Groundbreaking for Two LEED Buildings at Navy Yard


This Navy Yard project marks Liberty Property Trust’s first major investment since May 2009.

Philadelphia, January 3, 2010– Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Senator Arlen Specter, Congressman Robert Brady and Liberty Property Trust hosted a groundbreaking for the first two of three planned flexible-use buildings that will be developed in the Navy Yard Commerce Center. The project will be funded by $12.89 million in allocated Recovery Zone Facility Bonds (RZ-FBs) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Liberty Property Trust received a total of $16 million in RZ-FBs and will use the remainder for infrastructure improvements at The Navy Yard Corporate Center.

RZ-FBs are a new, tax-exempt private activity bond created specifically by ARRA to be distributed by municipalities for business development activities. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania increased its RZ-FB commitment to the City from $12.89 million to $16 million based on the City’s ability to efficiently utilize the stimulus funding before the end of 2010.

“The Navy Yard is at the center of the growing clean tech economy in the United States, and the addition of these new buildings will have one of the largest concentrations of LEED certified buildings on a single campus anywhere in the country. Philadelphia is committed to growing our industry in a sustainable, smart and business-friendly way,” said Mayor Nutter. “This development reflects the strategic and well coordinated allocation of ARRA funding by the City with the cooperation of partners like the Commonwealth, PIDC, and private businesses. I would like to thank everyone for their efficient and decisive actions to make this development possible.”

Congressman Brady added, “This project is a perfect example of how targeted Federal funds can help grow jobs. Thanks to the partnership of the Mayor, the Governor, our Congressional delegation, PIDC and business, Philadelphia’s Navy Yard has become a leader in urban job creation.”

“Liberty’s investment in developing these new flexible, industrial buildings signals their confidence in Philadelphia and The Navy Yard as a choice location for growing companies and provides The Navy Yard with an inventory of modern industrial facilities that will appeal to a wide variety of users.  We appreciate Liberty’s investment and confidence and look forward to working with them to fill these buildings with dynamic companies of all types,” said Peter Longstreth, President of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.

The first two Navy Yard Commerce Center buildings will occupy a total 103,137 square feet of space and will be located at 4020 S. 26th Street and 4050 S. 26th Street. The third building, on which Liberty Property Trust will begin construction as the first two are completed, will expand capacity by an additional 82,863 square feet. The Fretz Corporation, a leading appliance wholesale distributor, agreed to lease nearly half of the 4050 S. 26th Street building. Each building will be LEED certified. The development project will create 100 new constructions jobs.

“The Philadelphia Navy Yard has truly become a magnet for business,” said William P. Hankowsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Property Trust. “We appreciate our partnership with the city and PIDC and look forward to continuing to develop the Navy Yard’s capacity for attracting leading companies.”

The ARRA funding authorizes the City of Philadelphia to assign an issuing authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for private activity use. The Administration has partnered with the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID) to structure and issue the RZ-FBs on behalf of Liberty Property Trust. The Federal government is awarding an available $15 billion nationwide in RZ-FBs.

RZ-FBs are issued in Federal Recovery Zones, which include:

  1. Any area designated by the issuer as having poverty, unemployment, rate of home foreclosures, or distress;
  2. Any area designated by the issuers as economically distressed by reason of the closure or realignment of a military installation pursuant to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990; and
  3. Any area for which a designation as an Empowerment Zone or Renewal Community is in effect.

About Liberty Property Trust

Headquartered in Malvern, PA, Liberty is dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through extraordinary work environments. The real estate investment trust (REIT) serves customers in the United States and United Kingdom through the development, acquisition, ownership and management of superior office and industrial properties.  Liberty’s 80 million square foot portfolio offers exceptional locations and flexible design to more than 2,100 tenants at approximately 750 office, distribution and light manufacturing facilities. For more information, visit




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