Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

American Commerce Center Gets Final Zoning Approval

City Council this afternoon gave final approval to zoning legislation needed to build the American Commerce Center, a 1,510-foot tower proposed for 18th and Arch streets. Mayor Nutter, who has supported the skyscraper, is expected to sign the zoning changes into law.

American Commerce Center Gets Final Zoning Approval

The proposed American Commerce Center.
The proposed American Commerce Center.

City Council this afternoon gave final approval to zoning legislation needed to build the American Commerce Center, a 1,510-foot tower proposed for 18th and Arch streets.  Mayor Nutter, who has supported the skyscraper, is expected to sign the zoning changes into law.

Next question:  Can developer Hill International Real Estate Partners scare up the money to build the $1.1 billion project while the national economy is tanking?  Peter Kelsen, an attorney for the developer, acknowledged the "challenging times" but said HIREP would not have sunk millions so far into the project if the firm was not committed to seeing it built.

"We feel cautiously optimistic that even with these economic times we can bring to bear this project and we have the resources to do so," Kelsen said.  The project includes a 1,210-foot office tower topped by a 300-foot spire and a 477-foot adjacent hotel, attached by a sky bridge over a public plaza below.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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