Demo Starts for Newest Addition to Schuylkill Yards in University City

We may have mentioned once or a thousand times all of the life sciences development taking place in the University City section of West Philadelphia. Relevant to that line of reporting, we are excited to share that there’s some major movement for 3151 Market St., a new 14-story life sciences building that’s rising as part of the massive Schuylkill Yards development. We received a tip from a reader that demo started recently, and when we went by the site, there sure was a lot of action. Let’s review what’s to come before we get to the current status.

An aerial showing the block, with the parcel in yellow
A rendering of the new 3151 Market St.

As we mentioned, things are now fully underway for the western half of the existing block-long structure. There was all sorts of activity, with the existing building now just a shell of its former self. As a reminder, only part of the building will be demolished in this phase, with the current structure seemingly remaining in place for the time being.

3151 Market being demo'ed in the foreground, with 3025 JFK rising in the background
View looking north across Market shows the expanse of the existing low-rise building
A closer look at the demo

This is wildly exciting, as this is just the latest movement for this huge project, brought to us by Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University. Gensler has designed a modern, flexible structure, with aquamarine vertical elements providing a playfulness that echos the vibrant colors used elsewhere within the project. An earnings call from April from Brandywine indicates that the pipeline of potential tenants is strong and that they hope to start construction by the end of this year. With permits already in hand, we hope that’s exactly what happens. Let’s check out what’s in store.

Future view looking west down Market St.
View of the western-facing facade, showing off the street presence
Terraces will have some pretty awesome Center City views
Interiors are open and airy with floor to ceiling windows

This will obviously be a big step-up for the area, as the current stretch isn’t exactly the most exciting. We are also pleased to note that with all of these huge blocks and buildings, the developers are adding a nice pedestrian element. Look for a mural-lined pedestrian and bike path to bisect this lot and separate 3151 Market from 3101 to the east. We don’t know how long this will be there given the future plans for the site, but in the meantime, score one for a bit of walking love in this car-centric area.

A narrow alley between the buildings will serve as bike and pedestrian path