hall so he's looking upward because that's the direction Philly is going!!
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Old October 18th, 2009, 06:04 AM   #438
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I don't know where to put this, but there is some very nice aerial footage of Philadelphia throughout this video. You can imagine the ACC next to Comcast.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzDynJSC47E

Last edited by Onn; October 18th, 2009 at 06:23 AM.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 06:14 AM   #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelesHomais View Post
Is the parking lot still there?
yes the parking still there ,its gona be great building ,it also neighboring the comcast (as you know).
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Old October 18th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #440
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whats going on with this i drove by it the other day and they still had the sign up but I haven't heard any news about it in a while
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