After years of failed attempts, that once included plans for a McDonald’s, 30 N. 41st Street in West Powelton is finally being developed. It will be the first L.E.E.D. Platinum Pre-Certified Building in Philadelphia, which is probably the next best thing to a new construction McDonald’s.
Developers University Place Associates broke ground on the 2.0 University Place project last month. The $30M 90K sqft five-story building was designed by architects at Shraga Studios and will house the General Services Administration, now located at 1600 Callowhill St., next door to a future limo rental place and across the street from (maybe) a future casino.
The Citizen and Immigration Services signed a 15-year lease on 53K sqft, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The site is located in a Keystone Opportunity Zone, a specific underutilized area targeted for economic growth by offering developers tax exemptions. Its government status, however, exempts Immigration Services from taxes anyway. Benefits will be available for other tenants until 2018.
In recent weeks, we’ve been exploring a number of projects on the edges of, or just outside of University City’s boundaries. Many of these projects are smaller in scale, like one-off residential renovations or urban farms replacing vacant lots. But larger projects like this one or the in-progress Social Security building at 43rd and Markets Sts. represent an ongoing sea change in West Philadelphia. Serious private (and public) dollars are being spent, not by Penn or Drexel, but by developers banking on the continually expanding influence of these major universities and the continued improvement of the area.
Moving forward, we’ll be expecting fewer plans for McDonald’s, and more plans like 2.0 University Place.