Liberty Property Trust
) have collaborated to build a 59-story, 1,121-foot tower in
Philadelphia. This tower - Comcast Innovation and Technology
Center - will be constructed adjacent to the existing Comcast
Center and is expected to be the nation's tallest building
outside New York and Chicago.
The joint venture, in which Comcast has an 80% stake and the rest
is owned by Liberty, will develop this tower with an investment
of $1.2 billion. The property will be managed by Liberty.
Designed by Lord Norman Foster, the tower will be developed on
the 1800 block of Arch Street in Center City Philadelphia and
will include a Four Seasons Hotel. It will also be occupied by
the local broadcast television stations NBC 10/WCAU and Telemundo
The construction will start this summer and is projected to be
accomplished in the fall of 2017. An initial lease would be
executed by Comcast for a term of 20 years for at least 75% of
the rentable office space or 957,000 square feet. Encouragingly,
thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity
are expected to be created in Philadelphia for this project.
As a matter of fact, Liberty Property is boosting its portfolio
base through the repositioning program. Recently, the company
reaped $367.7 million as proceeds by selling 49 properties
aggregating around four million square feet of space and 140
acres of land.
These 49 properties are among the 97 properties that the
company had earlier disclosed of selling. The sale of the
remaining assets is slated to be accomplished by late Jan 2014.
This remaining disposition is expected to fetch $329.6 million as
COMCAST CORP A (CMCSA): Free Stock Analysis
GETTY REALTY CP (GTY): Free Stock Analysis
LIBERTY PPTY TR (LRY): Free Stock Analysis
PEBBLEBROOK HTL (PEB): Free Stock Analysis
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Going forward, we believe that the repositioning efforts by
Liberty through strategic acquisitions, JV investments and
dispositions would help the company ride on the growth
trajectory. While the dispositions result in a near-term drag to
profitability, we believe these provide the wherewithal to be
invested in acquiring and developing premium assets that go a
long way in enhancing the top line.
This Pa.-based real estate investment trust (REIT) - Liberty
Property - currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors
interested in the REIT industry may consider stocks like
Getty Realty Corp.
Pebblebrook Hotel Trust
). Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).