If you’ve been in and around the hospital complex in University City that’s home to HUP and CHOP, it’s very clear that open space is at a premium. Buildings are squeezing into every open sliver, as land in this pocket has become increasingly scarce. This challenge is prompting some creativity from Penn Medicine, as the health care giant is pursuing plans at 3600 Civic Center Blvd. to build a sizable addition atop a relatively new building. Incidentally, the architects and engineers designed the ten-story Center for Healthcare Technology, which serves various office functions, with this very vertical addition in mind.
To be honest, we figured that an addition would take years to come to fruition if it happened at all, so we were delighted to learn that things are indeed pushing forward, forthwith. So, what’s to come? An additional nine stories, which calls for more office space to be topped by a couple of mechanical floors. Plans are for a seamless addition, meaning the end product is slated to look like the entire building went up at once. Another little fun tidbit is that the original height has been raised by about 20 feet for all you skyline fans. Past renderings (which look like they will be slightly adjusted) and current elevation drawings from zoning documents give us a better idea of what’s in store.
It’s wild to us, the creativity being employed here, as this hospital giant continues its remarkable growth patten in a restricted amount of space. Perhaps we’ll see other Schuylkill-adjacent projects move forward as the real estate pinch becomes more acute in this area. Dare we dream of the day we report on concrete plans for building over the tracks around 30th Street Station? With all of the recent developments in the area, we see that the appetite for medical/healthcare/office space seems boundless – and all those new buildings are gonna have to go somewhere.