The US Citizenship and Immigration Services' Philadelphia office at 16th and Callowhill is leaving its Center City home and moving to University Place Associates LLC's five-story building at 30 N. 41st St., west of the Penn and Drexel campus in West Philadelphia, where it will occupy the first three floors, 53,000 sq ft of the 97,000 sq ft space.

The office's new building is owned by a partnership led by Scott Mazo and James Levin, of West Philly redeveloper Neighborhood Restorations Inc. and Prime Property Management; James Levine; Thomas A. Leonard, a partner at law firm Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel and longtime Democratic fundraiser; and James Levin.

Federal offices had been moving from West Philly (3535 Market St.) to Center City in past years. How did this group reverse the flow? "They looked at what was available in Center City, didn't like it, and broadened their (search) to West Philadelphia," Leonard told me. "There's no magic to it. This will be a much nicer facility."
The 15-year, $26 million lease was negotiated by building leasing reps Jack Soloff Jr., Craig Scheuerle and Matthew Guerrieri of Grubb & Ellis. The move is scheduled for the end of 2012. Studley Inc.'s Todd Valentine represented the US General Services Administration for the immigration service.
It's a more remote location for visitors to Center City, but Grubb & Ellis notes it's just two stops west of Amtrak's 30th St Station on Septa's Market-Frankford El.

A second lease is being negotiated for part of the remaining space with a private company, according to building leasing reps Grubb & Ellis. The rest is vacant and up for lease.