New office building to rise next to stadiums

February 7th, 2019

Comcast Spectacor of Philadelphia and the Cordish Cos. of Baltimore have teamed up on plans to construct a new $80 million office building adjacent to the Xfinity Live! entertainment complex in South Philadelphia.

The proposed 200,000-square-foot building will be called Pattison Place and will have 20,000 square feet of retail space. The building would be a first for the stadium area of Philadelphia though the Philadelphia Navy Yard, not far away, has proven as a successful office location.

The office building will serve as the next phase of development at the stadium complex that Comcast Spectacor started when it developed the Wells Fargo Center in 1996 and, later in 2012, when the company opened Xfinity Live!

When Comcast Spectacor initiated the development of the Wells Fargo Center years ago, the company said it entered into a contract to lease 47 acres around the stadium and serve as master developer of that land. While an initial plan defined what uses were allowed on the property, it did not firmly set what would be developed and under what timeframe, said Phil Weinberg, executive vice president and general counsel at Comcast Spectacor. An office building was always planned as a use but the timing of its development was unknown.

The proposed office building will be developed on what is now a surface lot and on land upon which the former Spectrum stood. No tenants have been lined up to occupy space in the building and a certain amount of pre-leasing will be necessary before breaking ground on it, Weinberg said. However, he said early indications show promise for its desirability and location.

“There is a tremendous amount of interest,” he said. Binswanger has been retained to market it. 

The timing of this nextphase — the development of an office building — is right, Weinberg said, given the successful development of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the $250 million renovation of the Wells Fargo Center and the success of Xfinity Live.

It has been rumored that a 3,500-seat concert venue was going to be part of this phase, but Weinberg declined to confirm that project other than to say there is future development planned for the site.

Cordish has been active and a pioneer in developing mixed-use projects across the country that use stadiums and other entertainment venues as anchors. Philadelphia is one of the few — if not the only city — where it has four sports teams playing at the same destination creating a unique scenario from which to work and build upon. A representative from Cordish wasn't available for comment.

Along with Xfinity Live! and the stadiums, the plan to create a mixed-use destination is already starting to take shape in South Philadelphia with the addition of a $700 million project Cordish is undertaking steps away that involves a hotel, casino with 2,200 slot machines and other entertainment.

The office project is designed by Beyer Blinder Belle of New York and BLT Architects of Philadelphia. Weinberg said the company has not received any state or local incentives for the project at this point though it could explore tapping those financial tools in the future. If all goes according to plan, a ground breaking for the office building is anticipated for this time next year, he said.