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Major Drexel Project Updates as of August 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.
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.
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 school is now expected to be completed in time for a spring 2021 occupancy, but recovery schedules are being re-evaluated for the move-in timeframe. Read about the project in these articles in DrexelNow and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Third-Party Project Updates as of August 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. Meanwhile, Brandywine has completed the construction design documents and is seeking construction permitting for one new tower on JFK Boulevard, and it has completed design development documents for another. Construction is expected to begin this fall on the 500,000-square-foot West tower, which will consist of mainly residential units with office and retail space on the lower floors. The 750,000-square-foot East tower, which will consist of a mix of large corporate offices, retail space on the ground floor and, possibly, laboratories, will be constructed after the completion of the West tower, pending the closing of a large corporate tenant. Brandywine is planning for and is in the early design stage for a new standalone research lab building, with this project likely preceding the start of the East tower. The West tower will take approximately 30 months to complete; the East tower will take approximately 36 months.