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Liberty, Comcast Start Development of 59-Story Tower

Foundation Work to Begin This Month For Massive Office Spire and Four Seasons Hotel
July 3, 2014
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.

Completion is anticipated during the first quarter of 2018.

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