By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
Malvern-based Liberty Property Trust and Parkway Corporation will develop a LEED-certified, high-rise building atop an existing parking structure at the corner of 8th and Walnut Streets. The new 153,242-square-foot facility will house Pennsylvania Medicine, which already signed a 20-year lease for the entire building.
According to the press release issued this week by Liberty Property Trust, the company will invest $49.6 million in the project, while Pennsylvania Medicine will come up with $22 million for the interior furnishings. Once completed, in the summer of 2013, the Penn Medicine Washington Square (PMWS) will be one of the largest capital projects in the US health network history, housing outpatient services for the nation’s first treatment facility, the Pennsylvania Hospital which was founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond.
The project is being designed by local architecture firm Ballinger. It will be constructed on top of an existing seven-story parking garage so that the Washington Square West area maintains its historic city grid. The building will feature north and south facing curtain walls and terracotta-colored metal panels; its tone and shade will blend perfectly with the surrounding architecture, adding a touch of vitality to the cityscape.
The project’s economic impact on the City of Philadelphia will be seen in the 650 jobs that the joint venture will create during the construction. In recent years Liberty Property Trust has been a key player in Philadelphia’s major real estate developments. The company is also developing the Marriot Hotel in the city’s Navy Yard complex.