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Amtrak, SEPTA and other partners introduce Philadelphia station development plan


Yesterday, Amtrak, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University unveiled the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan, a long-term vision for growth and development in the area surrounding the station.

The partners also announced the initiation of several follow-on projects to improve the immediate station area and catalyze future development throughout the district.

The result of a collaborative two-year joint effort, the plan calls for 40 acres of open space and 18 million square feet of new development, including a new mixed-use neighborhood anchoring the district atop 88 acres of rail yards along the western bank of the Schuylkill River.

A rendering depicts the proposed changes included in the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan. Source: Amtrak

With a proposed $2 billion investment in roads, utilities, parks, bridges and transit service extensions, the plan has the potential to unlock $4.5 billion in private real estate investment, in addition to $3.5 billion for Drexel's Schuylkill Yards project that's being developed by Brandywine Realty Trust, officials from the five partners said in a joint press release. In the coming months, SEPTA expects to begin preliminary work to support consideration of a preferred option for restoring the underground connection between 30th Street Station and the Market-Frankford Line.

"The 30th Street Station District Plan is a transformative approach," said SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel. "This location is well served by the Market-Frankford Line, five trolley lines, six bus routes and all Regional Rail lines, and the plan is another example of how transportation can drive economic development."

Amtrak plans to pursue funding to advance the station plaza concept outlined in the plan. The plaza involves the development of new public spaces on all four sides of the facility to create a more welcoming and seamless experience for all station users. Later this year, Amtrak also plans to solicit partners to develop certain property adjacent to the station, as well as analyze and suggest station improvements, including retail offerings.

"Philadelphia's iconic 30th Street Station is poised to anchor what could be a transformative new neighborhood built around transportation and the Schuylkill River waterfront," said Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia. "The Amtrak team is committed to continuing the important and productive collaboration reflected in the creation of this single, integrated District Plan, and will work hard to help realize the great opportunities it envisions."