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NEWS
March 5, 2013
S TEPHEN GILL AND Zachary Robbins, both 26 and of Center City, cofounded Leadnomics in 2007 while classmates at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. The company, now based in the Cira Centre next to 30th Street Station, generates leads for banks and insurance companies with online advertising campaigns. The fast-growing company employs 35. I spoke with Gill. Q: How's the business model work? A: We own a portal, a micro-content website for auto insurance. Cheapquotesdirect.com is one such site.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2016 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Staff Writer
Mayor Kenney joined business groups, construction and janitors' union leaders, and state legislators from both parties Friday to endorse a tax-reform plan backed by Center City's biggest office landlord. A bill sponsored by State Reps. John Taylor (R., Phila.) and Bill Keller (D., Phila.), among others, would change Pennsylvania law to allow the city to boost business real estate taxes by 15 percent above residential real estate taxes, then use the extra to cut city wage and business-privilege taxes.
NEWS
February 5, 2016 | By Jacob Adelman, STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia meeting and conference space operator The Hub has been acquired by Convene, which runs similar centers in New York and Washington D.C. The acquisition will allow Convene to help companies plan meetings across the northeastern United States, the New York-headquartered company said in a statement on Wednesday. No financial details were disclosed. The Hub has locations at 30 S. 17th St., Cira Centre and Commerce Square in Center City and at the 100 Four Falls Corporate Center in Conshohocken.
BUSINESS
November 24, 2013 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Woodcock Washburn L.L.P., a nationally prominent intellectual-property law firm based in the Cira Centre in University City, announced plans Friday to merge with the Cleveland-based BakerHostetler firm, in one of the more significant law-firm combinations in Philadelphia in recent years. BakerHostetler has 800 lawyers and 11 offices throughout the country. By merging with the 68-lawyer Woodcock Washburn, BakerHostetler would nearly double its intellectual-property practice group to 140 lawyers.
NEWS
April 5, 2013 | BY JAD SLEIMAN, Daily News Staff Writer sleimaj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
MOST SEE a glass skyscraper with sparkling lights. A Drexel University professor saw a screen with pixels. Dr. Frank Lee and his team announced plans Wednesday to transform the 27-story Cira Centre in University City into the world's largest Pong game. Organizers anticipate hundreds will gather on the Art Museum steps across the Schuylkill to watch and line up to play April 19 and April 24 during the third annual Philly Tech Week. The idea is deceptively simple: remotely commandeer the roughly 20 by 20 grid of LED lights tucked into the building's facade - usually used to display static graphics like the Phillies logo - and allow players to go head-to-head in the arcade classic using controls ripped from old-school cabinet sets.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
And you thought video games were a big part of your child's life. A new game from Drexel University computer scientists will be much bigger, at least physically. At 7 p.m. April 4, the team plans to run a giant version of the classic game Tetris on both sides of the glass-encased, 29-story Cira Centre. If it works - and the group has tested a one-sided version that uses the building's vivid LED lights - the effort would break Drexel's own record for the world's largest video game.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2012 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
With November's vote days away, those Americans suspected of still having capital to invest in the politicians of their choice are getting hammered with last-minute fund-raising appeals. State Rep. Mike Gerber (D., Montgomery), a past leader of the Pennsylvania statehouse Democrats' finance committee, can relate as he prepares to leave politics for a job in the private sector. "It's hard, grueling work raising money," Gerber told me last week in the board room of his new office at Michael Forman 's $6 billion-asset Franklin Square Capital Partners at Cira Centre, after fielding a call from a suburban colleague in a tough race.
NEWS
March 2, 2014 | By Julie Xie, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last June, Nathaniel Ross hopped onto his bike, hoping to get some inspiration around the city. The carpenter, 36, found it at Penn Center Plaza, former location of the Broad Street Station of the Pennsylvania Railroad, once one of the largest passenger terminals in the world and demolished in 1953. "It was a beautiful building," he said. This summer, a metal sculpture will commemorate the station's grand arches. When Ross' piece is installed, it will become a bicycle rack.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2011 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The original Keystone Opportunity Zones expired Dec. 31, but wealthy firms, such as Dechert L.L.P. in the Cira Centre and Urban Outfitters Inc. at the Navy Yard, remain eligible for city and state tax breaks until 2018. If the state Department of Community and Economic Development's performance thus far holds, taxpayers may never get a clear sense what the Keystone program cost and what it accomplished. A 2009 report by staff of the General Assembly's joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee found that "serious deficiencies in existing program data prevented a comprehensive and quantifiable assessment of the overall operation and effectiveness" of the program.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
(Editor's Note: The Tetris game on the Cira Centre and the Arcade @ the Oval have been postponed until 7 p.m. Saturday.) Frank Lee has a big vision for Philadelphia, and only a hint of it will be visible at the right moments this weekend to those within eyeshot of the Cira Centre, the glass-skin skyscraper across from 30th Street Station. For the second year in a row, the Drexel University professor will help launch Philly Tech Week by turning Cira into a giant video-game screen.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
REAL_ESTATE
August 1, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, REAL ESTATE WRITER
On a July day with temperatures in the mid-90s, the breeze rushing through the unfinished 46th floor of the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South provides little relief. No matter. The views on every side are spectacular, to say the least, and make other high-rises near this one at 30th and Walnut Streets - with the exception of the new Comcast tower directly east - look very small. That includes the 33-story Evo apartments next door, which, with Cira Green, the parking garage with a one-acre park on its top - are both completed and in use. All comprise the nearly $700 million Cira Centre South project that is a large part of the eastern gateway to Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2016 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Staff Writer
Mayor Kenney joined business groups, construction and janitors' union leaders, and state legislators from both parties Friday to endorse a tax-reform plan backed by Center City's biggest office landlord. A bill sponsored by State Reps. John Taylor (R., Phila.) and Bill Keller (D., Phila.), among others, would change Pennsylvania law to allow the city to boost business real estate taxes by 15 percent above residential real estate taxes, then use the extra to cut city wage and business-privilege taxes.
