Brokers beg Beneficial boss to reconsider HQ

Gerry Cuddy's phone keeps ringing. Center City real estate pros -- agents with unleased inventory burning up their clients' investment capital -- are begging the Beneficial Bank CEO to reconsider his new-headquarters decision.

But the head of the largest bank still based in the Philadelphia region says he's got the list narrowed down to a final three:

- Staying at the Penn Mutual complex above Independence Hall, the bank's current home, if a consolidated space can be jiggered together to replace the bank's spread-out suites;

- Moving a couple blocks away to the former Rohm and Haas building, where successor Dow Chemical Co. will soon be joined by 600 federal GSA workers heading there from PREIT's 801 Market (where the Inquirer is); or 

- Moving to 1818 Market St., joining the branch banks, Janney Montgomery Scott and the Nasdaq options-trading firms in the city's modern financial district west of City Hall.

Beneficial has progressed to renderings of its possible space at 1818 Market, which sure makes it look like the favorite.

But as one of the few Philly bosses looking for a decent-sized bloc of space, Cuddy is enjoyin glast-minute leverage with all his potential landlords, until he signs a deal. Which he hopes to do, Cuddy tells me, before March 1.

More about who's looking for space in Philly's slow office market here.