PHILADELPHIA, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With fireworks, a 50-foot banner and a dramatic unveiling in which partner logos were unearthed at the project site at 30th and Walnut Streets, more than 200 dignitaries and guests gathered on Wednesday to mark the groundbreaking for FMC Tower at Cira Centre® South – the final phase of Brandywine Realty Trust's (NYSE: BDN) transformative 2.7 million square foot mixed-use development along the western bank of the Schuylkill River.
With its highly sustainable LEED Silver certified design, location adjacent to Philadelphia's most robust transportation hub, and innovative mix of commercial, residential and retail space, FMC Tower will serve as a dramatic model of pioneering urban development in Philadelphia and as a gateway to the dynamic educational, healthcare and entrepreneurial institutions in University City.
The 49-story, 730-foot tall tower will be a striking addition to the City's skyline, with 10-foot floor-to-ceiling glass walls allowing for 360-degree panoramic views of the Schuylkill River, Center City and nearby green spaces such as Schuylkill Banks Park and Penn Park. Its 861,000 square feet of rentable space will feature 622,000 square feet of office space, 268 luxury apartments and executive suites, and a bar/restaurant on the ground floor. Amenities will include an aquatic center with pool and deck, fitness center and spa, and a state-of-the-art business conference center.
"FMC Tower at Cira Centre® South represents the next phase in the cultivation of the dreams and aspirations for University City," said Gerard H. Sweeney, President and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust. "The vision started with the Cira Centre and today, with FMC Corporation and the University of Pennsylvania, we advance a great addition to our skyline that will become the city's first truly mixed-use vertical neighborhood. We continue to show in University City that pragmatic, economic and architectural pioneering pays great dividends."
"This development sends a 49-story, 730-foot message from Philadelphia to the global marketplace: Our City is a dynamic and unique place to live, work and explore. Global companies like FMC Corporation are committed to staying and flourishing here. Iconic institutions like the University of Pennsylvania continue striving to spur growth and achievement. Our local workforce, neighborhoods and culture are worth substantial investments of resources and funding," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "We are thrilled to mark this unique addition to Philadelphia's skyline and to help create this tremendous gateway to University City."
An Iconic New Home
A longstanding partner in the Cira Centre® South development, the University of Pennsylvania owns the ground upon which FMC Tower will be constructed. Brandywine and Penn have executed a long-term ground lease for the lot, as well as a 20-year lease through which Penn will occupy approximately 100,000 square feet of office space at the tower.
"FMC Tower at Cira Centre® South rises today as the lynchpin between Penn, University City, and Center City Philadelphia," said Penn President Amy Gutmann. "It will create an extraordinary gateway to our campus, a stunning entrance to West Philadelphia and serve as a vital connector to Center City. But even more importantly, it is a visible symbol of the vitality that is taking root in our city and region and the great future that exists for our community. The University of Pennsylvania is delighted to be able to partner with Brandywine Realty Trust and FMC Corporation to bring this spectacular vision to life."
As announced in October 2013, Brandywine and FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) have executed a 16-year, 278,537-square foot lease to make FMC Tower at Cira Centre® South the specialty chemical company's global headquarters. The tower will house FMC's executive offices, administrative functions and most of the company's major business units. FMC Corporation expects to occupy its new headquarters by June 2016.
"FMC Tower at Cira Centre® South represents our company's commitment to the City of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, to creating a collaborative and modern workplace for our employees, and to exploring partnerships with our neighbors in University City," said Pierre Brondeau, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of FMC Corporation. "This is an exciting time of progress for FMC, and we look forward to continuing to pursue our growth goals in this energizing new home."
Complementing Office Space with Green Space
FMC Tower at Cira Centre® South will strengthen Philadelphia's reputation as a leader in urban sustainability and energy efficiency. The tower itself will boast a highly sustainable LEED Silver design, a national benchmark rating for the construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Advanced building systems and controls will help tenants and visitors achieve reduced energy costs and better performance.
The development's outdoor landscaping and recreational belt will complement nearby green spaces such as Schuylkill Banks Park and Penn Park – as well as introduce a groundbreaking new destination at the bustling intersection of Center City and University City.
Immediately adjacent to FMC Tower will be Cira Green, a one-acre elevated urban park situated on the top floor of the Cira South parking garage. The space will serve as a vibrant gathering place for FMC employees and visitors, an outdoor venue for company events, and a stage for cultural offerings such as concerts, movie screenings and more. Visitors will enter the space by riding a glass-enclosed elevator up from the ground level. The centerpiece of Cira Centre South, Cira Green is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Spurring a New Wave of Community Investment & Collaboration
Located two blocks from 30th Street Station's Amtrak and SEPTA hubs, less than fifteen minutes by train from Philadelphia International Airport, moments from Interstates 76 and 676, and immediately adjacent to the recently-renovated 1,600-space Cira South parking garage, FMC Tower will be among the most accessible locations in the region. The development's central location will open up substantial opportunities for workforce development, as well as for cross-sector collaboration with many of the region's most dynamic and fastest-growing educational, medical, technology, entrepreneurial and cultural institutions.
Brandywine anticipates that the total investment in FMC Tower at Cira Centre® South will be $385 million.
"The groundbreaking of the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South is another chapter in our economic resurgence and visible sign of our progress in building a stronger Pennsylvania," said Gov. Tom Corbett. "Brandywine Realty Trust's new, 49-story tower will not only transform the Philadelphia skyline, it will inject new investment into the local economy and create new opportunity for our workers. That's what drives our economic engine forward and that is why days like today are so important."
FMC Tower at Cira Centre® South was designed in collaboration by the architectural firms of Pelli Clark Pelli and BLT Architects. For high-resolution renderings, video tours and additional information about the tower, please visit www.brandywinerealty.com.
About Brandywine Realty Trust
Brandywine Realty Trust is one of the largest, publicly traded, full-service, integrated real estate companies in the United States. Organized as a real estate investment trust and operating in select markets, Brandywine owns, leases and manages an urban, town center and suburban office portfolio comprising 283 properties and 33.1 million square feet, including 205 properties and 24.9 million square feet owned on a consolidated basis and 60 properties and 5.7 million square feet in 17 unconsolidated real estate ventures all as of March 31, 2014. For more information, please visit www.brandywinerealty.com.
FMC Corporation is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial, environmental, and consumer markets globally for more than a century with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. In 2013, FMC had annual sales of approximately $3.9 billion. The company employs approximately 5,600 people throughout the world, and operates its businesses in three segments: FMC Agricultural Solutions, FMC Health and Nutrition, and FMC Minerals. For more information, visit www.FMC.com.
Forward-Looking Statement – Brandywine Realty Trust
Certain statements in this release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance, achievements or transactions of the Company and its affiliates or industry results to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or transactions expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors relate to, among others, the Company's ability to lease vacant space and to renew or relet space under expiring leases at expected levels, the potential loss of major tenants, interest rate levels, the availability and terms of debt and equity financing, competition with other real estate companies for tenants and acquisitions, risks of real estate acquisitions, dispositions and developments, including cost overruns and construction delays, unanticipated operating costs and the effects of general and local economic and real estate conditions. Additional information or factors which could impact the Company and the forward-looking statements contained herein are included in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013. The Company assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.
Forward-Looking Statement – FMC
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Act of 1995: Statements in this news release that are forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning specific factors described in FMC Corporation's 2013 Form 10-K and other SEC filings. Such information contained herein represents management's best judgment as of the date hereof based on information currently available. FMC Corporation does not intend to update this information and disclaims any legal obligation to the contrary. Historical information is not necessarily indicative of future performance.
SOURCE Brandywine Realty Trust