Developers broke ground yesterday on a $110 million construction project on the corner of 38th and Chestnut streets.
More than 100 people attended the groundbreaking, which marks the culmination of three years of planning.
The undertaking is a bold venture being tackled by the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, which owns the land, and Radnor Property Group, which will develop it. The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015.
A 25-story apartment building will be equipped with bay windows, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a “green” roof with a “Zen Garden” and sun-bathing area and an audio-video entertainment room. The building will cater to graduate students and professionals — approximately 75 percent of the units will be studios and one-bedroom apartments.
A separate new Episcopal Cathedral Center will provide much-needed facilities to further promote the Cathedral’s mission of “servant ministry” and care for those most in need in the community. The complex will include a three-story office building, a community center and an early-learning childcare center that will offer scholarships to eligible families.
The first floors of both the apartment building and the Cathedral Center will have retail options, including an upscale new restaurant, according to a press release from Wells Marketing Group.
The construction on the land owned by the Cathedral will generate a flow of income for at least 50 years to maintain the historic building, which was built in 1855. Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev. Judith Sullivan, said that the Cathedral plays a pivotal role not only in West Philadelphia, but also in the entire state’s Episcopal community. The Cathedral is the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and the spiritual home of more than 140 Episcopal churches.
President of Radnor Property Group Dave Yeager said that as the “Eds and Meds Corridor” of Philadelphia, University City has all the right ingredients to promote urban development — hospitals, universities and research centers.
The construction project will contribute to the growth of University City, which is rapidly becoming “the second downtown of Philadelphia,” Yeager said.
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