Cira South update / September 16

The new construction between Walnut and Chestnut Street — the area formerly-known-as the Post Office Annex and soon-to-be-known as Cira Centre South is growing by about a floor every week. Financing and securing tenants has taken longer than expected, but construction is well underway on one part of the complex: the ten-story parking garage.

In May, Brandywine Realty Trust announced that it has secured financing commitments of $209,340,000 and $46,735,000 on the 30th Street Post Office and Cira South Garage projects, respectively. The former provides most of the financing needed for the rehabilitation of the historic Post Office, which will soon become the new regional headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service.

The $95.0 million Cira South Garage project is located in the NE corner of the “Annex” hole and has sprouted up quickly, largely thanks to its prefab design. It will be directly across the street from the new IRS site and will hold 1,662 cars.  The erection of the garage was a prerequisite for the IRS to relocate from its current location in Northeast Philly.  94 percent of the structure is already pre-leased to the IRS.

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The parking garage was a contentious subject during Cira South’s development review process before the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.  Though the project, once completed, will have many amenities, be environmentally-friendly, and surely enliven what are currently dead stretches of Walnut and Chestnut Street, many questioned the need for such a large parking structure just one block away from the second most-trafficked transit hub in the country.  In fact, the garage in the original Cira Centre currently sits half-empty, with some estimates stating that up to 80% of Cira Centre workers take transit to the office every day.

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PlanPhilly will continue to provide construction updates and this project and many others.

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