CEO Brian Roberts must really like real estate. He was intimately involved with the design and construction plans for Philadelphia’s Comcast Center — the environmentally friendly, 58-story headquarters building that opened in 2008. Now the cable and entertainment giant says it will break ground next door this summer on a a 59-story Xanadu to be called the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, with plans to open in late 2017. In addition to the corporate offices, the Center will have a 200-room Four Seasons hotel, and a restaurant on the top floor with 360-degree views of Philadelphia. It will cost $1.2B to build — and the state and city will help with economic development grants: $30M from Pennsylvania and $10M from Philadelphia. The company says the public cash will just be used for public infrastructure improvements. “No government dollars will be used to support the office and hotel components of this project.” Comcast will own 80% and Liberty Property Trust will own 20%. Designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster, Comcast says this will be the tallest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago as well as the largest private development project ever in Pennsylvania. “This is yet another historic moment for Comcast,” Roberts says. He describes the building as “a world-class media, technology and innovation center right in the heart of the City” that will “create thousands of jobs and further drive economic activity in the region.”
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