University City has been on quite the roll these last few years, with Penn and Drexel continuing to sprawl while private developers build projects big and small, targeting students and professionals alike. Brandywine Realty’s Schuylkill Yards project in conjunction with Drexel is in full swing near 30th Street Station and other projects are solidifying this area as a national center for cell and gene therapy. Pretty cool, right? Another collaboration between University City Science Center (UCSC) and Wexford Science and Technology has perhaps made the biggest impact of all, completely reimagining the former University City High School campus and the surrounding area.

Ucity Square Site_ccexpress
UCSC and Wexford's UCity Square 6.5M sqft planned campus

UCity Square is the expansive master plan for this innovation campus, and the transformation has continued over the last several years. We’ve seen a number of buildings appear as part of this master plan, and things are only continuing to move forward. You might have missed it in the above image, but all the way at the very bottom, there’s a little green dot at the southwest corner of 38th & Market, with a placeholder building hiding mostly off screen. We are very pleased to report that we now know what’s to take the dot’s spot, and replace the surface parking lot that’s there today.

Aerial of the current site, with a whole mess of cars
Current view of the site looking southwest from 38th & Market
Current view looking west down Market, with the lot to the left
3737 Market across the street, also part of UCity Square

While we had conceptual renderings in the past, we now have more details of what is to come. Thanks to a recent Philadelphia City Planning Commission meeting, we can now share that a two-phased project will rise, consisting of two mixed-use buildings totaling 910K sqft. These buildings will target office uses, with ground floor retail anchoring the streetscape. Additionally, at least 1,000 sqft of low or no-rent space will be included specifically for community non-profits. This is major news and adds even more action to the already crazy pipeline of projects. Let’s check out what’s in store, with images courtesy of Ballinger.

An old conceptual rendering of 3800 Market
38Mark-Aerial From Market_ccexpress
Aerial view of phases 1 & 2 from Market
38Mark-NW Perspective_ccexpress
NW perspective of phase 1
38Mark-NE Perspective_ccexpress
NE perspective of phase 1
38Mark-NE Perspective Phase 2_ccexpress
NE perspective of phases 1 & 2
38Mark-3838 Mark St Entrance_ccexpress
Close up of entrance on Market St. side

We aren’t sure when construction will begin on this, as UCSC has asked to extend the completion date for these parcels from January 1, 2023 to January 1, 2026. Whomp whomp. But at least we know that what’s in store should be pretty transformative both in terms of real estate and science. We can’t count how many times in the past year major projects have popped up along this stretch, and we look forward to future discoveries as Philadelphia continues its ascent as a science, biotech, innovation, and engineering hub.