Penn’s South Bank Master Plan To Include 200,000 Sq. Ft. Innovation Center
- Mar 10, 2014
The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) revealed plans for a research park anchored by a new innovation center that will be built on the former DuPont Marchall Research Laboratories site, a large industrial property along the Schuylkill River that will house the planned South bank campus.
Philadelphia Inquirer previously reported that the 23-acre industrial site located between 34th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue served as an automotive paint lab, manufacturing and testing facility for DuPont until 2009, when the factory was shut down. One year later the site containing 250,000 square feet of laboratory, office and warehouse space was acquired by Penn for $13 million.
Designed by architecture firm Wallace Roberts and Todd (WRT) to support entrepreneurial and innovation growth in Philadelphia, the South Bank is an important component of Penn Connects 2.0—an ambitious long-term development strategy that has added almost 3 million square feet of space to Penn’s campus and increased the university’s open space on campus by 25 percent since 2006, when the university embarked on a two-decade expansion plan.
A 200,000-square-foot incubator and accelerator dubbed the “Pennovation Center” will anchor the university’s campus and will serve as a hub for collaboration and creativity while encouraging the exchange of ideas for innovators from Penn’s departments. According to a news release, Penn’s flexible project design allows for another 550,000 sq. ft. of new campus space that will be built in phases over the next twenty years.
Penn’s South Bank is very much in sync with Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation’s (PIDC) long-term revitalization plan of the entire Lower Schuylkill River into a 500-acre Innovation District, a Logistics Hub and an Energy Corridor while expanding riverfront green space.
Renderings courtesy of PennConnects