If you follow Philadelphia real estate development, you’re likely already aware of Schuylkill Yards, the mega project surrounding 30th Street Station in University City. Brandywine Realty Trust along with Drexel University is spearheading the multi-billion dollar project that will transform a sea of surface parking lots and under-utilized properties into a new vibrant community filled with residential units, shops, restaurants, offices, and life sciences facilities.
The current masterplan includes multiple conceptual towers and mid-rise buildings. The first project to be developed at Schuylkill Yards was the $43 million renovation of the Bulletin Building, the new home for Spark Therapeutics, a Philly-born startup pharmaceutical company specializing in genetic disease treatments. Next to the Bulletin Building, Brandywine turned a surface parking lot into Drexel Square, a 1.3 acre public park surrounded by 23 Dawn Redwood trees.
The next two projects that we have gotten significant information about over the last 18 months are 3001 and 3025 JFK Blvd., an office building and a residential mixed-use building respectively. Both of these projects passed through the Civic Design Review in August of 2019, but we have not seen any physical progress on either site to date.
It looks like the mixed-use tower at 3025 JFK Blvd. could be getting closer to breaking ground. Commercial building permits were pulled yesterday (December 17th) for the erection of a 28-story structure with 326 residential units, offices, and commercial space at 3025 JFK Blvd. This is the dark grey tower that is further west in the renderings. If you ever take the Bolt Bus or Megabus, the project site is the gigantic parking lot to the north of where the buses stop.
The building will rise 361.5 feet tall with an outdoor terrace 138 feet above ground level. Retail space will be located on the first floor with offices located on the lower section of the building, residential units located in the top section of the structure, and 129 parking spaces located below grade. The parking garage will be accessed on the west side of the building. The ground floor of the tower will be clad in terra cotta while the upper level facade will be adorned with aluminum and glass curtainwall.
There is no indication on when permits for 3001 JFK Blvd., the red office tower, will be pulled. When both towers are completed, High Line Plaza, a public park that stretches underneath the rail tracks, will connect the two buildings.
The issuance of construction permits for 3025 JFK Blvd. does not mean that development is imminent. However, this news does mean we are one step closer to the first tower at Schuylkill Yards breaking ground and Philadelphia’s skyline continuing to grow westward.
Schuylkill Yards will be transformational for Philadelphia and the first ground-up project will be a huge milestone for the mega project. We can’t wait for the development to move forward and to see this area evolve before our eyes.
What are your thoughts on Schuylkill Yards and the design of these two towers? What kind of impact do you think the development will have on Philadelphia?
Kyle is a commercial real estate agent at Rittenhouse Realty Advisors, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients buy and sell multifamily investment properties, development opportunities, and industrial sites.
Email Kyle@RittenhouseRealty.com if you are looking to buy or sell a property