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Old 08-06-2010, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
2 posts, read 8,240 times
Reputation: 12

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Oh my god all of you are wrong about why this isn't getting built. The financing is there and always has been. Instead of a mass loan the developers are using a pension fund so they can be guaranteed funding throughout the whole shebang. The reason its not getting built is because they cannot find an anchor tenant. That's it. They should find one when businesses can breathe again and either move or expand operations. the question is how will philly attract an outside source to come to the city and stay. The city's vacancy is only 10%, which is extremely good, especially compared to other american cities. The Comcast Center and Cira Center are both arguably fully leased; some say scrap for space. All just be patient and wait for the commercial climate to be more liberal and flexible.

My prediction is that they find an anchor tenant later this year into next year and groundbreaking in summer 2011.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:00 AM
 
Location: The City
22,381 posts, read 33,159,779 times
Reputation: 7799
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian.odonnell View Post
Oh my god all of you are wrong about why this isn't getting built. The financing is there and always has been. Instead of a mass loan the developers are using a pension fund so they can be guaranteed funding throughout the whole shebang. The reason its not getting built is because they cannot find an anchor tenant. That's it. They should find one when businesses can breathe again and either move or expand operations. the question is how will philly attract an outside source to come to the city and stay. The city's vacancy is only 10%, which is extremely good, especially compared to other american cities. The Comcast Center and Cira Center are both arguably fully leased; some say scrap for space. All just be patient and wait for the commercial climate to be more liberal and flexible.

My prediction is that they find an anchor tenant later this year into next year and groundbreaking in summer 2011.

maybe GSK
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:56 AM
 
521 posts, read 1,171,138 times
Reputation: 325
I think GSK moved their North American HQ to North Carolina, or announced to doing so. So it wouldn't make sense for them to put up in the new ACC by being the lead tenant.

TD Bank could come in from Cherry Hill.


Also, the project is huge and multi-faceted. Beyond the lead tenant for the office, ACC will also need a lead tenant for the hotel part of the project. A name brand hotel with little to no presence in the Philly market would be targeted. With the expansion of the convention center almost complete and many hotel rooms that were expected to hit the market never materialized, the hotel portion of the ACC should be a slam dunk, but still it's one of those things that you have to dot all the "i"s and cross all the "t"s.


In any case, I see the Cira South project getting off the ground before the ACC, unfortunately. ACC might not ever see the light of day for all we know. Cira South, OTOH, is a small scale project, it is in a tax-advantaged zone, it's right next to the 30th St Station and thus perfect Amtrak access to NYC, it's close to all the expansion going on in Univ City. Penn might take up a huge chunk of the space for its president's office and other administrative functions. BlackRock might again become more interested in it given all the tax incentives. And the project is being developed by Brandwine Realty Trust, I believe, and those guys not only have budget but also manpower to see a project through, get all the government heads to sign off on it, etc.

Cira South also isn't surrounded by crabby old neighbors from Soviet-style apartment blocks that want to live in the city but want nothing tall built around the corner.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
6,967 posts, read 18,558,445 times
Reputation: 2669
Quote:
Originally Posted by a75206 View Post
I think GSK moved their North American HQ to North Carolina, or announced to doing so. So it wouldn't make sense for them to put up in the new ACC by being the lead tenant.

TD Bank could come in from Cherry Hill.


Also, the project is huge and multi-faceted. Beyond the lead tenant for the office, ACC will also need a lead tenant for the hotel part of the project. A name brand hotel with little to no presence in the Philly market would be targeted. With the expansion of the convention center almost complete and many hotel rooms that were expected to hit the market never materialized, the hotel portion of the ACC should be a slam dunk, but still it's one of those things that you have to dot all the "i"s and cross all the "t"s.


