Comcast's new skyscraper opens for business

June 9, 2008 4:25:23 AM PDT
The new Comcast Corp. headquarters is open for business downtown, officially marking its place as the tallest skyscraper between New York and Chicago.

The 975-foot-tall headquarters, which opened Friday, brought in 1,300 new workers to Philadelphia, including some relocated from southern New Jersey and Connecticut, officials said.

The 1.25 million-square-foot Comcast Center, which cost more than $500 million to build, opens despite not getting the tax breaks that had been sought by Comcast, its landlord and Gov. Ed Rendell.

Comcast had wanted its downtown building site to be included in a Keystone Opportunity Zone. That would have made it exempt from state and local taxes, including corporate and personal income taxes, sales taxes and financial taxes.

But opponents said such zones ought to be limited to former industrial sites already on the state's tax-free list, such as the former Philadelphia Navy Yard and U.S. Steel Corp.'s old Fairless Works.

State officials are now reviewing plans that would make it easier for future builders to get opportunity zones in places such as downtown Philadelphia.

Michael Rossman, director of Rendell's Governor's Action Team, said other states are doing that and Pennsylvania needs to compete with them.

"The Keystone Opportunity Zone has been far and away the most important business tool we have," Rossman said.


Load Comments