2014-01-23 / Local & State

Comcast To Build Second, Taller Philly Skyscraper

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Comcast Corp. already built the tallest skyscraper in Philadelphia. On Wednesday, it announced plans to build an even taller one.

The Philadelphia-based media giant said it plans to build a $1.2 billion, 59-story technology center that will rise 1,121 feet next to the existing Comcast Center, which stands 975 feet tall and opened in June 2008.

Comcast Corp. and Liberty Property Trust said the Norman Foster- designed glass and stainless steel tower would become the “dedicated home’’ for its expanding workforce of “technologists, engineers, and software architects.’’ It will also boast a media center in the heart of downtown Philadelphia that will be home to the region’s NBC affiliate, WCAU-TV, and Telemundo’s WWSI-TV.

Comcast Corp. is the largest global media and technology company and owns NBC Universal.

“We continue to be proud to call Philadelphia our home, and are thrilled to build a world-class media, technology and innovation center right in the heart of the city, to bring NBC 10 and Telemundo 62 downtown, and to create thousands of jobs and further drive economic activity in the region,’’ Comcast chairman and chief executive Brian L. Roberts said in a statement. “We have assembled an incredible design and development team to expand our vertical campus, and I am more excited than ever about the future of Comcast in Philadelphia.’’

The building is set to have more than 1.5 million rentable square feet and will include a Four Seasons hotel and a block-long lobby with a glass-enclosed indoor plaza that will offset the Comcast Center’s outdoor plaza.

The lobby will feature a restaurant and a new concourse will provide direct connections with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s regional commuter train hub, Suburban Station.

“This is a very special project. It is an opportunity to create a unique and sustainable model for mixed-use, high density development, which uniquely combines spaces for high-tech research and development with restaurants, gardens, fitness facilities and a significant public reception space _ a window on Philadelphia,’’ Foster said, adding that, at the ground level, the building aims to embrace the city.

“Above this, the highly flexible loft-like spaces and studios are designed for a dynamic way of working _ an engine for the city’s evolution as the kind of leading technology hub presently associated with Silicon Valley,’’ Foster said.

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