Friday, October 9, 2015

Big 30th St job ends 'on time, under budget'

Construction crews idle as big Brandywine IRS job ends

Big 30th St job ends 'on time, under budget'


Brandywine Realty Trust, Radnor, says it's "completed and delivered" the $252 million renovation of the Depression-era 30th Street Post Office in West Philadelphia "on time and under budget" for use as the Internal Revenue Service's new Philadelphia center.

Contractors Keating Development Co. and Perini Corp.'s Keating Building Co. are also starting to wrap up work on the Pennsylvania Convention Center, with few big new replacement projects in sight.

The IRS is moving to 30th St. from Roosevelt Blvd. in Northeast Philadelphia; that site is owned by publicly-traded Cedar Shopping Center Inc. of New York, whose boss, Leo Ullman, told me he's not sure what he's going to do with it, but he's acquiring adjoining property so he can turn it into something big. The Post Office moved near Philadelphia International Airport, opening the old site for IRS.

Brandywine previously finished work on a nearby $90 million, 1,662-space parking garage, but has delayed plans to build its adjoining "Cira 2" tower after the likely tenant, the BlackRock bond investment company, dropped tentative plans to move here despite city and state tax breaks.

Brandywine boss Gerard Sweeney says the 30th St. closing has allowed him to consolidate part of Brandywine's debt into a previously-announced $256.5 million loan from CTL Capital LLC, secured by the ex-Post Office and garage. Duane Morris LLP and FBR Capital Markets helped land the loan.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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