NEWS
February 5, 2016 | By Jacob Adelman, STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia meeting and conference space operator The Hub has been acquired by Convene, which runs similar centers in New York and Washington D.C. The acquisition will allow Convene to help companies plan meetings across the northeastern United States, the New York-headquartered company said in a statement on Wednesday. No financial details were disclosed. The Hub has locations at 30 S. 17th St., Cira Centre and Commerce Square in Center City and at the 100 Four Falls Corporate Center in Conshohocken.
BUSINESS
December 29, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Staff Writer
Want a free workout to treat your holiday hangover? WeTrain, a Philly start-up, is offering one free workout session - if you send the company a message using social media. And you have to mention that the company just won Philly's version of the hit television show Shark Tank . A 30-minute session regularly costs $17 or $25, if you split it with another person. Philly's version of the television show is called Veteran Shark Tank. And the winners were Zachary Hertzel and Jon Sockol, co-founders of the start-up WeTrain, at the Dec. 7 competition at the Cira Centre next to Amtrak's 30th Street Station.
BUSINESS
November 10, 2015 | By Jacob Adelman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Brandywine Realty Trust is putting open space on a pedestal in University City. Literally. The developer unveils Monday its Cira Green plaza, a 1.25-acre, publicly accessible expanse of grass and paved walkways atop a 95-foot-high parking structure just west of the Schuylkill. Its opening marks the latest chapter in Brandywine's bid to remake a huge swath of central Philadelphia around 30th Street Station - an area bordering the campus of Drexel University up to the riverbanks opposite the Philadelphia Museum of Art - as the once-suburban company solidifies its urban presence.
NEWS
June 2, 2015 | By Jeff Gammage and Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writers
The Market East corridor shelters plenty of concrete mutts, but the parking garage at Seventh Street may be the ugliest dog in the pet shop. Streaks of rust and pigeon poop mark the five-story hulk, built back in 1966. Its looming presence crowds the Colonial brick of the Graff House and the distinguished gray block of the Philadelphia History Museum. It offers no lure to sore-footed tourists seeking escape from the crush at the nearby Liberty Bell. To fix Market East, the haggard eight-block stretch between Independence Mall and City Hall, experts say it's crucial to fix this site.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The latest plan for Philadelphia's most expensive grassy field - at 1919 Market St. , the gap in Center City's skyscraper row - is to dig it up and build a 29-story, 321-apartment, $140 million glass-walled tower, owner Brandywine Realty Trust said Monday. There have been other plans for towers on the site, before and since Brandywine bought the lot in 2011. But this time the money is committed, and work is to start immediately, Brandywine says. Its new partner is Berwyn-based LCOR CalSTRS , a successor to the former Linpro Co. , which invests for the giant California State Teachers Retirement System . Brandywine previously planned a little more business and a little less housing at the site with partner Independence Blue Cross , whose headquarters is next door.
NEWS
October 4, 2014 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, an $18 million concrete walkway that seemingly floats atop the Schuylkill with spectacular views of University City and Center City, opened to the public Thursday. Officials and citizens praised the sleek walkway as an amenity that will endure for generations. Supported by caissons drilled into the riverbed between Locust and South Streets, the 15-foot-wide walkway is the latest milestone in a years-long effort to convert eight miles of the industrial banks of the Schuylkill into interconnecting walking, cycling, and running trails between the Delaware River and the Fairmount Dam. With a ramp to the walkway visible behind them, Mayor Nutter, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, and other dignitaries took to a podium under overcast skies to lavish the project with accolades.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
(Editor's Note: The Tetris game on the Cira Centre and the Arcade @ the Oval have been postponed until 7 p.m. Saturday.) Frank Lee has a big vision for Philadelphia, and only a hint of it will be visible at the right moments this weekend to those within eyeshot of the Cira Centre, the glass-skin skyscraper across from 30th Street Station. For the second year in a row, the Drexel University professor will help launch Philly Tech Week by turning Cira into a giant video-game screen.
NEWS
March 25, 2014
IF YOU are a business in Pennsylvania, you can live in a tax paradise without having to move to the Cayman Islands. In some cases, you just have to move across town. In 1998, in order to stimulate job growth, the Legislature created a device called Keystone Opportunity Zones - areas where businesses could move and pay virtually no state and local business taxes for 15 years. Philadelphia has a number of KOZs - the Cira Centre and the Naval Yard, to name just two - where businesses have clustered.
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