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PHILADELPHIA-Brandywine Realty Trust has put a name to the elegant façade that will soon become a dominant element of the city’s historic skyline. Located on an Amtrak-owned parcel adjacent to 30th Street Station, Cira Centre will be a 735,000-sf tower with 28 stories of office, conference and retail space.

Newtown Square, PA-based Brandywine’s first Philadelphia development has been designed by globally prominent architect Cesar Pelli and prestigious local design firm Bower Lewis Thrower. The REIT yesterday gave its new project a bigger-than-life kickoff, with a splashy multi-media presentation at 30th Street Station attended by Mayor John F. Street, Pelli, a host of city officials and the cream of Philadelphia’s real estate community.

Pelli, best known for his design of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the World Financial Center in New York and Canary Wharf in London, said he considered the skyline and location in designing this office building. The crystalline, faceted structure will be built with maximum reflectivity to capture the light of the sky and changing hues as day turns to dusk. At times, Pelli said, the “light, dynamic, diaphanous” structure will be appear as a shimmering mirage to the glancing eye while other moments will recall the building as “a sculpture carved as a single block of crystal.”

Pelli emphasized the significance of constructing a major office building cheek-by-jowl with one of the nation’s busiest rail hubs–Cira Centre will be connected to 30th Street Station via pedestrian bridge. He also said the building’s size and prominence will shift the city’s “center of gravity,” creating a new western boundary for downtown. “This building will be the western anchor piece of the Philadelphia skyline,” Pelli said. “It is a fresh, contemporary creation that will allow those who work and do business there to feel pride in being a part of the most beautiful building in the city.”

“This is an incredible opportunity,” said Brandywine president and CEO Gerard H. Sweeney. “It enables us to work with one of the finest architectural firms in the world, on its first Philadelphia project, to bring a visually spectacular office building to one of the fastest growing areas of the City and establish a new center of business and commerce in a key location.” Brandywine is marketing the building to both local companies and as a convenient location for firms that conduct business regularly between New York and Washington.

The 435-foot building will have a 42-foot-high lobby, floorplates averaging 27,000 sf, 12 high-speed traction elevators, adjacent parking and an advanced voice and data communication system. A conference center, concierge service, health club and restaurant, and will round out the list of amenities. A variety of retail shops will also occupy the property. Construction is set to begin next year and delivery is expected in some time in 2005.

Brandywine Realty Trust owns, manages or has an ownership interest in 299 office and industrial properties, aggregating 20.3 million square feet.

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