The Philadelphia Inquirer Doesn’t Believe In The American Commerce Center

17 Mar

Joseph N. DiStefano, accomplished business reporter for the Philly Inquirer, recently pooh-poohed the proposal of the American Commerce Center:

   A 1,500-foot tower at 18th and Arch?
With no known financing, no office tenant, a weak credit market, and 20 years of stagnant Center City commercial property markets?
“Ridiculous,” says Glenn Blumenfeld, a partner at office-tenant representative Tactix Real Estate Advisors in Radnor.
“A dream,” says David J. Campoli, regional manager for office landlord HRPT Properties Trust.
But someone drew up a nice sketch, and someone else told a pleasant story, and you can read it here.
“Everybody would love to see it. And it’s the last good block of space in that neighborhood. But, until you have a tenant, and with the capital markets so jittery, I think we have to let it cook for awhile,” said  H. Hetherington Smith, branch manager for tenant rep Studley.

Yeah, so he’s no fan.  He also wrote in a comment that it’s largelly an ‘exercise in architectual drawing and in hype, and I’m happy to give Phillyskyline.com and the Business Journal the glory for that. ‘  Well, except that Walnut Street Capital is financing the project, and while they haven’t released financing for it yet, there’s no doubt that they have the ability to back this thing.

I would also argue that many a building has been proposed and come to fruition without initially telling the public about how it will be built. It’s also not a pie in the sky proposal in regards to vacany rates (getting lower and lower every year) and premium office space (Comcast Center and Cira Center have not overloaded the market to the point where there is any sort of glut).  Sure, one has to be cautious in going too far to say it’s a done deal, but it’s far from a ‘dream’, especially with how business has picked up in the central business district in the past 10 years.

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One Response to “The Philadelphia Inquirer Doesn’t Believe In The American Commerce Center”

  1. Steve April 3, 2008 at 4:50 pm #

    It sounds like the amount of capital already invested in retaining a high priced architect and the fact that Walnut Street owns the property point to a serious attempt at some follow-through. I can’t wait to stand on the garden decks.

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