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PHILADELPHIA-Waterfront Renaissance Associates’ plan for the development ofthe Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center is one of 11 waterfrontprojects, and the only one from the US, chosen by the Royal Institute of BritishArchitects to be featured at Waterfront Expo 2003 in London in October. WRA,the locally based affiliate partnership of New York-based Carl Marks & Co.,owns and is developing the 5.3-acre site along the Delaware riverfront inSouth Philly.

This March, WRA unveiled plans for the $700-million, 4-million-sf, mixed-useproject. It calls for a 42-story, 396-unit luxury apartment building; threeoffice facilities totaling 2.3 million sf, and 118,000 sf of retail space.

Among the key features that led to its selection for the expo are: theprivate/public partnership with Delaware River Port Authority to fundaspects of the project; the accumulation of zoning, tax incentives and other cityand state bonuses; and architectural plans that create stand-alone facilities asthe project is phased in and components are integrated. The selectioncommittee also cited the formula created to “internationalize” the area’seconomy.

The 10 other case studies at the expo are: London’s own Silvertown Quays;the Toronto waterfront; Ireland’s Dublin Docklands; Victoria & Albert Waterfrontin Cape Town, South Africa; Lebanon’s Beirut Marina; Palm Islands in Dubai,UAE; Scotland’s Waterfront Edinburgh; Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, UK;Young City in Gdansk, Poland; and West Bay Island in Qatar.

Martin Schiffman, president of WRA and a managing director of Carl Marks,will present the project plan in London. “This opportunity will raise theinternational profile of the city of Philadelphia as well as that of theproject,” he said, calling both “important steps in the process to achieveour ultimate mandate of creating prime, mixed-use space, which will attracttop-tier tenants from around the world.”

Once 70% of the 400,000-sf office building in the complex -the smallest ofthe three -is leased, construction of WTC will begin.

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