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Liberty Property Trust Blames Contractor For $67M CTC Cost Overrun

Images of the Comcast Technology Center as it neared completion in November

The development of the tallest building in Philadelphia could be getting ugly.

Liberty Property Trust disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is $67M over budget for the Comcast Technology Center, and in its most recent earnings call, CEO Bill Hankowsky blamed its contractor, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

Initially projected to cost $1.5B, the 1,121-foot supertall Liberty is developing for Comcast has topped off after a delay due to cracks in steel beams near the top. In the earnings call, Hankowsky said Liberty's contractor, Structuretone/LF Driscoll, gave “insufficient supporting information, substantiation or forewarning” for the budget overrun.

As a result of the alleged information breakdown, Liberty claims that LF Driscoll should bear responsibility for the extra costs. Though Hankowsky did not name its contractor in the call, he said it was a company with which Liberty had worked for around 30 years, including on the development of the nearby Comcast Center, and only LF Driscoll fits that description, according to the PBJ.

Liberty has retained legal representation for this matter as it tries to gain "increased visibility" for the overrun from its contractor, which Hankowsky believes could take quite a while. He declined to elaborate on potential next steps, citing the present lack of information and the potential for future lawsuits, but did warn that the situation could cause a change in earnings from prior projections.

Neither Liberty nor LF Driscoll responded to Bisnow's requests for comment.