Brandywine Realty to Move Main Line Headquarters to Philadelphia

The FMC Tower at Cira Center South just got a new tenant. Its very own developer, Brandywine Realty Trust, announced on Friday that it will it will relocate its headquarters to floors 16 and 17 of the building, rendering the building nearly 100 percent full.

Brandywine will join the building’s anchor tenant FMC Corporation, and companies like NASDAQ, Spark Therapeutics, Iron Stone Strategic Capital Partners and Freedom Pay that have are already settled in the vertical neighborhood.

The relocation makes sense for a company that’s had a big hand in shaping University City with properties like Cira Centre, the FMC Tower and evo at Cira Centre South, the new IRS Philadelphia Campus and the pending Schuylkill Yards project with Drexel University. Brandywine has always had a satellite office in the Cira Center since the building was constructed and the developer’s Radnor, Pa. office, formerly the site of its HQ, will still house its Pennsylvania suburban operations. About a third of Brandywine’s nearly 400 employees will be based at the FMC tower.  Read more »

Common Threads in This Year’s Rouse Award Residential Finalists

Even Folsom Powerhouse, the most residential of this year's Rouse Award finalists, incorporates mixed uses in the form of an updated take on the traditional corner store. | Photo: Postgreen Homes

Even Folsom Powerhouse, the most residential of this year’s Rouse Award finalists, incorporates mixed uses in the form of an updated take on the traditional corner store. | Photo: Postgreen Homes

The Urban Land Institute Philadelphia District Council announced the finalists for this year’s Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence last week, and five of the 14 finalists fall into the residential category, at least in part.

And it’s that “at least in part” part that’s one of the most significant common threads connecting the five projects. The message these projects deliver is one that urbanists, developers and planners have all been hammering home in one way or another for more than a decade now: Single-use is out, multitasking is in. (Toll Brothers, please copy.)

Not even the most residential of the five projects is exclusively residential, and that project has many other features that make it a standout. Read more »

Property’s Photo of the Week: Behind the Scenes Hard Hat Tour at FMC Tower


The view from the 24th Floor of the FMC Tower | Image via Albert Lee, @urphillypal on Instagram

We’re taking a decidedly different turn on this week’s installment of Photo of the Week–and for good reason.

As you know, we typically delve into the #PhillyScape tag to grab the beautiful scenes of Philadelphia. Today, we were fortunate enough to be invited to tag along on a sky-high Instameet with Albert Lee (@urphillypal on Instagram), Brandywine Realty Trust (@brandywinerealty) and 20-or-so of Philly’s top Instagrammers to tour the glistening FMC Tower at 30th and Walnut.

You’ve seen what it’s like to be on top of the tower crane at One Riverside. Now, let’s take a trip to the other side of the Schuylkill River, as we climb to the construction site at the 24th floor for a few stunning open-air views of Philly from about 300-feet in the sky.

A photo posted by ϲϦϵΛϮz852 (@cbeatz852) on

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First Look: The Redesigned Penthouses and Suites at AKA Rittenhouse

A look at an all-new suite at AKA Rittenhouse | Image courtesy AKA Rittenhouse

A look at an all-new suite at AKA Rittenhouse | Image courtesy AKA Rittenhouse

If you spend any amount of time around Center City, there’s a good chance that you have seen the FMC Tower rising along the banks of the Schuylkill River. Half-built, yet incredibly captivating (we love cranes), the tower will be the headquarters of FMC and, lest you forget, it’s also going to house its very own AKA extended stay suites.

While little is known about the layout and look of those sky-high suites, we do know that if the newly redesigned penthouses and suites at AKA’s Philly flagship on Rittenhouse Square are any indication of what we can expect, then AKA isn’t messing around. And that’s just how we like it.

Three luxurious penthouses and 15 suites (or residences, as they’re called) were repositioned to set AKA apart on Philly’s rapidly growing hospitality scene. We’re told that more renovations are on the way, and the folks at AKA hooked us up with some glossy images to give our readers a sneak peek at the new-look residences.

