Work Begins on $82M Five Crescent Drive

Liberty Property Trust and Synterra Partners have just broken ground on the 205,000-square-foot office building in Philadelphia that will become home to GlaxoSmithKline.

June 13, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Liberty Property Trust and Synterra Partners have just broken ground on Five Crescent Drive, a 205,000-square-foot office building in Philadelphia that will become home to GlaxoSmithKline. Liberty will spend $82 million to develop the build-to suit facility, which will be located at the 70-acre Navy Yard Corporate Center within the 1,200-acre office, R&D and industrial Navy Yard compound along the waterfront.

In addition to premier accommodations, GSK’s new facility will feature a bevy of conveniences including a fitness center, a restaurant, retail services and parking. The celebrated architectural firm of Robert A.M. Stern Associates is behind the design of the four-story structure, which will be an exceedingly green property, as is characteristic of all of GSK’s developments. The building has been designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

A certain rapport already exists between the developer, the architectural firm and the tenant.

“Starting with a fresh canvas, we have created a dynamic, invigorating workplace for the 21st century,” John Gattuso, regional director and senior vice president with Liberty Property Trust, commented. “Our long relationship with GSK, our lengthy and productive association with Robert A.M. Stern and our experience in creating sustainable workplaces that enhance comfort and productivity have inspired the design of this unique environment.”

GSK will occupy its new home under a 15.5 year lease and relocate all staff from its current digs at One and Three Franklin Plaza, located about five miles from the Navy Yard, no later than the first quarter of 2013.

As it currently stands, GSK will be leaving a nice chunk of office space behind once it makes the move to its new building, and the Philadelphia office market will have to improve a great deal between now and then if it is going to absorb the excess space expeditiously. As of the close of the first quarter, the office vacancy rate in the city’s CBD was 24.2 percent, according to a report by commercial real estate services firm Grubb & Ellis.