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Discussion in 'Architecture and Urban Planning' started by Phillyurban8, Aug 13, 2016.
Hopefully this doesn't delay the schedule too bad and turn into a SEPTA Silverliner type situation.
“It’s not a catastrophic issue.” Uh - well it sure sounds like a catastrophy in the making to me!
They are going to have to tear the whole building down and start again....J/k ...It's only the steel for the mechanical equipment and the spire.
I honestly wish the American Commerce Center was already erected as we speak.
The ACC had its own funding from Garrett Miller and it wasn't just a corporate tower, it was supposed to have a five-star hotel, a fitness center, an IMAX theatre, a connection to the Suburban Station concourse, an upscale mall, an observation deck, and it's most redeeming feature, a patio in the middle of the tower.
I blame the city and the state for allowing the ACC to be mothballed the way it did, especially since the proposal was privately funded and had the ACC been built and completed by 2012, we would've had another major company within our city (TD Bank, Black Rock, GSK, GENERAL ELECTRIC)!!!
I foresee that Philadelphia won't get another major company in 20 years, and by the time Philly finally does, major cities like Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Charlotte, San Jose, and Phoenix will surpass us not only in city and metro population, but in gross metropolitan product as well!!!
I can't recall seeing any evidence that ACC was funded, let alone had any tenants lined up.
The ACC always seemed more like an experimental vision than a realistic proposal to me. I remember hearing rumors about its funding and potential tenants at the time, but there was so much of that back then. If it was entirely funded and had tenants secured, there's no reason it couldn't have happened. City Hall had no political incentive to block it, in fact that lot was rezoned specifically to allow for that particular building, which ultimately allowed Comcast to build the CITC so high.
It was a cool concept, but I think that's all it was. For much of its proposal, Philadelphia is getting it in the CITC: an extended concourse, a hotel, it looks like a patio although probably only for employees. I don't doubt the ACC was a real design, but if it needed a tenant, Comcast could have chosen to go with that iteration. They went with Norman + Foster's instead. I don't necessarily like the look of the CITC better, in fact I really don't like the width of the tower, but what's being built is essentially the evolution of the ACC.
Whether or not Philadelphia gets another major company in the next 20 years, only time will tell. Things change rapidly. The ACC didn't promise any specific company, and one of its suggestions, GSK, is still here at the Navy Yard. If things continue to change at their current state, those cities you mentioned will likely continue to grow at a rate much faster than Philadelphia, but for a multitude of reasons. That doesn't also mean that corporate darlings like Charlotte and Phoenix won't take a dramatic left turn. They're "new," and right now they're playgrounds for development and commerce because their politicians aren't bogged down by the labor and tax burdens we face in the older Northeast. As those cities grow, their political climates will inevitably evolve and they'll become a lot more like Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, even New York.
Philadelphia might slip in the ranks as far as it's nationally concerned, but that number is irrelevant. It doesn't matter how our population compares to cities growing faster, only how we grow. If a massive company - say Amazon - were vying for a new city, they're not going to simply compare Charlotte's growth to Philadelphia's. They're going to look at how they're growing and why. Charlotte is growing because it's cheap and annexing surrounding communities. Philadelphia is growing at a slower rate, but dynamically from within. In that regard, Philadelphia is growing quite rapidly compared to other cities. We're dense (in fact Center City is the third densest US neighborhood after Midtown and Downtown Manhattan), we have an existing transit structure no city in the South or West Coast could ever dream of shoehorning into their auto-centric grids, and we have wildly diverse demographics. I hate the term the "Sixth Borough," but Philadelphia offers everything New York does at a fraction of the cost, an hour closer to corporate lobbyists in Washington. In short, when it comes to big cities, Philadelphia is very, very desirable to major corporations. Most just haven't accepted it yet.
I liked the design of the ACC, but it didn't have any inherent advantage over the CITC unless it had a tenant big enough to fill most of its floors. The CITC might just be growth of an existing company, but it's a company that's growing. Its new tower will be bringing in new employees from Rockefeller Center and residents from around the country. Basically, we got the ACC, it just doesn't look like it did in its original renderings.