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City releases development plan for lower Schuylkill area

5/19/2013 | Real Estate Blog

On Thursday, the City of Philadelphia will be releasing a development plan for six miles along the lower Schuylkill. The area, which accounts for 68 percent of the city’s underused and vacant industrial land, has been identified as ripe for new roads, green space, walking and bicycle paths, and especially for industrial and commercial uses that will generate new jobs.

Because of the land use that predominated in the area in the past, the stretch of land is largely hidden from the public, which has little to no access to the area.

Development of the area is reportedly focused in three areas. First, there will be an “innovation district” for businesses, technology and life-science companies, as well as research sites connected to nearby universities and medical schools. A bicycle and pedestrian pathway leading to academic campuses in University City would connect to the innovation district.

Next would be an “energy corridor” for traditional energy generation and distribution. This would include the former Sunoco oil refinery, Marcellus Shale gas processing, distribution and export, and new energy technologies and facilities.

A third section would be the “logistics hub,” which would serve the airport, warehousing, airport suppliers, passenger- and air-freight-related businesses and manufacturing.

In all, the plan is expected to cost roughly $411 million in public investment for infrastructure, and would generate over $860 million in private investment and as many as 6,500 new jobs.

Sources didn’t indicate when first steps in the project will be taken, but it is reasonable to say that it could take years to finish.

Source:, “Planning to develop lower Schuylkill,” Linda Loyd, May 10, 2013.