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Comcast Announces Plans To Build Philadelphia's Tallest Skyscraper

By Steve Tawa and Pat Ciarrocchi

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As previously speculated (see related story), Comcast today announced plans to build a second office tower in Philadelphia.  This one, called the "Comcast Innovation and Technology Center," will come with a hefty price tag: $1.2 billion.

Being billed as the tallest building in the United States outside of New York or Chicago, the new Comcast tower, at 1,121 feet, will stand 59 stories tall on Arch Street between 18th and 19th, and will employee 20,000 people during construction, according to a company press release.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says the new building is being designed by famed British architect Norman Foster.

Roberts says, "When you go through the core of the building and see the city, it's exciting and very moving."

Foster, a winner of architecture's most prestigious award, the Pritzker Prize, calls it "an industrial building," but he adds industry today is not dirty and polluting:

"It's clean, and it's very much about regeneration, youth, employment, and innovation."

The new building, which will become home to television stations NBC 10 and Telemundo 62 (both now owned by Comcast as part of its purchase of NBC Universal) will also include a block-long lobby, and outdoor plaza, and a Four Seasons hotel in the upper floors which will feature a restaurant and a 360-degree view of the city.

City Council president Darrell Clarke calls the new building a game-changer.

"The amount of jobs that will be created as a result of this, the revenues generated, and I think the spinoff from this will be exponentially awesome," he said.

All told, 20,000 direct and indirect temporary construction-related jobs will be created, followed by 4,000 permanent jobs, including 1,500 Comcast workers in the new tower, according to a Comcast press release.

Construction is set to begin this summer.

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