Music History In South Broad Hotel-Condo Project

Introduced as interior designer for the 152-room SLS LUX Philadelphia Hotel, the iconic Phillipe Starck found it easy to strike the right chord with his audience of city movers and shakers.

Turning to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the Frenchman thanked the recording impresarios for giving him “the kind of music that has allowed me to make good projects.”

“This is my opportunity,” Starck said of his first Philadelphia project, “to be able to pay my debt to you and your music,” to which he listens as he designs.

With speeches, gold bricks, and daytime fireworks Friday at the Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden, developers Carl Dranoff and Sam Nazarian, CEO of Los Angeles-based sbe Entertainment Group, led the tributes to Gamble and Huff.


BNY Mellon Is Putting Iconic Citizens Bank Tower Up For Sale

The Citizens Bank Tower, an iconic building that was one of Pittsburgh’s first skyscrapers and remains among the tallest in its skyline, is up for sale as its owner hopes to capitalize on intense interest for Downtown office space.

Owner Bank of New York Mellon is shopping the building as part of plans to scale back its real estate footprint to cut costs. No price has been set, nor has the bank identified a broker to represent the property, said spokeswoman Lane Cigna.

However, BNY Mellon is eager to take advantage of a hot market in Pittsburgh.

“There is a lot of outside interest in Pittsburgh in terms of the market itself. If you’re an astute real estate investor, you see the building that’s going on,” she said. “It’s really good timing to start to market this.”

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Brandywine To Build 47-Story FMC Tower In University City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FMC Corp. has agreed to move its headquarters from 1745 Market St. in Center City into the new tower that Brandywine Realty Trust has been trying to build, NE corner of 30th and Walnut Sts. in University City, for the past 5 years. The $341 million FMC Tower will rise 47 stories — 650 feet — and include 575,000 sq ft of offices, 10,000 sq ft of retail — plus 260 apartments. Adjoins a 2,000-space parking garage built by Brandywine that also serves IRS workers at Brandywine’s former 30th St post office nearby.

FMC will move its headquarters staff — currently 546 bosses and workers — to the new tower by June 2016, spokesman Jim Fitzwater told me. FMC will lease 253,000 sq ft for 16 years; the University of Pennsylvania will rent another 100,000 sq ft on four floors for 20 years.


Buzz Builds On Another Comcast Tower

English: Comcast Tower, tallest building in Ph...

English: Comcast Tower, tallest building in Philadelphia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Comcast Corp., which runs its growing media empire from Philadelphia’s tallest skyscraper, is considering building at least one new tower in Center City and is working with the prominent British architect Norman Foster, according to sources in the city’s real estate community.

Details about Comcast’s expansion plans are being kept under tight wraps, but the company appears to be focusing on constructing the first of several towers on a long, skinny, 1.5-acre site at 18th and Arch Streets, a block west of the Comcast Center. That building could eventually be part of a vertical campus including towers at 19th Street and Arch, and 18th and John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

All three sites are controlled by Liberty Property Trust, which completed Comcast’s sleek, 975-foot headquarters just six years ago.

Since then, Comcast has grown enormously.  With its acquisition of NBCUniversal and its move into new digital products, Comcast has filled virtually all 1.2 million square feet in its glass obelisk and needs more office space for its expanding workforce.


Short Film Showcasing Philadelphia

To counter the stereotype of Philadelphia as Negadelphia, filmmaker Nathaniel Dodson set about to make a stunning time-lapse video to show his great city in a different light.  He called it “Philly is Ugly.”

Allentown Developer Plans Tallest Building In Lehigh Valley

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After decades of spreading out, Allentown could be growing up, its skyline altered by the Lehigh Valley‘s tallest building.

Developer Bruce Loch unveiled plans Wednesday for the 33-story Landmark Tower at Ninth and Walnut streets. The $60-million project would include nearly 200,000 square feet of office, retail and residential space and eclipse the vacant Martin Tower, the former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel and the Valley’s tallest building, by 20 feet.

Loch, an experienced residential builder in the Lehigh Valley with more than $100 million in development under his belt, is making his first foray into this type of project, which he said would be on a lot owned by the Allentown Parking Authority, next to the authority’s garage on Walnut Street.

The property is in the city’s one-of-a-kind Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which allows developers to tap tenants’ state and city taxes, not including property taxes, to finance construction.

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Makeover For Pittsburgh’s PPG Place May Include Grocery Store

PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A little more than a year after acquiring the Downtown complex, the owner of PPG Place is eyeing a property makeover that could drastically alter the food court and Wintergarden as well as the space fronting Market Square.

Highwoods Properties is seeking to upgrade PPG’s retail space and is considering the option of replacing the food court with a grocery, CEO and president Ed Fritsch said.

“We’re evaluating a number of options, and that certainly is one of them,” he said.  “It is still early on.  I think any Downtown worker or resident … would love to have that type of shopping amenity in Downtown.”

Highwoods paid $179.4 million in September 2011 to acquire the glass castle-like, six-building complex in the heart of Downtown and has boosted the office occupancy from 81.2 percent to more than 90 percent since then.  It also is in the process of making $17.1 million in capital improvements, including new signs and directories and modernized air conditioning and heating systems and elevators.

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One World Trade Center To Become NYC’s Tallest Building Monday

NEW YORK, NY—  C0me Monday, 1 World Trade Center is expected to become the Big Apple’s tallest skyscraper, when its steel casing surpasses that other famous city landmark, the Empire State Building.

It will reach more than 1,250 feet, just a little past the Observation Deck.

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