X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

PHILADELPHIA-With leases for 374,000 sf, or more than half of Cira Centre’s planned office space, Plymouth Meeting, PA-based Brandywine Realty Trust will go forward with construction of the 28-story landmark. Locally based law firms Dechert LLP and Woodcock Washburn LLP ink for 245,000 sf and 109,000 sf, respectively. Attalus Capital, a private equity firm, signs for another 20,000 sf and will relocate its headquarters from Plymouth Meeting.

Brandywine expects to break ground “soon,” according to a statement and reach completion in fourth quarter 2005. The building is designed by Argentine architect Cesar Pelli, best known for Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur. In addition to 690,000 sf of office space, Cira Centre will contain 37,000 sf of space for retail, conference areas and other amenities.

It will be located adjacent to Amtrak’s 30th Street Station in University City, anchoring Center City to the west and creating a bridge between University City and the traditional CBD. Amtrak owns the land and Brandywine holds a 99-year lease. When Cira Centre was announced 18 months ago, construction costs were estimated at between $150 million and $170 million.

The largest leases create significant vacancies in Center City. Dechert will move from about 225,000 sf in Bell Atlantic Tower at 1717 Arch St., and Woodcock Washburn will exit its 80,000 sf in One Liberty Place at 1650 Market. Radnor, PA-based Tactix Real Estate Advisors represented Dechert and Woodcock Washburn in the lease negotiations. GVA Mack’s Center City office represented Attalus Capital.

According to published reports, all of the leases are for 15 years. Rental rates are undisclosed. When Cira Centre was announced, Gerard H. Sweeney, Brandywine’s president and CEO, was quoted as saying that rents would be “competitive with stay-put rates,” estimated in the range of $30 to $35 per sf. Cira Centre is a designated Keystone Opportunity Zone, which forgives tenants’ state and city taxes until 2013.

With 50% occupancy sewed up, Cira Centre seems to lead in the race to be the first new office building constructed in Philadelphia in a decade. Not yet out of the running, however, is One Pennsylvania Plaza, a 57-story, 1.25-million-sf tower planned for 18th St. and JFK Blvd. by Malvern, PA-based Liberty Property Trust. Although Liberty has yet to announce any preleasing, brokers tell GlobeSt.com it is courting prime Center City tenants, such as Comcast, with leases nearing expiration.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ed Rendell has asked the state general assembly to give the Liberty parcel KOZ status. This has prompted an outcry among owners of existing office properties, who vow to fight the expansion of KOZ status and other subsidies. They argue that government is, in effect “sponsoring” an increased office vacancy rate and eroding rental rates.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.