Morning Headlines: New Luxury Hotel to Replace Four Seasons After Renovation

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center interior.

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center interior.

The Inquirer’s Bob Fernandez reports the Four Seasons Hotel, set to move to the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center when it’s completed in 2018, will shut its doors at One Logan Square this June. Following an extensive renovation, its former site will reopen under a yet to be named luxury hotel (although whispers of a Marriott have been circulating.)

Sage Hospitality, Fernandez adds, will be in charge of the transition and intends to keep as many Four Seasons employees as possible:

Walter Isenberg, chief executive officer and president of Sage Hospitality, said that the Four Seasons in Philadelphia “has earned a spot as one of the city’s most important hospitality assets. While honoring the property’s past, we will make it relevant to today’s traveler as a modern luxury hotel. We are excited to be joining the Philadelphia community and look forward to introducing a new restaurant concept from our Sage Restaurant Group.”

Sage intends to retain as many Four Seasons employees as possible, Isenberg said.

Four Seasons to close for renovations in June [Inquirer]

In other news…

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PHOTOS: The Foundation Mat Concrete Pour for the New Comcast Tower

The largest concrete pour in Philadelphia history thus far (although some would beg to differ, see comment in the linked post) took place Friday night and continued on until Saturday morning. It was riveting stuff and apparently people gathered for the momentous occasion to immortalize it in social media heaven.

Below, some photos from the event:

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Morning Headlines: New Comcast Tower Requires the Largest Concrete Pour In Philly’s History

Rendering of Comcast Technology and Innovation Center via NBC10.

Rendering of Comcast Technology and Innovation Center via NBC10.

The Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will hold two titles when it’s completed: Philadelphia’s tallest skyscraper and largest concrete pour. According to the Inquirer’s Bob Fernandez, contractors are set to pour “400 truckloads of concrete” for the skyscraper’s foundation mat, “one of the largest concrete pours in city history” per city officials.

Fernandez reports the 1800 block of Arch will be closed during the pour, which will start at midnight tonight and end Saturday at 5:00pm. The foundation mat will be attached to city bedrock and weight up to 15 million pounds.

Rain or shine,’ concrete will pour in Center City [Inquirer]

Meanwhile, in other news…

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Gensler Will Design New Comcast Tower’s Interior (RENDERINGS)

Photo credit: Gensler

Photo credit: Gensler

A Monday press release has announced Gensler, a global architectural and design firm headquartered in San Francisco, will be working with Foster + Partners and Daroff Design Inc. to design the interior of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center.

Among Gensler’s accolades are the Architecture Firm Award, presented to them in 2000 by the AIA, and the Corporate Design Excellence Award, given to them by the IIDA in 2013, 2012, and 2011.

According to the press release, the collaboration is meant “to create a functional, aesthetic, sustainable and progressive interior environment that will effectively integrate with the architectural design of the building” at 18th and Arch. LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council is sought for the interior.

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Morning Headlines: New Details on Comcast Skyscraper

Rendering of CITC. Photo courtesy of Comcast Corporate.

Rendering of CITC.
Image via Comcast Corporate.

After getting the regulatory process over three months ago, construction will soon begin on the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, a joint project between Comcast and developer Liberty Property Trust.

The future 18th and Arch tower will include a Four Seasons Hotel with 222 rooms, as well as office space for the broadcasting/cable bigwig, which, according to PBJ’s Natalie Kostelni, made some changes to its lease:

Comcast has expanded the amount of space that it will occupy. The cable giant signed a 20-years lease on 982,275 square feet, or about 74 percent of the 1.33-million-square-foot building. It had initially taken 957,000 square feet.

The 59-story structure, to-be the city’s tallest tower (and the tallest building outside of New York and Chicago), has a $933 million price tag, of which $40 million comes from public city and state funds. The latter amount “will go toward infrastructure improvements, such as extending the subway concourse.”

Comcast skyscraper construction begins; new details emerge [Business Journal]

In other news…

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Morning Headlines: Karen Dougherty Buchholz Is Female!

The Inquirer reported yesterday on Karen Dougherty Buchholz, Comcast’s Senior Vice President of Administration and the organizational leader behind the CITC project, the planned skyscraper designed by London-based starchitect Norman Foster. The Inquirer dove deep into Buchholz’s career and her plans for the project:

A stylish dresser who stays fit with hot yoga, Buchholz, 47, is married to attorney Carl Buchholz, who is with DLA Piper in Philadelphia. They … have two children, Alex and Julia, plus seven pets – two dogs, three cats, and two chickens – in the northern suburbs.

Karen Buchholz’s recent reading includes fiction, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and nonfiction, The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo.

In the news stories leading up to the convention in the late 1990s, reporters noted that Buchholz was so obsessively well-organized that the young mother set the breakfast table for her young children before she went to bed.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts’ fitness interests and nightstand reading currently eludes me, but I’m guessing that’ll be in the Inquirer’s next piece about the CITC. And Roberts has some penetrating insight into one of his top execs:

“One of the things that makes Karen the perfect lead for this is that she is super-organized and she’s a nice person and works well with teams.”

That is, indeed, the best kind of female employee: the kind who doesn’t let her PMS irritability get in the way.

Planning the new Comcast tower, from large to small [Inquirer] Read more »

Gallery: Norman Foster’s Luminous New Apple Store

istanbul apple store

Detail of an image, via Apple, of the new Norman Foster Apple store in Istanbul’s Zorlu Center.

As with all his projects, architect Norman Foster’s new Apple store in Istanbul, Turkey, is getting a lot of press. We don’t think there’s much that needs to be said about it, as the images speak for themselves. What do they say? “He’s coming to you next, Philadelphia. Smile.”

Gallery below.

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Don’t Tell Comcast, But Skyscrapers Herald Depression

Skyscraper economic index graphic via Arch Daily.

Skyscraper economic index graphic via Arch Daily.


Arch Daily highlights a Barclays analysis of skyscrapers today, pointing out that many notable projects since the late 19th century have acted as harbingers of financial. Included in that list? Philadelphia’s City Hall, built in the crash year of 1901, the first stock market crash of the NY Stock Exchange.

The most recent global example was the preposterous Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world. But construction will soon start on Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower, which will out-Dubai Dubai by being 568 feet taller than Burj Khalifa.

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Morning Headlines: Civic Design Review Committee Gives Thumbs Up to Comcast & Foster

Rendering of CITC. Photo courtesy of Comcast Corporate.

Rendering of CITC.
Photo courtesy of Comcast Corporate.

The Civic Design Review Committee may not have the final say as to which projects get the go-ahead, but yesterday their approval of Comcast’s proposed Innovation and Technology Center, designed by London architect Norman Foster, ended the regulatory process for the building. Developers are now permits away from commencing construction this summer.

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