PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The City of Philadelphia’s planning commission has received a first look at plans by Pennsylvania Hospital to build a medical office tower next to that of a rival, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

(John Gattuso. Photos by Steve Tawa)

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John Gattuso of Liberty Property Trust (right) made the presentation, since Liberty has put up $48 million to finance the project.

The design is a sleek, modern, 12-story tower on top of the existing Parkway Garage at 8th and Walnut Streets, next to Wills Eye hospital.

“It’s a very glassy, very sleek facade,” Gattuso explains, “so that we get the sensation of a tower rising, as opposed to a tower on top of the garage.”

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The 260-foot tower would be across the street from and just west of the 500-plus-foot-tall St. James tower.

So is Pennsylvania Hospital encroaching on the Jefferson medical campus?

“Jefferson clearly has their campus located to the west,” Gattuso says. “Penn is located one block to the south. We have the luxury of riches here, where we have two great institutions that are continuing to grow and expand.”

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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