The first L.E.E.D. Platinum pre-certified building in Philadelphia opened its doors last month in West Powelton. 2.0 University Place houses U.S. Community and Immigration Services, as well as offices for Shraga Studios, the firm that designed this structure, which meets its visitors with a glass face at 41st & Powelton.

The building

The completion of the project marks perhaps the beginning of a new era of development in West Powelton. Only one block north, along the 4000 block of Baring St., development has all but filled up the entire block. A vacant buffet only two years ago, development has continued almost unabated until recently, because there’s nowhere left to build. And while we were out and about last week, we noticed a block north of that, a string of vacant homes on the 4000 block of Spring Garden Street is now getting some love.

Homes on Spring Garden

2.0 University Place is located within a Keystone Opportunity Zone, which provides tenants tax breaks until 2018. Perhaps that will spur more tenants to fill the building, which could serve as one the first new business towers west of the campus district in University City. Nearby, Science Center projects at 36th and 37th and Market and plans for a $75M PEC development at 46th & Market point to the potential that lay ahead in West Powelton and lesser developed spots along Market Street.

–Lou Mancinelli