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

Plus, Mayor Nutter, Amy Gutmann, and a 50-foot banner.

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.

Along with Nutter and UPenn’s prez Amy Gutmann, the following folks will be in attendance: Pierre Brondeau, President & CEO, FMC Corporation; Julia Hearthway, Secretary, PA Department of Labor & Industry; and Jerry Sweeney, President and CEO, Brandywine Realty Trust. And others, of course. The “visuals,” according to the press release, include:

A unique groundbreaking cultivation in which assembled dignitaries use a vintage vertical air pump to uncover partner logos – FMC, Penn and Brandywine – from a mound of construction debris; towering fireworks shot vertically to roughly mark FMC Tower’s height; and the unveiling of a 50-foot banner

It’s all going down at 30th and Walnut at 11:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, in the news of the day:

There Is No Way Philly Unions Are Going to Pick the Next Mayor [Philly Mag]
Zoning changes proposed for Center City, Brewerytown, Frankford, and Roxborough [PlanPhilly]
Accident Galvanizes City To Address Unused Trolley Tracks [Hidden City]
Camden to get second supermarket [Inquirer]