Monday, September 29, 2014

$500M East Market Redevelopment to Get Underway Oct 2

An entire city block bound by Market, Chestnut, 11th and 12th streets will soon be transformed into a retail-residential development. The project, called East Market, will encompass 4.3-acres and cost approximately $500 million to build. The $230 million first phase of East Market will include demolition of the existing building fronting Market Street, followed by construction of a 17-story tower totaling 650,000 square feet. 
An official ground breaking to mark the beginning of demolition and construction of the project is scheduled for Thursday, October 2nd. 

Lt. Governor Jim Cawley and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter are expected to be on hand for the ceremony.

The initial structure will include 160,000 square feet of retail space on two levels, topped by a 325-unit apartment building.

Phase I will also renovate the 200,000-square-foot family court building into retail and office space.

"We're going to have grocers, we're going to have restaurants, entertainment, fashion," said Jeff Kanne, CEO of National Real Estate Advisors, the $2.2 billion-asset, Washington-based firm backing the project.

The project will be built with 100% union labor, including IBEW electricians. The development team was glad to note that union crews delivered the NREA-backed tower at 2116 Chestnut Street ahead of schedule.
The $500 million-plus project is aimed at upgrading Philadelphia's worn downtown retail district and spreading Center City's apartment revival east of Broad Street.

NREA counts the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and other labor unions among its investors.

Planned are new store buildings facing Market Street, lit by Times Square-style signs, that will be topped by 325 apartments - at $2,300 a month for a one-bedroom unit - with underground parking.

The builders will strip and replace the outside walls of the eight-story former Snellenburg warehouse facing 11th Street, now used by the city's Family Court. The developers are talking to office tenants, but could end up putting more apartments there.

Retail stores are planned for the first floor of the nearby 12-story Girard office building, with the upper floors upgraded for office, hotel, or apartments, depending on market demand.

"We're going to make Market Street cool again," said Daniel Killinger, director at NREA Development Services.

If the initial space sells well, the group plans to replace buildings in the 1100 block of Chestnut Street with new stores and apartments - bringing the residential count for the entire project to as many as 1,000 units.

Monday, September 22, 2014

PA’s Highest Residential Tower to Rise on South Broad St

A sleek 47-story hotel/condo tower planned for the corner of South Broad & Spruce streets has been approved by the Civic Design Review Committee. The SLS International Hotel and Residences will soar 590 feet and will house 125 luxury condo units, 150 hotel rooms, an Olympic sized swimming pool, a restaurant and retail space. The $200 million building will be Pennsylvania’s tallest residential structure, and its units will be among its most expensive. Construction is expected to take about two years to complete.

Dranoff Properties is clear to begin construction of SLS International Hotel and Residences - a 47-story, 590-foot tower with 125 condos and 150 hotel rooms at Broad and Spruce streets, across the street from the Kimmel Center.

There are currently two buildings on the site. These will be torn down, but first asbestos must be removed.

Remediation will begin in late fall or early winter, with demolition to follow and construction to begin as soon as the site is clear.

The new building will be designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, architects of the world's highest hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.

Project details:
  • 47 stories and 590 feet tall
  • Approximately 423,000 square feet
  • 162 five-star hotel rooms
  • 125 luxury condos, ranging from one-bedroom units to penthouses
  • The hotel and condos units will have separate lobbies
  • Ground-floor retail stores
  • 6,000-square-foot, double-height glass ballroom on the fifth-floor
  • Olympic sized swimming pool, fitness center and spa
  • A ground-floor corner bar and restaurant
  • Target groundbreaking: next fall
  • Construction time: two years
  • Cost: more than $200 million
  • Total parking spots: 233
  • One level of underground parking; three levels above-grade
  • The garage will be limited to residents and hotel-uses, and all parking will be by valet.

The compelling 47-story tower is intended to act as a catalyst for the future of development to the south of Center City, said architect Gene Kohn.

Developer, Carl Dranoff, says the building will be the Pennsylvania’s “tallest structure built for residential use.“

The 590-foot tower will be taller than the William Penn statue on top of City Hall, and its units will be among the City’s most expensive.

Construction will require the demolition 301-309 South Broad Street, the longtime home of Philadelphia International Records. The building suffered significant fire damage in 2010.

The name, SLS International, is a nod to Philadelphia International – which was famous for the “Philadelphia Sound,” showcased in the recordings of artists such as The Three Degrees, Teddy Pendergass, and The O’Jays.

