Beneficial Bank is moving its headquarters to 1818 Market St.

CEO of the Beneficial Bank, Gerry Cuddy poses for a photo on a balcony overlooking Independence Square. 06/19/2009 (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer )
CEO of the Beneficial Bank, Gerry Cuddy poses for a photo on a balcony overlooking Independence Square. 06/19/2009 (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer )
Posted: April 11, 2013

Looking for a new headquarters, Gerard P. Cuddy, chief executive of Beneficial Bank, the biggest and oldest bank still based in Philadelphia, has been cruising the tenants' market that is Center City's office-rental scene.

"We analyzed space in 28 buildings," Cuddy said Tuesday. "This is a good time to be a shopper looking for 100,000 square feet in Philadelphia. David Binswanger, our broker, is extraordinary. This wasn't a transaction for him; it was like a mission."

On Wednesday, Cuddy plans to announce Beneficial's new headquarters: four floors of a 42-story tower at 1818 Market St., owned by Sovereign Capital Management Group, that will be renamed Beneficial Place. Runner-up was the former Dow Chemical headquarters on Independence Mall.

Beneficial will give up its current offices, spread through 11 suites in the former Penn Mutual complex overlooking Independence Hall and leafy Washington Square, for the EwingCole-designed tower in the glass-and-concrete heart of the city's modern financial district.

"We think it's a transforming move for us in terms of visibility and location," said Cuddy, who wants to boost business lending at Beneficial, better known as a mortgage and personal lender.

"Costs are marginally higher" in the area, where offices at equivalent buildings rent in the mid-$20s per square foot, he said. The exposure and convenience will be worth the additional cost, he added.

Beneficial also plans a ground-floor branch that will compete with neighboring First Republic and Bank of America locations. Cuddy wants to import the open spaces and customer financial "libraries" Beneficial has installed in its suburban branches in Devon, Springfield and Cherry Hill.

Architect D2 Partners, of King of Prussia, is laying out the headquarters space.


Contact Joseph N. DiStefano at 215-854-5194, JoeD@phillynews.com, @PhillyJoeD

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