3/3/2016 | By Sarah Borchersen-Keto
Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE: BDN) announced March 2 that it has been selected by Drexel University as the master developer for Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Yards, a 14-acre master planned community featuring educational facilities, research laboratories, corporate offices, and residential and retail spaces.
“Together, we will create a dynamic and world-class innovation hub to attract the brightest minds to our region,” said Jerry Sweeney, president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Brandywine.
Brandywine owns, leases and manages urban, town center and suburban office properties, with a core focus on Philadelphia, Washington and Austin, Texas.
The project will take place in multiple phases over the course of approximately 20 years. The site is expected to host a combination of repurposed existing buildings and new tower structures, as well as a network of public green spaces.
Initial phases of the plan will consist of 5 million gross square feet of mixed-use real estate on a 10-acre site next to Drexel’s main campus and adjacent to Amtrak’s 30th Street Station and Brandywine’s Cira Centre.
Drexel President John Fry said the university chose Brandywine to be the master developer “because of their nationally recognized expertise and financial capacity and also their deep understanding of the project’s potential impact on Philadelphia.”
“Schuylkill Yards is more than a large-scale development project; it will be the heart of America’s next great urban innovation district,” Fry added. A statement on the project from Drexel and Brandywine noted that Schuylkill Yards will be located in “a thriving submarket with one of the highest concentrations of higher education and medical institutions in the nation.”
“Schuylkill Yards will bring new, innovative businesses and residents to Pennsylvania, and the potential economic impact is tremendous,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said. Schuylkill Yards has been designated as part of a Keystone Opportunity Zone, providing future businesses and residents with tax benefits that are expected to further stimulate economic growth.