Comcast’s new tower buoys Center City occupancy and expands inventory, but the trend is still toward greater efficiency among large tenants
- The Comcast Technology Center’s long-awaited opening has arrived after four years of construction, with approximately half of the 4,000 employees already hard at work across 1.3 million square feet of office space. Some of those people come from nearby Two Logan Square, where the media and technology giant has given back four floors. Nevertheless, the building’s delivery represents a major expansion of not only Comcast, but the city’s occupied office inventory overall. The net gain equates to over 1 million square feet of absorption for the quarter.
- Comcast is exceptional not just for its size, but also in its appetite for significant expansion. In a year of major lease announcements, the other largest ones are significant contractions as tenants gravitate to more efficient floorplates. Macquarie and Towers Watson are both relocating to buildings with above-average floor sizes, whereas Wells Fargo is slipping into Comcast’s leftover Two Logan floors after decades in much older buildings along South Broad Street.
- There are some expansions in the landscape: Entercom is quadrupling in size as it moves from Bala Cynwyd; Clark Hill is expanding by more than 50 percent; and Reliance Standard is expanding modestly. But among these largest leases of the year, the net effect without Comcast is a loss of more than 400,000 square feet of occupied space. Many more medium and large tenants will make renewal or relocation decisions in the coming years, but if 2018 is any guide, major absorption gains may not follow.
Source: JLL Research