When we last checked in on the Summit at University City project at 34th & Lancaster a little over a year ago, the building had been topped off and window installation was well underway. At the time, we told you that the project would mean 1,300 beds over a variety of floor plans and 20,000 sqft of retail space divided into different sized spaces. We also told you that the building would be ready for occupancy for the fall 2015 semester and that appears to be exactly what happened. Passing by recently, we noticed a new Starbucks and some other newish stores. MSC Retail is listing the remaining retail space.
Half a block away, we noticed some additional construction. Previously, 116-18 N. 34th St. was home to a bland two-story home and a surface parking lot. The building has been torn down and now there's a foundation and the beginning of an elevator shaft on site.
So what's happening here? If your first guess is more student housing, you're incorrect. Instead, it will be home to the Raymond G. Perelman Center for Jewish Life. According to Drexel Now, the building will be "home of Hillel at the University and be the site for Shabbat services and dinners, Jewish education programs, and programs facilitating opportunities in Israel." The same website provides a rendering from Natoma Architects which shows a great improvement over what was here previously.
The plan is for this project to be finished in time for the fall 2016 semester. That seems aggressive to us, but considering the speed at which Summit at University City was finished, it's not out of the question.