Comcast unveils its newest venture: Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

The Comcast Center is getting a brother, and boy, is he big.

On Wednesday, Comcast announced plans to build its second skyscraper in Center City. The $1.2 billion, 59-story Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will rise on Arch Street between 18th and 19th streets just steps from the original office tower, which opened in 2008.

It will be bigger than its brother by one story. The original tower stands 58 stories.

The building will be home to the company’s technologists, engineers and software architects. It will also host space for local startups, and its local television affiliate NBC10/WCAU.

Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts said the new building will house the company’s future, “which is transforming our company from its early roots 50 years ago and just a cable TV company, into so much more today.”

The Logan Square Four Seasons hotel will move to the top of the new tower, but it will only carry 200 rooms.

The tower will include an extensive, block-long lobby with a glass-enclosed indoor plaza. The lobby will feature a restaurant, and a new concourse will connect with SEPTA’s Suburban Station.

The cable TV and Internet goliath tapped Norman Foster, of Foster + Partners, to design the glass and stainless steel tower. Foster is most known for designing Apple’s new spaceship-like headquarters set to be built in Cupertino, Calif.

Foster explained that the building will be divided into lofts and will include 13 sky gardens for techies to engage in creative brainstorming. The top of the building will also feature a roof deck with a 360 degree view of the city.

By the numbers

1,121

Foot tower

2014

Construction is set to start this summer.

2017

Construction will conclude in the fall.

Impact

Comcast said 1,500 jobs will be created.

The company said it will lease out about 75 percent of the building.

The state will contribute $30 million, and the city will chip in $10 million.

Comcast will own 80 percent of the building, and Liberty Property Trust will own 10 percent.

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