In West Philly, development is in swing across the board, from residential to commercial, one-off to large-scale. Much of the recent growth in University City has been inspired by rampant institutional growth over the last several years. New buildings at universities and hospitals often means new jobs and considerable benefit to the local economy.

Take 38th & Market for example. 3737 Market is an 11-story collaboration between University City Science Center and Wexford Science & Technology that will include an expansion for Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, ground-floor retail, and office space. Currently, it’s receiving its exterior finishings, which make the building look like a new pair of RayBan’s. To the east, plans are on the boards to replace a surface parking lot at 3601 Market St. with a 28-story apartment building.

3737 Market under construction

Coming soon to 36th & Market

Back to 38th Street, Presbyterian is growing northward as well. An Advanced Care Pavilion is currently under construction, and slated to open in early 2015. The project will feature numerous upgrades and enhanced capacity in a new building, along with an expansion and renovation of the Cupp Pavilion building at the corner of 38th & Powelton.

Getting framed out now

Aerial view of the new project, from the Penn Facilities site

And there are other exciting new projects either being built right now or on the schedule to be constructed in University City. There’s Drexel’s plans for 24-stories at 34th & Lancaster, plus the recently completed $97.6M 19-story residential tower Chestnut Square at 32nd & Chestnut, to name two. Plus, Penn has plans to build a six-story office building at the site of former Philly Diner. So right now, big building is booming in University City. Ride the wave!

–Lou Mancinelli