United Way building on Ben Franklin Parkway sold for $10.9 million to Pearl Properties

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Artist’s rendering of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s building with new corporate branding.

Pearl Properties has acquired the Philadelphia-area chapter of the United Way’s eight-story concrete-and-glass building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway near 17th Street, with plans to market the property to companies as a corporate headquarters site.

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United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s headquarters building at 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Pearl paid $10.9 million for the 68,000-square-foot mid-20th-century building, which is listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, Bill Golderer, chief executive of the United Way of  Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, said in an interview Tuesday.

The charity, which will remain in the building as a tenant until it finds a new permanent space for its staff of about 100, plans to use proceeds from the sale to focus on its core mission of fighting poverty, Golderer said.

Pearl said in a release this week that the site should be attractive to companies seeking a location on the Parkway, at the city’s business and cultural core.

“While we see various potential development scenarios, given the potential branding this building offers, we envision a state-of-the-art corporate headquarters as the best strategy,” Reed Slogoff, a Pearl partner, said in the release.

The building was completed in 1971 by Philadelphia-based architecture firm Mitchell/Giurgola Associates, which also designed the Australian Parliament House in Canberra. Its listing on the Philadelphia’s register of historic buildings means city’s Historical Commission would have to approve any plans involving major alterations.

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