30th Street Station District Plan Reveals Three New Concepts for Building Over Rail Yards

Amtrak open house

Amtrak and its partners in the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan hosted an open house on June 17 for the public to hear about the progress of the planning process for the 175-acre area surrounding the station.

The team, led by Amtrak, Drexel, Brandywine Realty Trust, PennDOT, SEPTA and other stakeholders, unveiled three distinct visions for the future of the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District. Interested parties and the public were asked to provide feedback on various elements included in the concepts.

The concepts are divided into three themes: “Central Business District 2,” a Center City-meets-University City Science Center type office district featuring a Schuylkill-fronting park above a decked-over I-76; “Schuylkill Crossing,” a more residential, mixed-use neighborhood emphasizing multi-modal transportation, and; “Innovation City,” an R&D campus matching Drexel’s “Innovation Neighborhood” that uses innovative building design to bridge rail yards centered around a centrally-located public space.

The goal of the open house was to receive public input on the design elements that resonate and the elements that need more work. This will allow the project team to mix and match the elements of the three concepts to create the final vision for the District.

The diagrams of the three concepts are included below:

Diagrams of rail yard district concepts

The team is now one year into the two-year joint planning process for the site, which began in June 2014. The planning process calls for a total of five open houses during the course of the project. There will be three more times for the public to provide input before a final vision. An open house for the Drexel community will be held in the fall in order to secure input and comments on the planning initiative. 

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN and HR&A Advisors is developing the District Plan, funded by the Commonwealth in addition to Drexel and Brandywine Realty Trust. Amtrak is overseeing the project team and managing coordination among the various stakeholders. More information on the plan is available at this link.