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PHILADELPHIA-The 206-year, 1,200-acre Navy Yard, already housing four million sf of varied commerce, will introduce a new corporate partnership this fall when Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. open Building 100 Innovation Center. The 32,000-sf, 100-year-old former Marine Corps barracks building will be developed as a regional hub for technology commercialization of physical and engineering science.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners is moving its headquarters from 1835 Market St. in Center City to the building in the fall. P&A Associates, a locally based developer with previous historic renovation experience, has contracted to purchase the barracks building from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and will master lease the property to Ben Franklin Technology Partners and the Delaware Valley Industrial Center. PDIC is providing construction and permanent financing for the building’s redevelopment.

Peter Longstreth, president of PIDC, couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline to learn the contract price of the building or details of the financing and master lease.

In a statement, Longstreth says the planned innovation center will be “a huge asset that both reinforces the Navy’s pre-eminent research and development activity, and catalyzes the commercialization of this research into new business ventures and jobs for Philadelphia.” More than 20 engineering-based technology firms already work within the Navy Yard. Existing technology assets at the site include the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard which is the Navy’s installed base of industrial and engineering systems facilities.

Gov. Ed Rendell designated the Navy Yard in March 2005 as a Keystone Innovation Zone which made it eligible for a mix of state incentives for technology development. Rendell calls the yard “one of the region’s greatest assets.” He says, “Rather than let this section of it sit idle, we made a commitment to its future, and to the future of this region’s working men and women.” The Navy Yard can house up to 12 million sf for historic renovations and build-to-suit projects for office, research and development, light and heavy industrial distribution, marina and recreational uses.

The Navy Yard KIZ is headed by a partnership of the PIDC, Penn State University, the Navy, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center and the city of Philadelphia. Building 100 Innovation Center is the first project for the Navy Yard KIZ.

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