CHOP hopes new tower makes the cut with Philly planning commission
4/4/2014 | Real Estate Blog
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia broke ground last year on its new specialty care center in King of Prussia. The center has outgrown the space it has been occupying in two buildings, and expanding the space was not practicable. So, CHOP bought 10 acres of land in the Philly suburb and, literally, dug in to a new phase of the hospital’s expansion plan. When construction is completed, the 100,000-square-foot building will house all specialty care programs.
The expansion plan has been about four years in the making. CHOP, realizing it would soon need more space, conducted a full investigation into its needs and the pros and cons of expanding at existing sites, relocating to larger buildings or campuses — including whether to purchase or to lease — or building new. The new building in King of Prussia was the first step for the hospital’s suburban plan. This week, the hospital took an important step for its plans in Philly.
CHOP appeared before the Philadelphia Planning Commission’s civic design review committee this week to present its plan for a research campus near the Schuylkill River. The first phase is a 21-story tower at South Street and Schuylkill Avenue.
The building will house research and administrative personnel in almost 490,000 square feet. The plan includes underground parking as well as a surface lot, though perhaps the most intriguing feature is a rain garden.
WPVI-TV, Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate, reported this week that the neighborhood had some concerns about the project. Residents cited the increase in traffic as a major concern, especially on the South Street Bridge, and they questioned the advisability of putting up a building that would seriously obstruct residents’ views. The neighborhood association may take their concerns to the zoning board.
Again, this building will be phase one. If the commission approves this phase, three other buildings could follow, though the timeline is uncertain.
Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, “CHOP to go before planning committee on new tower project,” Natalie Kostelni, April 1, 2014