GlaxoSmithKline & Liberty/Synterra break ground on Five Crescent Drive at The Philadelphia Navy Yard

This press release is intended for business journalists and analysts/investors. Please note that this release may not have been issued in every market in which GSK operates.

Issued: Thursday 09 June 2011, Philadelphia, PA

Just four months after executing an agreement to build “the workplace of the future” at The Navy Yard Corporate Center, GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LRY)/Synterra Partners broke ground today on Five Crescent Drive. The 205,000 square-foot, four-story environmentally friendly facility represents an $82 million investment by Liberty.

At today’s event, Deirdre Connelly, President of North America Pharmaceuticals at GlaxoSmithKline, was joined on stage by Liberty CEO Bill Hankowsky and Regional Director John Gattuso; Bill Wilson, CEO of Synterra Partners; Dan Phelan, Senior Advisor to the CEO of GSK; Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Peter Longstreth, President of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC.)

Connelly, speaking from a podium with the site of the building as a backdrop, said, “Our new home at The Navy Yard will revolutionize the way our team works together. Designed to increase collaboration and communication, the new space will inspire our employees and help them find the innovative solutions that will improve the health of the patients we serve.”

In February, GSK signed a 15.5-year lease for the green building and site work immediately began. GSK plans to move all employees currently based at the One and Three Franklin Plaza buildings in Center City Philadelphia to the new building between fourth quarter 2012 and first quarter 2013, immediately after completion.

“Five Crescent Drive will continue the great progress that Liberty Property Trust, Synterra Partners, PIDC and the City of Philadelphia have made in redeveloping The Navy Yard,” said Gattuso. “Already a hub for forward thinking companies, the promise of this 21st Century high performance work environment cements The Philadelphia Navy Yard as one of the most sustainable workplaces in the nation and extends our long and mutually beneficial relationship with GSK.”

Replacing the traditional shovel-in-dirt ground breaking ceremony, Connelly, Hankowsky, Gattuso, Wilson, Nutter, Longstreth and Phelan instead held a ceremonial tree planting to underscore the project’s commitment to sustainability. The group planted three London Plane Sycamore trees at the site of the new building.

“The Philadelphia Navy Yard is not only one of the most vibrant and progressive work environments in the City, but it is a model throughout the nation,” said Mayor Nutter. “I am excited that GSK has decided to break ground in The Navy Yard with a new, innovative, LEED certified building, which will keep this iconic business with strong ties to Philadelphia within the city.”

Liberty and RAMSA Continue Their Partnership

For Liberty and Robert A.M. Stern Associates (RAMSA), Five Crescent Drive represents their fourth collaboration and most recent since the completion of Comcast Center, one of the world’s tallest green buildings.

The team has designed Five Crescent Drive to facilitate better communication and idea sharing among GSK employees. The building will include shared work stations, team tables, meeting areas, social areas and quiet rooms and offer a wide variety of amenities, such as a fitness center, restaurant, retail services, and free parking for employees and visitors. The Navy Yard Corporate Center, in which it is based, provides park space with walking paths, fields for sports leagues and even a putting green.  

A continuous looping shuttle will operate from Center City to The Navy Yard to facilitate use of public transportation whenever possible.

About The Navy Yard Corporate Center

In 2004, Liberty Property Trust and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation led a team that authored the plan for the redevelopment of The Philadelphia Navy Yard. During the last six years, Liberty has developed five LEED certified buildings in the park, including the LEED Platinum certified One Crescent Drive.

During the last decade, Liberty has invested more than $1 billion in USGBC LEED registered and/or certified sustainable developments. The company has been recognized for its commitment to sustainable design and its positive impact on its tenants’ employees, the environment and its communities. Liberty has received numerous awards for its approach and commitment to sustainability, including the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) 2008 Developer of the Year Award, the CoreNet Global 2008 Sustainability Leadership Award for Design & Development, the 2007 NAIOP Green Development Award.

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 77 million square foot portfolio offers exceptional locations and flexible design to more than 2,000 tenants at nearly 700 properties. The company is a leader in the development of high performance green buildings. For more information visit

About Synterra

Synterra Partners is a local real estate development company founded in 1996. The firm has an extensive portfolio of projects that include hotels and resorts, commercial and retail developments both domestic and international. Synterra Partners has earned its extraordinary reputation by working successfully with public and private organizations to create innovative strategies for complex development projects.

About Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, is founder and senior partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, a 230-person firm with an international reputation and wide experience in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings.  Working with Liberty Property Trust and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the firm led the design team for the 2004 master plan for the redevelopment of The Philadelphia Navy Yard and then served as design architect for the office building at One Crescent Drive.  The firm's work for Liberty Property Trust also includes the design of Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia and a headquarters building for PPL in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Stern is dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information go to, follow us on or visit our blog (

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