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Time Lapse: 57-Story Prefab Skyscraper Built in Only 19 Days in China

What if Philly’s next skyscrape could be built in under a month? It’s not Lego, it’s now actually possible. A construction firm called Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) just assembled their new 57-story tower–called Mini Sky City in Changsha, China–in just 19 days. 19 days! How did they construct a building roughly the same height as the BNY Mellon Center so quickly? Well, it’s the world’s tallest pre-fabricated skyscraper.

Using “energy-efficient, factory-produced Lego-like blocks,” crews were able to complete about three floors per day. Here’s more from Sploid:

This building has 19 10-meter-high atriums, 800 apartments, and office space for 4,000 people. [BSB representative Xian Min] Zhang claims that the use of modules reduced the use of concrete by 15,000 trucks, which he says almost eliminated all the release of dust in the air, an important advantage in pollution-ridden China.

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6 Philly Development Projects That Are Springing Forward

Now that we’ve all had a chance to adjust to that that whole spring forward phenomenon, let’s take a few minutes to look at a handful of projects that are making progress as we officially head into spring. Remember, you’re not losing an hour of precious sleep, you’re gaining another hour of glorious sunlight!

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center:


Sure, the near-record breaking concrete pour at the turn of the year may have garnered all of the attention, but that’s winter type stuff. Spring will see the city’s soon-to-be-tallest building rise higher and higher out of the large hole at 19th and Arch. To be frank: that’s exciting. Comcast has recently said they’re going to take up all of the office space within the building and it’s possible that it’s not the last one in the area for the cable goliath. Don’t forget: the Four Seasons will also become one of Philly’s most exclusive hotels as it moves from the Parkway all the way up to the top floors of the CITC.

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Five Developments We’re Tracking in 2015

Photo credit: Ethan Schwartz via Flickr.

Photo credit: Ethan Schwartz via Flickr.

Here on Property we’ve been covering an assorted number of new projects poised to transform Philadelphia’s cityscape. As the new year approaches, that number will only continue to grow, and you can be sure we’ll be following all of them.

However, of those that have been announced for 2015, there have been some which have struck us as being potential game-changers. Below you will find five areas in Philadelphia development that we will keep a special eye on in the coming year.

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Sky Candy: 19 New Renderings of the FMC Tower

FMC Tower rendering

Night falls on the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, to be completed in 2016. Rendering via Brandywine Realty Trust.

Yesterday was the groundbreaking for the much anticipated FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, a development project from Brandywine Realty. It was, not surprisingly, a who’s who of politicians, academics, architects, media folks, planners, builders, real estate bigwigs, developers, and probably even pigeons that are well-known in their community.

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said to the audience, “I don’t know who’s running the city, ’cause all the important people are here.”

That tidbit came from Hidden City, which offered thorough coverage of the event as well as extensive details about the 49-story, 730-foot building itself, which will be “the skyline’s starting point.”

Now, the renderings:

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Morning Headlines: Pelli’s FMC Tower Breaks Ground Today With Fireworks, Vintage Air Pump, More

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 10.26.05 AM

Today’s groundbreaking for the 690-foot tall, 49-story FMC Tower at Cira South celebrates the start of a construction project that will probably go through 2016. The building — two blocks from 30th Street Station — is being designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (Cesar Pelli’s firm) with the same aesthetic approach they brought to its nearby sister property, the Cira Centre.

Along with those FMC offices, there’ll be 268 residential apartments, a spa and fitness center, ground-floor retail and restaurants; office space for other occupants, like Penn; and a sky bridge and glass elevator bringing visitors to the elevated Cira Green park.

The groundbreaking is going to be a PR blitz of epic proportions.

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Saffron: West Philly Boom Is Nice, But Getting There May Be 100 Percent of the Battle

fmc tower

The Inquirer’s architecture critic, Inga Saffron, has occasionally been accused of being too negative — a charge leveled at most good critics at one time or another. In her latest Changing Skyline column, Saffron praises the West Philadelphia building boom in her own subdued way: “It’s nice to see the city’s skyline stretching west.”

You can hear the hesitation shimmer around that period, though, and indeed, Saffron does have a concern: that the Cira Centre South site, where the FMC Tower (rendering pictured) and the Evo building will be, is isolated from the Schuylkill waterfront “by a large, triangular moat, which looks down on the train tracks that feed into 30th Street Station and is one of several barriers that make walking there an unpleasant, and often hair-raising, experience.”

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