In any case, I see the Cira South project getting off the ground before the ACC, unfortunately. ACC might not ever see the light of day for all we know. Cira South, OTOH, is a small scale project, it is in a tax-advantaged zone, it's right next to the 30th St Station and thus perfect Amtrak access to NYC, it's close to all the expansion going on in Univ City. Penn might take up a huge chunk of the space for its president's office and other administrative functions. BlackRock might again become more interested in it given all the tax incentives. And the project is being developed by Brandwine Realty Trust, I believe, and those guys not only have budget but also manpower to see a project through, get all the government heads to sign off on it, etc.

Cira South also isn't surrounded by crabby old neighbors from Soviet-style apartment blocks that want to live in the city but want nothing tall built around the corner.
NIMBY's suck!
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
2 posts, read 8,240 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
maybe GSK
There was a good chance of both glaxo kline smith or td bank 2 or 3 years ago but since then gsk has moved entirely out of the city to places like north carolina and td bank has backed down from anything serious. As i said, Philly will need to attract a company from outside the city to kickstart the project, which is virtually unheard of at least in the past. The problem is, that lowering the business taxes won't completely solve the problem; the project, to get started, needs a strong economic climate, which is still about a half year away.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:40 AM
 
21,917 posts, read 32,091,453 times
Reputation: 20979
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian.odonnell View Post
The city's vacancy is only 10%, which is extremely good, especially compared to other american cities.
Actually that's incorrect. It's 15% and growing, and as the attached article points out the vacancy rate is currently the equivalent of three empty Liberty Place towers. Since a vast majority of "Class A" office space in the city is so geographically clustered, funding for new builds won't be easy for developers until the rate goes down to single digits. The recent tendency of putting up new builds, only to attract current firms who move a few blocks to take advantage of the tax abatement, isn't going to move things along any faster. I would think developers/lenders would want to see potential for new companies moving in versus shuffling existing ones around.
Phila. office vacancy rate nearing 15% - Philadelphia Business Journal
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:55 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,936 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
One Skyscraper isn't gonna change that.

I don't know about Boston, but Philly will ALWAYS be outclassed by DC and New York, because they are DC AND NEW YORK.

Marseilles ain't Paris, Milan ain't Rome, Munich isn't Berlin, etc. but they are still all great cities with unique character.

Lol...Are you serious? DC, really? That place is terrible. So ephemeral. The only city that I *might* demur to is NY. But at the high end, so unless you are rich you are stuck in Queens. Take out Manhattan and hands down Philly can go head to head despite being almost 1/5 its size.

I used to live in South Philly, been around the world, and now in the Bay area. What kills me is that Philly SHOULD be one of the world's best cities. Take San Francisco. Population only about 800K. Yet if you compare the two people might actually laugh at you if you say Philly is a better city, despite Philly being twice its size. So, yes, size is important, but it isn't everything (or at least I like to tell myself).

So where should Philly dominate? For one, being "Green." Philly already as the larges park system of any city in the US or at least for its size. It is generally flat and well laid out. I sometimes would actually walk up to Temple to go to school for early morning classes, I'm kind of an explorer and would like to just see the city, it took me about an hour or so to get there. I can't get anywhere in an hour in the Bay area! So the point is that Public transportation and just basic, healthy walking can get you almost anywhere in the city. Very, very few cities can claim that distinction. What is sad is that the city doesn't capitalize on it.

Second, livability which ties into being green. Although Philly has done well in the latest housing crisis, the homes are the most affordable of any large American city. You can't get a home in the Bay Area, outside of the ghetto, in any of the big cities here SF, Oakland, or San Jose for under 400K. Did you hear me? Under 400k. And that would only be in Oakland. In SF or San Jose at least, at least 750K. Hear that? Yeah, we make more out here, but not that much more. Whatever your salary is in Philly add another 10%. So if you make 40k then you would be making 44k here. That does not make up for the fact that you will have to buy a home at least 3-4 times what you could get in Philly.

Third, education. I'm sorry but no city in the world for its size can claim the level of quality we have in our higher education system. And, if you compare it just in aggregate and not scaled for size we are, easily within the top 5 areas in the WORLD. The WORLD.

