Amtrak, Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN, and HR&A Advisors, to develop a comprehensive Joint Master Plan for the area around Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.
The joint planning effort represents a unique opportunity to develop new plans and re-envision existing planning efforts to create a single, integrated vision for the 30th Street Station precinct, according to Amtrak. The SOM team will aim to develop a future where the station is at the epicenter of a dynamic, urban neighborhood full of opportunities for community development, economic development and improved transportation connections.
A wide range of commercial opportunities, including a new vision for retail spaces within the station and the potential development of air rights above 75 acres of rail yards adjacent to the station, will also be considered.
With master planning efforts currently being advanced in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York, Chicago and now Philadelphia, Amtrak is poised to turn congested and tired rail stations into the centerpieces of thriving urban neighborhoods that appeal to the millennial and baby boomer generations.
As these populations continue to flock to cities to live, work and play, they are demanding walkable communities with vibrant arts and cultural institutions and access to transportation hubs such as 30th Street Station.
The Joint Master Plan is funded by Drexel University and its partners. Drexel is also developing its Innovation Neighborhood project on 12 acres of its campus adjacent to 30th Street Station to attract and launch high-tech businesses seeking a rich research and commercialization environment with unmatched transit access.
Development of the master plan is expected to take approximately two years. Opportunities for public comment and involvement will be announced and advertised.