Take heed. Coming soon, a gateway—a new gateway to University City, thanks to Drexel University, that is.
Groundbreaking for Chestnut Square, a project projected to cost around $97.6M that aims to transform Chestnut St. between 32nd and 33rd Sts. into a new gateway for Drexel and University City, took place in February. Plans, which include the construction of more than 300K square-feet of mixed-use student housing and retail space, call for a September 2013 completion.
The project will include a 19-story residential tower at the corner of 32nd and Chestnut Streets, with a two-story street-level space that will include retail, restaurants, and a new corner entry into the Barnes and Noble at 33rd and Chestnut. The project will create around 860 new beds for Drexel (multiply housing costs of roughly $8K/year, times 860, and you can begin to see how big the numbers get), in the form of two or four-bedroom units. Development also includes a 14,800 square-foot community center with space for residence life operations, as well as student amenities like a social lounge, fitness center, meeting space, a theater, and laundry facilities.
View from 33rd St., same as above
The student tower, at 32nd St.
Close-up rendering of the development. Burgers will apparently be included.
Designed by architects Robert A.M. Stern (renowned designers who’ve also done work at Georgetown University, and UNC–Chapel Hill), the project is structured by American Campus (AC), the nation’s largest developer, owner and manager of student housing communities, and its American Campus Equity program. AC will pay Drexel through payments made on a 70-year ground lease structure. This will be the third development in the American Campus portfolio in Philadelphia.
And with Homewood Suites, another high-rise development now nearing completion at 41st and Chestnut Sts., the Victorian face of University City is getting a little more vertical.