Schuylkill Yards

Schuylkill Yards break ground on The West Tower

The Schuylkill Yards groundbreaking ceremony of The West Tower… What it means for Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, and you.

For those who like to, choose to, need to walk from 23rd and Walnut to World Café Live or 30th Street Station know well the pleasures of what’s become Schuylkill Yards… that $3.5 billion-plus, development project from Brandywine Realty Trust in order to boost West Philadelphia’s beautification process as well as its economic future. Starting with a public park, Drexel Square in 2019, Schuylkill Yards seems to blossom anew every time to travel past. That’s what made June 24’s breaking ground ceremony on The West Tower at Schuylkill Yards, the first vertical construction of a new tower within that epic project, crucial.

Schuylkill Yards

As far as next steps go, starting work on a 570,000 square foot mixed-use property, “a mix of ultra-luxury residential rental units, life science and innovation office space, retail, and indoor/outdoor amenity spaces” according to its legend, is a doozy.

Especially when you consider that the entirety of the “master-planned neighborhood” (how Ayn Rand is that?), will entail 4.8M square feet of life science/lab and office space, 132,000 square feet of retail, 1.9M square feet of residential and 6.5 acres of verdant green space. Along with encouraging walking (which is cool) and human interaction (eh, no thanks), Schuylkill Yards was developed to be “a catalyst in elevating Philadelphia’s position as a Life Sciences leader,” which in this city’s next tech step: attracting talented employees and new companies to invest in the Philadelphia dream.

That Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University, have already co-conceived and executed the re-jiggered Bulletin Building with lab and office space for Spark Therapeutics, and Drexel Square Park’s 1.3-acre communal hot spot portrays the fruits of a great working relationship. Currently, there are two additional active projects within Schuylkill Yards: the redevelopment of 3000 Market Street, a life science building fully leased to Spark Therapeutics, and B.Labs, a life science incubator being launched in partnership with Pennsylvania Biotechnology within the Cira Centre, set to open late 2021; and a ground-up life sciences building at 3151 Market Street, anticipated to begin construction in late 2021.

Schuylkill Yards
(Left to Right)  Elizabeth Mahon of HDR,  Paul Commito of Brandywine Realty Trust, Joyce Smith of Centennial Parkside, Vishaan Chakrabarti of PAU, David Picket of Gotham Organization, John Fry of Drexel University, Jerry Sweeney of Brandywine Realty Trust, Mayor Jim Kenney, Dan Dirscherl of Hunter Roberts, Ximena Rodriguez of CetraRuddy, Jeff Weinstein of Brandywine Realty Trust, and Jeff DeVuono of Brandywine Realty Trust (Photo Credit: Andre Flewellen for Philly Chit Chat)

June 24’s groundbreaking on The West Tower featured talks and cut ribbons (with corny large scissors) from Mayor Jim Kenney, Brandywine Realty Trust President and CEO, Jerry Sweeney and Drexel University President John Fry. Virtual remarks will be given by Gov. Tom Wolf and Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier.

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