Monday, November 12, 2007
Seeing Double? Plans only called for one tower
Though the twin towers known as One and Two Commerce Square are 15 and 20 years old respectively a major breakthrough with respect to the project's cost has been uncovered. The now defunct Schuylkill River Realty Corporation, the builder of Commerce Square, was never able to determine why the project finished double the estimated cost. The project proved so costly that it ruined the 75 year old SRRC who was forced into bankrupcy in 1993 one year after the completion of Two Commerce Square. The original plans turned up at a garage sale that a former SRRC employee had visited.
The plans and the permits revealed that only one tower was suppose to be constructed at Commerce Square instead of the two now standing. "I really screwed up. I always wondered why the project was so far over budget. I kept doing the math. It has comsumed my life," said Ken Willer, project manger at the time. An assistant to Willer reportedly left a photocopy of the original plans on his desk, thinking it was a new set of plans Willer ordered the second tower to be built. "I should have called to double check, but I decided to make the decision and it turned out to burn me and the company. It's really crappy." The assistant claimed to have placed a Post-it on the copy that said "copy." However, Post-its were relatively new at that time and did not stick as well as they do today.