To receive email notification of construction work, scheduled utility shutoffs, and other scheduled maintenance work being performed by Real Estate and Facilities, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with only the following information in the body of the message: subscribe facilities-notices-L.
Major Drexel Project Updates as of September 2020
Bentley Residence Hall Expansion: With the help of a $5 million gift from Greg S. Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, and his wife Caroline, the University has expanded Bentley Hall with an approximately 11,500 square foot, two-story addition to provide critical space to relocate the Pennoni Honors College into the heart of the campus. The addition is complete and furnished. Pennoni Honors College professional staff moved to the new location on August 25.
Main Building Roof and Skylight: The University is preparing to undertake exterior renovations to the Main Building, including roof system replacement and associated repairs, replacement of the primary skylight, and a new lightning protection system. On-site activities began with scaffolding installation on March 16 and have resumed as of early May. Substantial completion is expected in December 2020.
Rush Building Refresh: Anticipating that the University may need to provide more space for students to spread out and practice social distancing when the University is able to resume normal operations, Real Estate and Facilities completed a summer project to refresh the Rush Building for Student Life use, including the home for the new Center for Black Culture.
PSA Building: Similar to the Rush Building, the PSA Building at 33rd Street and Powelton Avenue underwent a summer refresh of finishes to support on-campus social distancing.
Façade Renovations: In keeping with both the University's goals of maintaining its buildings and citywide mandates for regular repairs to facades over six stories or 65 feet in height, the facades of Caneris Hall, North Hall, Pearlstein Business Learning Center, and Bossone Research Enterprise Center are currently under renovation, with expected completion this fall.
Powel Elementary/Science Leadership Academy Middle School: Drexel and Wexford are designing and constructing the Powel/SLA-MS building on the same site as the Academic Tower. Powel/SLA-MS will be leased to the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) over a long-term lease with Drexel, and the SDP will bear responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the building and grounds. Prior to the Governor's order, foundations and structural steel were in place, with project completion targeted for spring 2021 occupancy. Construction has resumed. The building is more than 50% complete, with project completion targeted and on track for spring 2021 occupancy. Read about the project in these articles in DrexelNow and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Third-Party Project Updates as of September 2020
Arlen Specter US Squash Center (US Squash): Construction is in progress to convert the Armory into a national center for US Squash. The project involves renovating the Armory's interior, creating 20 courts, athletic training facilities, audience amenities and community use spaces. Prior to the stay-at-home order, construction was planned to be substantially complete in early fall 2020 to host the US Open Squash Tournament. This target has since been reassessed, and The project is expected to reach substantial completion this winter. Click here for more details.
College of Medicine Location at Tower Health (developer: Equus Capital Partners): Tower Health is planning to construct a 150,000-square-foot building for the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health in West Reading. On behalf of Drexel, Tower Health is partnering with Equus Capital Partners to redevelop a site located 0.6 miles from Reading Hospital. Construction has begun on core and shell, and construction documents for the fit-out of educational spaces are complete. The building is targeted to be operational for the 2021-22 academic year. Milestones will be re-assessed if there is significant impact of COVID-19 on workforce and materials delivery.
Drexel Academic Tower at University City High School Site (Wexford Science & Technology): Wexford will develop a new Academic Tower on the former University City High School site that will house the College of Nursing and Health Professions and various academic and administrative functions of the College of Medicine, relocating them to University City under a long-term lease agreement with Wexford. The building will total about 450,000 rentable square feet, within which Drexel will have an approximate 29-year lease. Read more in this DrexelNow article. Prior to the stay-at-home order, construction of the Drexel Academic Tower was expected to begin during spring 2020, with a substantial completion delivery of mid-2022. Construction of this facility began in late July 2020, endeavoring to maintain the same completion date.
Schuylkill Yards (Brandywine Realty Trust): Spark Therapeutics has possession of the former Bulletin Building, now known as 3025 Market Street. Installation of the new east-facing façade is complete, Spark Therapeutics has moved into the building and is conducting research as a tenant, and spaces are being prepared for ground floor retail and food service amenities. This work and the removal and construction of a new head house by SEPTA, which began in January 2020, will form the Schuylkill Yards Gateway.
Brandywine has completed the design development for the initial two towers on JFK Boulevard. The West tower (approximately 500K SF) will mainly consist of residential units with office space, a minor compliment of research laboratory, and retail space on the lower floors, and the East tower (approximately 750K SF) will consist of large corporate office and possibly laboratory uses, with retail on the ground floor. They were expected to begin construction on the West tower in spring 2020; however, the schedule is now being reassessed, primarily driven by value engineering assessments that are underway. Footing and foundation construction permits have been applied for and are pending approval, expecting a third-quarter 2020 groundbreaking. The construction of the East tower is planned to begin development afterward, depending upon the closing of a large corporate tenant. These structures will take 30 and 36 months, respectively, to complete.
In addition to alternative laboratory presence in the East tower as well as the West, Brandywine is in design development for a new standalone lab building at the corner of 31st and Market streets, forecasting a construction start the first quarter of 2021. As a part of the Schuylkill Yards development, Brandywine Realty Trust has recently retained the architectural firm Gensler to perform design services for this new standalone research facility, to be located at the intersection of JFK and Market streets, on the former Santander Bank building site, in combination with the 3101R parking garage, across from the Drexel-owned Firestone building site. Gensler has produced concept designs and is performing site investigation services for a new building that will accommodate approximately 450,000 square feet of lab and lab-support spaces. Brandywine intends to openly market this building to the life and health sciences research community. Drexel and Brandywine will begin crafting and negotiating a new ground lease to accommodate this development.