311 South Broad will also be demolished, and the University of the Arts lot at 313 South Broad Street will be taken and used as a loading dock.

The SLS International Hotel and Residences will be one of Philly's most upscale properties once complete. Not only will it be the tallest building on Broad Street, it will also house an Olympic sized swimming pool, a spa and boast the highest penthouses in the city.

The project calls for condos from floors 20 to 47, hotel rooms on lower floors, and amenities including restaurants, a gym, swimming pool and a spa near street level.

The new building will feature stone at the base, but will be primarily made of metal and glass. The glass will have a high-performance coating, and the metal will be covered with a bright metallic paint.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

La Salle University Constructing New $35M Business School

La Salle University announced it will construct a new 87,000-square-foot facility for its school of business at the intersection of Wister and Chew avenues in Northwest Philadelphia.  A 300-seat auditorium, a sales training laboratory and corporate-style boardroom are among some of the building’s features. The University held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 16, 2014 at the building site. 
The $35 million project will create approximately 600 construction jobs. The six-story structure is expected to be completed in January 2016.

The University announced last November that it planned to construct a state-of-the-art facility to house its School of Business.

The new building has been designed to include amenities and spaces that facilitate the collaborative learning, networking, and teamwork necessary in today’s business world.

“This is one of the most significant projects that La Salle has undertaken in its 151-year history,” said William Sautter, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Highlights of the new $35 million School of Business building:
  • six-story 87,000 square foot facility
  • A large atrium space that can be used to host networking and social events
  • A completely wireless infrastructure that will allow students to interact in real time with other students and executives from around the world
  • A 300-seat auditorium that can be used to host symposia and conferences
  • Flexible collaborative learning rooms that will reinforce student / faculty and student / business executive interaction
  • An array of computer classrooms and simulation facilities
  • Video conferencing capabilities throughout the building
  • A sales training laboratory
  • A corporate-style boardroom

The 87,000-square-foot building will be located on the University’s West Campus and will extend the University’s frontage from Olney to Chew Avenue. The project will also have a positive impact on the community, creating approximately 600 jobs during construction.

The School of Business facility’s state-of-the-art amenities will include a dramatic atrium space that can be used to host networking and social events; a sales training laboratory and simulation facilities; a corporate-style boardroom; a 300-seat auditorium, and flexible collaborative learning rooms, gathering spaces, and technology-equipped breakout rooms that will reinforce interactions among students, faculty, and business executives.

The facility is scheduled to open for classes in January 2016. The project is being funded with $20 million from the University and $15 million in alumni donations.

La Salle’s School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a designation held by less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide. La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de LaSalle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. LaSalle founded in 1680.  LaSalle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gensler Selected to Design Interiors of New $1.2B Comcast Tower

Architectural firm Gensler has been selected to design the interiors of the new 59-story Comcast Innovation and Technology Center presently under construction at 18th and Arch streets. The 1,121-foot-tall skyscraper will be the tallest building in the country outside of New York or Chicago, and will house television stations, a Four Seasons hotel, and various office space.  The massive $1.2 billion project is expected to be completed by early 2018 and will create about 6,300 construction-related jobs.

The goal is to create a “functional, aesthetic, sustainable and progressive interior environment that will effectively integrate with the architectural design of the building,” the firm said in a statement.

At 1,121-feet, the new tower will conquer the Philadelphia skyline. According to Comcast, it will also be the largest private development project in Pennsylvania’s history.

Gensler will collaborate with Foster + Partners, which designed the 1,121-foot-tall structure.

The dazzling new skyscraper will house the NBC10 and Telemundo television stations, a workspace for Comcast's engineers, technologists, and software architects, and space for tech startups.

The building's adventurous architecture will be a public statement of the company's evolution from a low-tech cable-TV provider to a technology developer with video streaming, Internet products, and mobile apps.

The new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center on Arch Street between 18th and 19th Streets in Center City will be a neighbor to Comcast Center, the corporation’s current global headquarters, topping that building’s height by 150 feet.

In addition, the Suburban Station concourse will be extended a block to the west beneath 18th Street.

The 59-story structure will have about 1.5 million square feet of rentable space.

Comcast is partnering with Malvern, Pennsylvania-based Liberty Property Trust to develop the glass and stainless steel tower, which will include a Four Seasons hotel on the top 13 floors (which Gensler will not be designing), and 2,700 square feet of retail space.