Brandywine Realty Trust, with whom Penn is working closely to develop the postal lands, has indefinitely postponed work on an office complex next to Penn's territory because of the credit crisis, its CEO recently told reporters in a conference call.
Penn officials say the announcement will not affect the University's own eastward expansion.
Yet Brandywine's decision to halt work on its Cira 2 office tower reflects the sluggish pace of urban development - a sector of real estate that will be crucial to Penn's ambitious campus-expansion plans for the future.
Cira 2 will be located at 30th Street and JFK Boulevard. It is a separate project from the Cira Centre South, a mixed-use office tower that Penn has commissioned Brandywine to construct on land Penn owns near 30th and Walnut streets.
Cira Centre South is expected to proceed as planned, according to Penn Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli.
Gerard Sweeney, Brandywine's chief executive officer, refused to comment for this article.
But he told a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist that the credit crisis has "literally put corporate America on hold," stalling developments that have already been planned and discouraging developers from signing onto future projects.
Although Penn has no financial stake in Cira 2, the University was planning to rent some of the office space in the building, Penn President Amy Gutmann said.
However, Penn "had no current plans to move anybody, so the delay of Cira 2 doesn't affect our Penn Connects plan at all," she said.
Penn Connects is the name for Penn's overall eastward-expansion plan for the postal lands that it acquired last year.
Brandywine is in the planning phase of Cira Centre South, a Penn Connects project, according to Carnaroli.
"Our hope is that the volatility of the credit markets will stabilize and we can proceed with what will be a great addition to University City and Philadelphia's skyline," Carnaroli wrote in an e-mail.
According to Gutmann and Carnaroli, all other major Penn Connects projects in progress will move forward, with no projected delays.
These construction projects include renovations and a new addition to the Music building, a College House on Hill Field and a new Neural-Behavioral Sciences building.
Gutmann said many major projects Penn has planned for the future have already been fully funded, so they shouldn't encounter financial obstacles.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.