PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The last major obstacle to construction of a new Family Court building in center city Philadelphia has been cleared, and groundbreaking on the project is expected later this month.

Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services (“DGS”) has acquired the development rights to the site at 15th and Arch Streets from the previous developer.

State Supreme Court chief justice Ronald Castille says this completes a complex bankruptcy settlement and enables the Family Court project to finally proceed.

“It’s now out of bankruptcy. The development rights are now going to be transferred to DGS, and we’re going to begin building a new, modern courthouse at that site,” Judge Castille told KYW Newsradio today.

Castille says contracts with the developers still need to be signed, but he describes that as a formality. He says groundbreaking is likely the week after next, although site preparation work has already begun.

The chief justice says construction will begin with a three-story underground parking garage, followed by a 14-story building that should be ready for occupancy in about 2½ years, depending on the weather.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg Bureau chief Tony Romeo

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