30th Street District
The land around Philadelphia’s Amtrak 30th Street Station, including 75-plus acres of Septa and Amtrak rail yards, represents one of the best opportunities in America for transformational long-term, transportation-oriented urban development. The creation of a 30th Street District could shift Philadelphia’s center of gravity and catalyze decades of economic growth.
The full development of the 30th Street District is likely to play out over a 30-year timeframe, but impact will extend many decades beyond that, seen in increased economic development, innovation and better quality of life in the region.
Joint Planning Effort with Amtrak
The three entities best positioned to champion the value of development at 30th Street are Amtrak, as owner and chief operator of 30th Street Station, Drexel University, which is creating its Innovation Neighborhood™ on 12-plus acres directly adjacent to the station and Brandywine Realty Trust with major real estate investments to the site.
Drexel, Amtrak and Brandywine have agreed to lead a joint planning effort to study the potential and the challenges of a 30th Street District project. Other critical stakeholders include the City of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, regional mass transit provider SEPTA, railway company CSX, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the Schuykill River Development Corporation, the University City District and the University of Pennsylvania.
With Drexel, Amtrak, and Brandywine in the lead, a coordinating committee has been formed to oversee a major planning study. This is taking place in the context of a series of studies by Amtrak for its stations, including a completed study for Union Station in Washington, D.C.
The team chosen for the study will have a multidisciplinary focus, ranging from urban planning to environmental and structural engineering to design and construction to finance experts.
Its concept will include not only plans for the land and air rights under consideration, but also connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods and Center City Philadelphia, the impact on highways and roads as well as rail facilities and the interaction of a 30th Street District plan with other planning efforts underway.
The feasibility study will take approximately three years, beginning in January 2014. Its report will include a detailed concept for development, costs, and phasing.