Yesterday was the big announcement that AmerisourceBergen is going to consolidate its offices with a new corporate headquarters at SORA West in Conshohocken, a redevelopment site that sits at the corner of West Elm Street and Fayette Street.
Since its inception a few years ago, SORA West (first known as Conshohocken One) has consisted of constructing a hotel in the grass area next to the Washington Fire Company, replacing two existing office buildings with larger ones, replacing the existing parking garage with a larger one, and renovating the historic fire house into a restaurant. All of this would be built around a new public square, with the buildings featuring street level retail.
With the announcement came some changes from what the plan for redevelopment was during the approval process. Here is how SORA West was described in a press release from Keystone Properties:
SORA West is a large-scale, multi-faceted development centered around a vibrant plaza adjacent to the building, which will be flanked by a 130-key hotel with significant restaurant space and a rooftop lounge; the existing 139-year-old Conshohocken Firehouse, which will be recreated as a gastropub with an indoor/outdoor experience; and a 1,200+-space parking structure to support these facilities.
With a major anchor tenant now in place, construction on the 12-story office tower – which will include ground floor retail space and a bi-level below-grade parking garage – is set to commence in 2018, with occupancy expected to begin in 2020.
There are two major changes. First, instead of two 250,000 square foot office buildings, there is now going to be one. The existing office building and parking garage along West 1st Avenue will make way for a 427,333 square foot building.
A larger parking garage was to replace the existing one off West 1st Avenue. The garage will now be constructed off West Elm Street, replacing the existing office building. There will now also be some parking underground (“below grade) in the new office building. The new parking garage will have 1,200 spaces.
We are not sure if Keystone Properties will need to go back to Borough Council or the Zoning Hearing Board to get an approval for the changes. We will look into that next.
Photo: To right is the 427,000 office building that will be constructed along West 1st Avenue. To the left is the hotel. The parking garage is behind the hotel. The historic fire house is also behind the hotel. The public square can be seen between the two buildings. The view is from the east side of the unit block of Fayette Street. Photo: Keystone Properties