I can go on but livability and education are the two most normal middle and upper middle class people care about. I can argue about entrepreneurship potential (that it is cheap for startups), ethnic tradition (especially for Italians and Blacks), Sports, general history, etc. forever.

The only thing that keeps Philly from being as Great as it SHOULD is the morale of its people. I remember growing up in South Philly, and you find it in every neighborhood, how everyone would just disparage Philly. It was like a mental illness where everyone would blame all their problems on Philly and not themselves. Looking back with some perspective it is almost too funny, but sad as that is the ONLY thing keeping Philly down. NOBODY does that in any city I've ever lived it.

So that's where this skyscraper and the Comcast center and Liberty One and Two come in. It tells not just the world, but Philadelphians how great their city really is and how great they can be.

I hope it gets built. I intend to live once again and die in Philly and when I move back it will bring great joy to me to see how much my city has grown. Skyscrapers are the visual embodiment of that. Even now when I get homesick I go to Google Earth and check out Philly in full 3-D and all, reminiscing about my GREAT city. I consider myself lucky to have been born there.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:21 AM
 
521 posts, read 1,171,138 times
Reputation: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Actually that's incorrect. It's 15% and growing, and as the attached article points out the vacancy rate is currently the equivalent of three empty Liberty Place towers. Since a vast majority of "Class A" office space in the city is so geographically clustered, funding for new builds won't be easy for developers until the rate goes down to single digits. The recent tendency of putting up new builds, only to attract current firms who move a few blocks to take advantage of the tax abatement, isn't going to move things along any faster. I would think developers/lenders would want to see potential for new companies moving in versus shuffling existing ones around.
Phila. office vacancy rate nearing 15% - Philadelphia Business Journal

Yep, let's face it. Business climate in Philadelphia and in PA in general, isn't the best. And the recession doesn't help one bit.


Brandywine Properties Trust, the backers of Cira South, aren't about to break ground on that project. You only have to look at their actions rather than words. They used a chunk of their free cash to outright buy the Bell Atlantic Tower and will spend a little more in renovating the interior spaces. They think they can get a bigger return on investment by buying older, standing buildings, then building new ones. Otherwise they would have put that $100 million + to good use by starting on Cira South. But why do that when there are other options?


Brandywine is busy building out suburban-type office campus down in the Navy Yard, and more and more companies and workers are moving in over there. No similar progress on Cira South. Yeah, the old post office building renovation is almost done and 5000 IRS workers will move in next year. So perhaps that's a start and will give some momentum to that area.

Another potentially positive piece (alliterations, anyone?! lol) of news I read recently is that Bank of America is interested in selling off its inherited interest in BlackRock. BlackRock wanted to move to Philly and be the lead tenant at Cira South project, but the economy and the fact that they needed approval from the ginormous merger deal of BoA/Merrill Lynch...just made it impossible to move. Now, perhaps things are different, and if they are going to be independent, or majority-owned by PNC, then for synergy and other reasons, perhaps they would make a move to Cira South. Of course, there is the whole issue of their current lease and its expiration at their current central Jersey location... Cira South space would have to get built out before that lease expires...so the longer that project sits idle, the less likely it would be to get BR to relocate to Philly. And that's one damn prestigious name to have in this city in the finance sector.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:31 PM
 
1,224 posts, read 3,629,172 times
Reputation: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by a75206 View Post
Yep, let's face it. Business climate in Philadelphia and in PA in general, isn't the best. And the recession doesn't help one bit.

Well, there was a discussion on the NJ forum about how things were moving out of NYC, and towards Central Jersey and Philadelphia metro! (Dont know who is right, but one can make any kind of subjective statement.)

Also, for comparison, office vacancies in Atlanta are over 20%.

Last edited by FromGA; 08-31-2010 at 11:32 PM..
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Marlton (Evesham Twp)
267 posts, read 857,789 times
Reputation: 123
Updates anyone?? I have a bad feeling that the timing is just off on this project and will never see construction. I'm hoping I'm wrong though.
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