Revitalization advances for 14 underutilized riverfront acres in downtown Philadelphia

Working with Drexel University and master developer Brandywine Realty Trust, design firms SHoP and West 8 will transform 14 acres of existing underutilized land with 6.5 acres of public open space to create a collaborative mixed-use neighborhood in the University City area of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Schuylkill Yards will feature a mix of 24/7 entrepreneurial spaces, educational facilities and research laboratories, corporate offices, residential and retail spaces, hospitality and cultural venues, as well as a robust public realm network that connects the existing neighborhoods with the adjacent Amtrak 30th Street Station.

Situated next to the third-busiest passenger rail station in the country, Schuylkill Yards will be connected to Philadelphia’s international airport and major cities along the Northeast corridor, making it a major innovation hub on the East Coast.

The plan envisions a new gateway to University City —one that is dynamic, diverse, open and inviting.

Here’s the redevelopers’ vision for this run-down site in the heart of Philadelphia: “This is the place where artists flourish. Founders launch. Retailers exchange. Coworkers share. Nonprofits transform. Coffee percolates. Faculty mentor. Cyclists cruise. Residents dwell. Travelers connect. Views inspire. Businesses accelerate. Restaurants delight. Citizens assemble. Startups disrupt. Students engage. Trailblazers challenge. Investments multiply. Visitors experience. Researchers discover. Parks renew. Musicians perform. Families thrive. Pedestrians explore. This is the place where buildings become bridges; individuals connect into community, challenges offer opportunities, and ideas iterate into innovations.

Central to the scheme is a reimagined One Drexel Plaza, which will become the catalyst for the project as a start-up incubator attached to a new 1.3 acre multi-functional public space, Drexel Square.

See SHoP website.

See Schuylkill Yards website & image credits.

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