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Parkway Corp. Finalizes Deal With Morgan Lewis To Anchor New Center City Office Building

A rendering of Parkway Corp.'s office building at 2222 Market St. in Philadelphia.

Parkway Corp. has taken an important step toward building the first new, non-Comcast office development in Center City in two decades.

The parking lot owner-turned-developer announced on Wednesday that it has signed law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius to be the sole occupant of a $200M, 19-story office tower at 2222 Market St., with a 20-year lease for all 305K SF of rentable space.

Parkway announced plans for a new office building on the lot it operates at the southeast corner of 23rd and Market streets in March, and in May the Philadelphia Inquirer reported it was nearing a deal with Morgan Lewis to be the anchor tenant. In its Wednesday press release, Parkway said it had worked with Morgan Lewis and project architect Gensler to customize the building's design to best attract talent for the firm.

The building's segmented style is designed to give Morgan Lewis multiple outdoor terraces, and the floor-to-ceiling glass surrounding floors with 10-foot clearance are geared to maximize natural light. Gensler will target LEED Gold certification and Fitwell classification as a building that encourages healthy living.

With the blessing of local councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, Parkway is targeting a summer groundbreaking and a 2023 move-in for Morgan Lewis, the Inquirer reports. The firm told the Inquirer it will pay a premium in rent compared to the space it will exit at 1701 Market St. to be more attractive to young lawyers in the region.

With one major office requirement off the board, attention will now turn to insurance giant Chubb to decide if it is relocating from its Old City office and where. Parkway has one more office project in mind — a 400K SF building at 20th and Arch streets for which it claims to already have a tenant in hand — while Brandywine Realty Trust seeks an anchor tenant for both its first ground-up project at Schuylkill Yards and a proposal for an office/multifamily tower at the corner of 22nd and Market streets.