Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to Lead Development of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Master Plan

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN and HR&A Advisors, has been chosen to develop a comprehensive joint master plan for the area around Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station by Amtrak, Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust.

TEAM SELECTED TO DEVELOP JOINT MASTER PLAN FOR PHILADELPHIA 30THSkidmore, Owings & Merrill L.L.P., in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN and HR&A Advisors, has been chosen to develop a comprehensive joint master plan for the area around Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station by Amtrak, Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust.

“The 30th Street Station Precinct joint master plan is a joint planning effort to develop new plans and/or re-envision existing planning efforts to create a single, integrated vision for the 30th Street Station Precinct,” an Amtrak spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. “We hope the master plan will help stimulate economic development both inside the station as well in the surrounding neighborhood while also planning for the continued growth in demand for passenger rail transportation.”

With the station at the epicenter of the project, the master plan is expected to present a number of opportunities for community development, economic development and improved transportation connections. A wide range of commercial opportunities, including a new vision for retail spaces within the station and the potential development of air rights above 75 acres of rail yards adjacent to the station, will also be considered.

SOM is known in the industry for developing complex urban projects such as the nearly complete Denver Union Station Redevelopment, the largest public transit project under construction in the U.S.

In a company release, Roger Duffy, SOM’s design partner, called the project a singular opportunity to reimagine one of the most significant and dramatic urban areas in America.

“We are honored to have been selected and we look forward to collaborating with the diverse group of local and regional stakeholders on this transformative vision,” he said.

According to the spokesperson, a number of variables were considered in selecting the consulting team for this ambitious undertaking—most notably the team’s expertise in projects of this scale and scope.

“The SOM team brings deep experience in complex urban projects,” he said. “We hope the plan will help create improved connections between modes of transportation, an improved passenger experience at 30th Street Station and renewed focus on the economic development potential for the precinct as a whole.”

The master plan will be guided by a coordinating committee comprised of Amtrak, Drexel University, Brandywine Realty Trust, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, City of Philadelphia, New Jersey Transit, CSX Corp., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., Schuylkill River Development Corp. and University City District.

Drexel is also developing its Innovation Neighborhood project on 12 acres of its campus adjacent to 30th Street Station to attract and launch high-tech businesses seeking a rich research and commercialization environment with unmatched transit access.