This year, after nearly three years of construction, the Comcast Technology Center will open its doors in Center City, becoming Philadelphia’s first supertall tower, and the tallest and most innovative, cutting-edge buildings in the city.
In three years, there’s been a lot of talk about this 60-story, 1,121-foot-tall tower—it even underwent a name change in that time—and over the years we’ve been learning bits and pieces about what to expect when the Fosters+Partners-designed building opens.
Now, shortly after the building’s topping off, developer Liberty Property Trust and Comcast have started dropping even more details about the tower. One thing’s for sure: The Comcast Technology Center is definitely going to be unlike any other building in Philadelphia.
Here’s a running tally of all of the features and amenities to expect at the tower:
1. Sidewalk newsstands: The tower plans for a pair of newsstand-style kiosks on the sidewalks of the tower that will be 16-feet-by-7.6-feet and cost $1.6 million. They’re also designed by Foster+Partners.
2. Smart features: The tower will have a “central brain” plant that will be able to do everything from track how many people are currently in the building to predict the weather.
3. The most energy-efficient building in the city: The Comcast Center next door is currently the greenest and tallest building in Philly. But the Comcast Technology Center is aiming for LEED Platinum certification and is expected to be 50 percent more energy efficient than its sister tower. The building itself is wrapped in glass that has a microscopic layer of silver for extra thermal protection. Plus, the panes of glass are filled with a special gas that conducts a low amount of heat.
4. The tallest hotel in the U.S.: The Four Seasons Hotel will open up in late 2018 on the top floors of the tower, making it the “most highly situated hotel above street-level in North America.”
5. A restaurant on the top floor: Multiple restaurants will set up shop on the ground floor of the Comcast Technology Center, but the prime spot will be at the top of the tower, where there will be a restaurant and a lounge on the very top floor with 360-degree views of Philly. At a ULI panel in December, Liberty Property Trust’s William Hankowsky joked that yes, the drinks will cost a pretty penny.
6. More than 1 million square feet of office space: Comcast employees will make their new home in about 1.3 million square feet of offices. There will also be a media center with studio and office operations for NBC 10/WCAU and Telemundo 62/WWSI.
7. An incubator for tech startups: The tower will have a “state-of-the-start” accelerator space” for technology startups.
8. A public transportation connection: The tower will be connected via underground concourse to the Comcast Center and Suburban Station.
9. Nearly 3,500 square feet of retail: Don’t worry, the tower won’t be closed to the public. Even if you’re not an employee or staying at the Four Seasons, the building will feature 3,483 square feet of retail space open to the public.
10. A home for the CEO: Comcast’s leader Brian Roberts bought three condo units in the tower for $14.3 million. The residences will take up the entire 45th floor and will be run by the Four Seasons Hotel.
11. Lots of bike racks: Initial plans revealed that there will be 47 bike racks at the tower.
12. A winter garden: That five-story glassy entrance on Arch? It’ll feature a winter garden with 30-foot-tall tropical trees, according to OLIN, which is leading the landscape architecture aspects of the project.
13. Multi-story atriums: Along with the atrium at the main entrance, there will be three-story atriums throughout the building on every three floors. Gensler led the interior design.
14. An illuminated lantern on top of the building: The Comcast Technology Center earns the title of the tallest building in the city takes to a 120-foot-tall lantern that sits on top of the tower.
15. Underground parking: There will be two stories of underground parking below the building.