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Old Posted Mar 3, 2016, 4:06 AM
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summersm343 summersm343 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Philadelphia
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Drexel, Brandywine Take Wraps Off Schuylkill Yards

The next big step in the evolution of University City into Philadelphia’s “second downtown” began this afternoon inside a tent next to One Drexel Plaza, where Drexel University President John Fry and Brandywine Realty Trust CEO Gerard Sweeney unveiled the master plan for the new mixed-use “innovation neighborhood” they will create together. They also announced its name: Schuylkill Yards.

The development, which will be built in several phases starting in a few months and stretching over 20 years, will contain about 5 to 6 million square feet of space when fully built out. About 55 percent of the total will be office space, with the rest a mix of laboratory space and residential buildings, with street-level retail throughout and a landscaped public park at its heart.

Accordingly, the central public space, to be called Drexel Square, is part of the project's first phase. Work on the 1.3-acre park across from 30th Street Station and the transformation of JFK Boulevard west of the station into a pedestrian-friendly promenade will begin later this year, followed by a reimagination of One Drexel Plaza, the former home of The Evening Bulletin, starting in early 2017. The first new building, a 700,000-square-foot office building with street-level retail across JFK Boulevard from Drexel Square, should get under way in late 2017 or early 2018.

Fry sees this project as a major step towards making the Schuylkill a focal point for a greater city center instead of a dividing line between Center City and University City.

Also speaking along with Fry and Sweeney at the formal unveiling ceremony were City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Bruce Katz of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Center and Jim Bean, vice president of retail at Apple Inc. and a Drexel alumnus.
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