Making History with the Comcast Technology Center
Ballard Spahr's real estate team played a leading role in laying the groundwork for the Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia, the largest private development in the history of Pennsylvania. Opened in 2018, the $1.2 billion, 60-story skyscraper is the tallest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago.
Rising 1,121 feet above Center City adjacent to Comcast's global headquarters, the skyscraper is the first in Philadelphia to crack the 1,000-foot mark. The Ballard Spahr team, led by Partner Alan S. Ritterband, represented Comcast in both the joint venture agreement with developer Liberty Property Trust and in the long-term lease of the building. This presented unique legal issues in light of the building’s complex ownership, operational, and physical structures.
"Comcast is an owner and the major tenant, so we always had to be mindful of which hat we were wearing," during negotiations and closing of agreements, contracts, and related documentation, Mr. Ritterband said.
The building is topped by a Four Seasons Hotel with more than 200 rooms and suites as well as a gourmet restaurant. With more than 1.5 million square feet of office, retail, and hotel space, the tower is home to anchor tenants including Comcast and key affiliates, such as NBC10 and Telemundo62 TV studios. Designed by world-renowned British architect Lord Norman Foster of Foster + Partners, the building is on track to receive double LEED Platinum certification. It has direct underground access to Philadelphia Suburban Station, a major transit hub, for the convenience of tenants and visitors.
Through construction jobs and activity, permanent jobs, and millions in annual tax revenue, the project's economic impact is unprecedented in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
"The project has made a lasting and extraordinary mark on the city, both in economic impact and in promoting the Philadelphia experience," said Bart Mellits, Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Real Estate Department. "We are proud to be a part of it."