Developers announce updates for Schuylkill Yards, Philadelphia’s new innovation hub

Drexel University's $3.5 billion project, designed by SHoP Architects and West 8, will have mixed-use buildings, residential spaces, and educational and research facilities. 

April 22, 2016 |
Developers announce updates for Schuylkill Yards, Philadelphia’s new innovation hub

Renderings courtesy Shop Architects/West 8. Click here for larger view.

Developers revealed the first major building at Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Yards, a $3.5 billion project for Drexel University.

Curbed Philadelphia reports that an exec from the developer, Brandywine Realty Trust, shared plans for a 700,000-sf property that will have a lab and offices.

The building will be one of the centerpieces for the project at University City, a section of the eastern edge of Philadelphia next to the Schuylkill River that houses Drexel along with the University of Pennsylvania and University of the Sciences.  

With 14 acres of underutilized land and 6.5 acres of public space, SHoP Architects and West 8 will transform the neighborhood into an innovation hub. Schuylkill Yards will have a bit of everything: educational facilities, research labs, corporate offices, retail shops, and hospitality and cultural venues. The existing One Drexel Plaza will be turned into 1.3-acres worth of multifunctional public space.

“The plan envisions a new gateway to University City — one that is dynamic, diverse, open and inviting,” SHoP said on its website.

Along with the mixed-use buildings, the neighborhood will have 2 million sf of living areas, including one residential tower that will have both luxury and market rate units.

Developers expect Schuylkill Yards to generate economic growth for the city, due to its access to talented individuals and capital. A nearby Amtrak stop connects the district to cities in the Northeast Corridor, and it’s only seven miles away from the Philadelphia International Airport.

The lab and office building will not be completed until 2020 and the entire project will take 20 years to build.


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