Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan

Philadelphia 30th Station Aerial Masterplan
Philadelphia 30th Station
Philadelphia

Through bold development, an activated public realm, and an expanded transit network, the 30th Street Station District Plan creates a viable framework for Philadelphia’s next great neighborhood.

Project Facts
  • Design Finish Year 2016
  • Size Site Area: 175 acres Building Gross Area: 18,000,000
  • Transit Mode Bus,Heavy Rail,Light Rail,Subway,Taxis/Rideshare
  • Awards 2017, Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Collaborators
    Building Conservation Associates, Inc. Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. (HR&A) WSP Williams Jackson Ewing Chance Management Advisors, Inc. Faithful+Gould Olin The Burns Group KMJ Consulting, Inc. Gts Consultants Envision Consultants
Project Facts
  • Design Finish Year 2016
  • Size Site Area: 175 acres Building Gross Area: 18,000,000
  • Transit Mode Bus,Heavy Rail,Light Rail,Subway,Taxis/Rideshare
  • Awards 2017, Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Collaborators
    Building Conservation Associates, Inc. Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. (HR&A) WSP Williams Jackson Ewing Chance Management Advisors, Inc. Faithful+Gould Olin The Burns Group KMJ Consulting, Inc. Gts Consultants Envision Consultants

Seizing an opportunity

Philadelphia’s William H. Gray III 30th Street Station is the third-busiest Amtrak station in the country, houses direct connections to SEPTA and NJ Transit, and is a nexus for dozens of local and regional bus, subway, and trolley routes serving tens of thousands of people each day. Perched on the western bank of the Schuylkill River directly between Center City and University City, Gray 30th Street Station is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece in a district ideally positioned for growth in the coming years. Few urban neighborhoods around the world can match the prime characteristics of the district around the station: adjacency to premier healthcare and education institutions, close proximity to the central business district, access to the Schuylkill River, large assemblages of land, and connectivity to one of the most important intermodal hubs on the Northeast Corridor.

Philadelphia
© Amtrak

Despite this tremendous potential, the vibrancy found within the walls of Gray 30th Street Station does not yet extend to the district around it. Accessibility, a pedestrian-friendly environment, and urban amenities — hallmarks of Philadelphia’s dynamic and exciting neighborhoods — are still lacking. But the momentum around the station presents an opportune moment in Philadelphia’s history to build an equitable, sustainable, transportation-centered district that brings the city and station seamlessly together and bridges the divide between Center City and University City.


A historic investment in Philadelphia’s future

The District Plan, led by Amtrak in partnership with Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT, and SEPTA, lays out a vision for the next 35 years to accommodate a projected 20 to 25 million passenger trips per year — twice the existing capacity — circulating through an enhanced station; to build 18 million square feet of new development including an entirely new mixed-use neighborhood atop 88 acres of rail yards; and to create 40 acres of new open space, including a phenomenal new civic plaza at the station’s front door.

Philadelphia
© Amtrak

Unlocking the value of this new neighborhood will require expansive infrastructure and amenities — roads, utilities, parks, bridges, and extension of transit services — as well as significant private development. Overall, the District Plan represents $10 billion in public and private investment, including $2 billion for station and district public infrastructure, $4.5 billion in private real estate development over the rail yards, and an estimated $3.5 billion for Drexel’s Schuylkill Yards project. These investments in the district will have robust and widespread economic development benefits, with the potential to generate $3.8 billion in city and state taxes and 40,000 jobs when complete.


A vision shaped through community engagement

The 30th Street Station District Plan culminates a two-year process of discovery, consultation, and planning with an extraordinary diversity of community organizations, institutions, design professionals, trade and advocacy groups, major employers, and citizens. The planning process continually engaged multiple stakeholders as well the general public to review the work and provide feedback, including five open house public meetings hosted at the station which garnered over 4,000 unique comments from the public and District Plan stakeholders. The station, transportation, public realm, and development concepts embodied in the plan’s vision respond to universal stakeholder priorities about placemaking, readying the historic station for the 21st century, advancing multi-modalism, and improving connections to Philadelphia’s diverse neighborhoods and rich cultural assets.

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