Comcast will build a $1.2 billion skyscraper in Center City, it announced yesterday. The building will house 4,000 employees, most of which will be software engineers, designers and marketers, a restaurant, a hotel, two TV stations and even space for local startups.
The communications giant hopes the 59-story building built by Liberty Property at 1800 Arch Street, slated to be finished in 2017, will help attract tech talent to Philadelphia. The location is one that was meant to be the American Commerce Center before the recession and fights over its height derailed it.
“We’re competing for talent with Silicon Valley,” Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen told NBC. “We want to have a building and a facility and a feel that is competitive with that.”
When it’s finished, it’ll be the tallest building in Philadelphia, said City Council President Darrell Clarke during the announcement.
It’ll also put much of Comcast’s technology staff under one roof.
Out of the 4,000 employees that will work in the building, 1,500 will be new hires, NBC reported, and the rest will be staffers from its offices outside of Philadelphia region, as well as around the country and world.
It’s interesting that new tower will offer space for local startups: its efforts to put its hometown tech business community on the national stage have been criticized as minor. Building an innovation skyscraper is anything but. One big building doesn’t make a Silicon Valley, so Cohen’s comments may seem a little silly but the spirit is there.
NBC’s local affiliate, NBC10, and Noticiero Telemundo 62, a Spanish language news program recently acquired by NBC Universal, will also be housed in the building.