Philadelphia’s iconic skyline, familiar to anyone who visits frequently or calls Philly home, is changing again. The Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, due to open in 2017, has been in progress for a while (the $1.2 billion skyscraper began construction in 2014), and will be one of the largest buildings in the country when completed.
At 59 stories of glass and stainless steel tall, it has been planned to be an extension of Comcast’s global headquarters. It will also become the headquarters for NBC 10, Telemundo, and the Four Seasons Philadelphia Hotel. It has 1.285 million rentable square feet of office space, and 230,112 square feet of hotel space. The Four Seasons, which was located in Logan Square for over 30 years, will be taking over the top two floors with a spa, fitness facilities, meeting space, event space, and a 360 degree view restaurant at the very top of the building as the cherry on the sundae.
It will be the eighth tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The architect is world-renowned Lord Norman Foster of Foster + Partners, with interior design by Gensler. It will include a parking garage and a retail mall on the lower levels and at least three television studios. There will be an enclosed public indoor plaza build to compliment Comcast’s existing outdoor space, and will connect to the Suburban Station concourse underground, as well as widened sidewalks and roads surrounding the building which will improve access to the area for Philadelphians.
Governor Tom Corbett’s Office said the tower “will become the dedicated home for the company’s growing workforce of technologists, engineers and software architects.”
“We are thrilled to mark another historic moment in our company’s history in Pennsylvania with the development of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation. “This expansion of Comcast’s vertical campus in Philadelphia will create tens of thousands of jobs and drive billions of dollars in economic development in the Commonwealth and the City. This exciting project would not be possible without the support of the Commonwealth and Governor Corbett, who is a true and committed partner in driving Pennsylvania’s growth.”
The building is estimated to generate $2.75 billion in overall economic impact in Pennsylvania and will create over 20,000 jobs by some estimates. They are also looking to make the center as much of an attraction as it is a technologically-advanced business center. “This entertainment and innovation complex elevates downtown Philadelphia’s strong reputation as a world-class destination for culture and connection,” Corbett said. “We’re investing in public spaces where visitors and Pennsylvanians alike can marvel at our world-class art, our incomparable architecture and our unique attractions. This project is not only about building a new tower on Philadelphia’s skyline, or about creating new and beautiful public spaces in Center City. This project shows that Philadelphia is taking a bite out of the ‘Big Apple’ and we are ready to compete with anyone in the world to bring jobs to Pennsylvania.”
While there is not yet word on what the restaurant on the top floor will be, the most buzz is definitely whirling around it. It will be the tallest publicly accessible point in Philadelphia by about 400 feet, with huge glass walls for a view of the entire city. For reference, the City Hall Tower Observation Deck is 500 feet above ground, and restaurant R2L is also 500 feet high, this new restaurant will clock in at 900 feet off the ground. And we also know there is no shortage of food talent in the Philadelphia area, so there is no doubt this place is going to knock some socks off.