Drexel Square at Schuylkill Yards Philadelphia breaks ground
Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust just broke ground on their ambitious $3.5 billion Schuylkill Yards project, about 18 months after they first announced their plans to transform 14 acres in University City into a leading innovation hub. The groundbreaking took place November 8, Wednesday morning at 3001 Market Street, which will be the site of the future 1.3-acre Drexel Square, an elliptical park designed by SHoP and West 8, together with Drexel University and master developer Brandywine Realty Trust.
The green space will replace what’s currently a parking lot across the street from 30th Street Station. This centerpiece or the “launchpad” for this new innovation-driven neighborhood, as Brandywine Realty Trust’s CEO Jerry Sweeney described, will be the Drexel Square.
SHoP and West 8 designed the Drexel Square that represents the continuation of William Penn’s original vision for the city’s “public room”; a place for the people to gather, rest, and be renewed by the natural world. At its core, Schuylkill Yards is centered on human interaction; a place that encourages walking, meeting, shared experiences, collaboration, and engagement. This vision will manifest itself through the transformation of the two iconic Philadelphia streets that anchor the neighborhood — JFK Boulevard and Market Street.
Serving as the gateway into University City from Center City and 30th Street Station, Drexel Square will be punctuated by an elliptical-shaped public green space in front of the Bulletin Building. Along with a more than 12,000 SF elliptical green lawn, the team also designed custom made granite benches, outdoor furniture, lighting, and raised planter beds filled with shrubs and perennials. Other key features include the 30 mature Dawn Redwood trees which will be planted at more than 25 feet tall. The park will open in fall 2018.
In total, there are 6.5 acres of planned green space and street improvements throughout Schuylkill Yards. This network of public spaces, each with their own unique characteristics, are made for the whole city to experience and enjoy. This network of spaces is unified by a consistent respect for the transformative power of the natural world in the urban environment, and continues Philadelphia’s rich tradition of providing iconic outdoor places.
The park is the first goal of Schuylkill Yards mega developement. The 15 to 20 years master plan designed by SHoP and West 8 calls for the buildout of new towers, in total 6.9 million SF in new construction.
More detail information of the development can be found on the official website of Schuylkill Yards.