Penn Med plans tower at 8th and Walnut

Liberty Property Trust and the University of Pennsylvania's medical complex plan to build a medical office tower that will rise 260 feet from the southwest corner of 8th and Walnut Sts. atop the existing Parkway Corp. garage, adding at least 12 stories to the five-story parking center.

The 150,000-square-foot space, close to rival Thomas Jefferson University's medical campus, increases Penn's downtown presence; nearby Pennsylvania Hospital is a Penn property, and Penn has offices in the Curtis building on Independence Square.

Neither Penn nor Liberty have announced their plans, or had any comment when I called for more details. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission will review the proposal from Liberty executive John Gattuso at its monthly meeting next Tueday Feb. 15, upstairs at 1515 Arch St.

UPDATES: Liberty confirms they're building the tower, for Penn, in partnership with Parkway, for $48 million. The tower will need a special ordinance, commission executive director Gary Jastrzab told me, but it's early in the process and no vote will be taken Tuesday.