Winter Campus Construction & Renewal Update: January 2024

Learn about construction on partnership projects, campus pathways and the new green space that will be developed where Myers Hall is being demolished.
Construction site at 3201 Cuthbert St

Construction on 3201 Cuthbert Street, where Gattuso Development Partners' building for bioscience will rise.

This article was written by Drexel University Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities Alan Greenberger.

While Drexel University’s academic calendar has its cycles of intensity and lulls, the 367 employees of Drexel Real Estate and Facilities are here working year-round to make sure our campus is clean, functioning properly and becoming a better place for study and research. Whether out in full view with a broom or behind the scenes trying to organize the next 20 years of growth and change, we are committed to finding ways to make the Drexel campus a more stimulating and memorable place to be.

Right now, University City, especially on Drexel-owned property, is the epicenter of extraordinary improvements to Drexel’s and Philadelphia’s future. The nexus of development on campus is one of the largest concentrations of growth this city has seen in many decades. It will have profound impact on all of us. So, let’s start there.

Partnership Projects

Consistent with our vision to establish a neighborhood of innovation around the core University City Campus, our private development partners are advancing the construction of nearly $2 billion of projects, not only for the life sciences, but also including apartments, ground-floor retail and public space.

Brandywine Real Estate Trust has completed its first new building in Schuylkill Yards at 3025 John F. Kennedy Blvd. The lower section is for commercial tenants, and the upper section is residential; both sections are in the process of being leased and occupied. Just across the street at 3151 Market St., their first building exclusively for science has completed its superstructure and is being clad in a shimmering blue and green curtain wall. Completion of that building is scheduled for the end of this year.

Two blocks to the south at 3001 Chestnut St., Spark Therapeutics has completed the steel frame for its new Gene Therapy Innovation Center. When fully operational in 2027, the building will be the largest gene therapy manufacturing building in Philadelphia. Spark’s parent company, Roche, is investing nearly $600 million on the future of bioscience and its capacity to cure disease.

Two blocks in the northern direction at 3201 Cuthbert St., steel is quickly rising for Gattuso Development Partners’ building for bioscience. Drexel is leasing two floors of this building for various programs in engineering and bioscience. Look for more news about those spaces as plans develop. The project will also include 11,000 square feet of retail space, largely facing 33rd Street across from Buckley Green. Leasing plans are ongoing.

West of the core campus, Wexford Science & Technology recently completed One uCity Square at 25 N. 38th St. Another building for bioscience, it is completely leased and functioning, including new research facilities for Nobel Laureate scientists to start-up companies. Next to the building and across the street from Drexel’s Health Sciences Building, a beautiful new public space called uCity Square is complete and open. Look for programming of public events as the weather warms up this spring.

The success of these partnerships has caused us to think more expansively about our core campus — not only about how to make it more intimate and more engaging for our own community, but also about how to make it better for neighbors old and new. Projects large and small are in the works.

Campus Pathways

The emergence of these private development projects has enabled us to envision a new set of campus pathways that will create walkable experiences through campus that are largely car-free, greener and more pleasant. One such pathway is from Drexel Square, across from 30th Street Station, to uCity Square, which is a distance of seven blocks or about a 10-minute walk. There are numerous segments to this path, some of which have already been built or will be built by our partners. Other segments, especially small interconnecting ones, will be done by the University.

One such segment is the path on Filbert Street, just before crossing to the Health Sciences Building at 36th Street. In the space adjoining the K Lot, we have removed an unsightly chain link fence, pushed the cars back four feet and established a 200-foot-long planter bed, complete with new trees and planting. Even this spring, we expect that the walk will feel like a tree-lined passageway, complementing the already pleasant walk past the URBN Annex and adjacent Penny Park. More such tactical projects are in the works.

Myers Hall Demolition and New Green Space

In the spirit of greening the campus, the first phase of the demolition of Myers Hall is now complete. In the next several months, a small but critical building will be erected there to house area-wide electrical equipment that was formerly housed in Myers Hall. Once that new building and new electrical equipment are operational, the remainder of Myers Hall will be demolished and a new, major recreational field constructed. We continue to anticipate completion of that work in fall 2024. The field will form a new quad that unifies nearly all of the residence halls around a common green space — something the University has never had.

Together with the renovated Kelly Hall and the new Kelly (Study) Commons in mind, we are envisioning an even more robust grouping of activities that can enhance the student experience in the middle of our residential campus. Understanding what that could mean and planning for it are in their very earliest stages. But as ideas begin to look more feasible, we will be sharing those thoughts with the broader Drexel community, seeking input and further ideas.

Vidas Athletic Complex

Better recreational facilities are also in the works at the University’s Vidas Athletic Complex on Powelton Avenue at 43rd Street. New lighting was recently installed on Maguire Field to expand its usefulness into the evening hours. An inflatable structure — the “bubble” — that once existed over Buckley Field at 33rd and Arch streets is being reused to enclose a new field at Vidas. By law, these inflatable structures are temporary facilities that can only be used for a part of the year. Once complete, varsity, club and intramural sports will have a new turf field that can be used year-round.

Academic Resource Center

A gift to the University is allowing us to proceed with renovations to the ground floor of the Korman Center to move the Center for Learning and Academic Success Services (CLASS) currently housed in the basement level of the Creese Student Center to a more prominent and visible location in the center of the academic campus. When the renovations are complete later this year, CLASS will join other department-sponsored tutoring centers at the Academic Resources Center (ARC) into a unified center for academic support at the exact right location on campus.

The Small Stuff Also Counts

As the weather improves, check out our experiment with solar powered picnic tables. We’ve installed one on the Arch Street side of Buckley Green. Its solar roof provides shade, powers lights and allows you to charge your devices. Let us know how it works and if you like it!

How to Get the Latest Facilities Updates

You can opt in to receive email notification of construction work, scheduled utility shutoffs and other scheduled maintenance work being performed by Real Estate and Facilities by sending an email to with only the following information in the body of the message: subscribe facilities-notices-L.

In addition to updates like this one in DrexelNEWS, we also post Facilities Notices (shutoffs, outages, repairs, construction) to a feed that appears on the Drexel Real Estate and Facilities homepage, and we track the progress of major Drexel and partner projects on campus via the Current Projects page.