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The former McDonald's site, closed in January, is currently undergoing construction and will serve as a new building for Penn Global, University Life, and Career Services. Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

Penn approved a 10-year lease for three departments under the Provost's Office to relocate their offices to 3935 Walnut Street, the site of a new, University-owned multi-use development. 

The new office building, which will sit on land previously occupied by McDonald’s, will be the new home of Penn Global, University Life, and Career Services. The lease was approved by the Board of Trustees at their meeting on Nov. 2. 

The University first purchased the McDonald's location in December 2021, while construction began in January of this year. The plans for a new mixed-use building were announced in September 2022.

The lease, which will commence on Jan. 1, 2025 with a 10-year term, costs $16.29 million and will take up 30,533 square feet of office space. The Board of Trustees said at the meeting that the office space will be much closer to where students live.

McDonald’s retail location will also return to the building upon its completion and will occupy the first floor.

Penn Global's offices are currently in different locations across campus. University Life's central administration office currently occupies 3611 Locust Walk, while Career Services occupies the basement of the McNeil Building.

Amy Gadsden, Penn's associate vice provost for global initiatives, said Penn Global is thrilled to move to the new space at 40th and Walnut, which she said was the “bustling west end of Penn’s campus.” The relocation will also reunite its currently separated divisions, including Penn Abroad, International Student and Scholar Services, and Global Initiatives, under the same roof.

“The building will be designed to support the dynamic work that we do to bring the world to Penn and Penn to the world. We are particularly excited about the second floor, which has space dedicated for student, scholar, and stakeholder programming,” Gadsden said.

Penn’s Facilities & Real Estate Services Executive Director of Real Estate Ed Datz said that the new building will be finished by the end of 2024 and that offices will be ready for move-in at the beginning of the following year. The new McDonald's restaurant will manage its own construction and should open by the beginning of the spring 2025 semester, he said.