About a year ago, we gave you the lowdown on Penn’s 23-acre South Bank campus, located on the former DuPont site between 34th St. & Grays Ferry Ave., and plans for its future. We detailed how technology and startup companies would be drawn to this site, which will eventually contain a combination of renovated and new construction buildings. A master plan from Wallace, Roberts and Todd, ostensibly due to arrive soon, should spell out exactly what's in store for this site.

Preliminary South Bank site plan

Just south of the South Bank campus is the Forgotten Bottom neighborhood, which we've mentioned a handful of times in the past. It's tucked between Grays Ferry Ave., I-76, and the Schuylkill River, and it's pretty easy to miss. Along with a few hundred homes, the neighborhood has a newer baseball field, a large FedEx building, and the entrance to the underutilized Dupont Crescent section of the Schuylkill River Trail. This neighborhood, which has seen little change in recent years, will soon be experiencing an unprecedented amount of development.

Forgotten Bottom plus South Bank campus

Quietly, in the last year, Penn has been speaking with nearly a hundred property owners, negotiating the purchase of almost every parcel on 35th, Harmony, and Grove Streets. The three square blocks on the eastern side of the neighborhood as well as the block between 35th St. and the railroad tracks will soon be almost entirely in Penn's grasp. While the transformation of the South Bank Campus will take many years, Penn doesn't intend to waste much time building in Forgotten Bottom.

According to Ted Lugen from Penn's real estate division, plans for the redevelopment of these parcels include multiple apartment buildings, some of which will have a retail component. They'll be targeted toward folks working at the South Bank Campus as well as HUP and CHOP employees. Since commutes will be so easy, little to no parking will be provided with these new units. There have also been preliminary talks about Penn also buying the FedEx complex, which we imagine could be replaced by even more housing.

Clearly, this project would completely transform the Forgotten Bottom neighborhood, bringing in a huge influx of new neighbors. Will the redevelopment of Forgotten Bottom spread into Grays Ferry without additional institutional investment? Or will the barriers presented by train tracks and I-76 keep Forgotten Bottom separated from the neighborhood, as it's been for decades?

Update: Like the rest we posted today, this story is not true.