University City Continues to Grow with Planned 3.0 University Place Complex

The Pep Boys Site at 41st and Market, 2.0 University Place in background | Google Street View

The Pep Boys Site at 41st and Market, 2.0 University Place in background | Google Street View

Philadelphia’s new boom – in population, jobs, housing, restaurants, retailers, and office space – is well documented. But if you thought Center City was the only one of Philly’s hot areas leading the way, here’s a reminder: University City is putting in its fair share of work too.

It’s next development gearing up for a launch? 3.0 University Place, a proposed LEED Platinum-certified office complex planned for the corner of 41st and Market, formerly the site of a Pep Boys. According to PlanPhilly, a bill proposing to rezone the property for high-density commercial mixed-use designation was introduced to City Council last week. It’d also touch on surrounding sites:

The bill also rezones a number of blocks surrounding the 3.0 University Place site, affecting the area bounded by 40th, 44th, Ludlow, and Powelton Ave.

In fact, 3.0 University Place is part of a larger plan by University Place Associates (UPA) to build a “Platinum Corridor” in West Philadelphia. Read more »

University City Dwarfs Center City in Growth of Well-Paying Jobs

Share of middle- and high-wage jobs by submarket. (JLL Research/U.S. Census Bureau.)

Share of middle- and high-wage jobs by submarket. (JLL Research/U.S. Census Bureau.)

The year 2008 sure feels like a long time ago. The housing bubble burst, the stock market fizzled and employers everywhere were downsizing. Now that we’re years into the recovery, I’m sure we’d all like to forget those days.

In Philadelphia, the job market has gotten undoubtedly better — especially in University City and Center City which has seen an 11 percent increase in jobs from 2008 to 2013 (the most recent data available.) That’s according to JLL research and U.S. Census Bureau data. Read more »

Jose Andres Brings Beefsteak to Philly


A healthy lunch from Beefsteak

World-renowned chef Jose Andres makes his debut in Philadelphia by bringing his vegetarian, fast-food concept, Beefsteak to the University of Pennsylvania campus in early 2016.

Beefsteak – a name with a twist for a vegetable heavy menu – offers a selection of veggie bowls from original, chef-inspired combinations or simply made to order. The main ingredient here is the vegetables that showcase the seasons, as well as, year-round favorites. Beefsteak’s veggie bowls offer a variety of combinations prepared in a flash and blanched to order.

Read more »

Hip to be uCity Square: Science Center Unveils Vision, New Name

uCity Square - Filbert at 36th Street

uCity Square – Filbert at 36th Street | Renderings: Wexford Science+ Technology

Market Street is exploding with development, and the University City Science Center is looking to position it campus as the western anchor of Philadelphia’s burgeoning innovation corridor. That starts with re-thinking about what the Science Center has been, what it is today and what it’s going to become.

The answer to that last bit was unveiled yesterday on the rooftop of a parking structure that will eventually become the corner of the soon-to-be re-introduced 37th and Market Street. As both a brand and a place, the Science Center will henceforth be known as uCity Square.

“Science Center’s campus for over 50 years has been largely two-dimensional with buildings on both sides of Market Street,” said Dr. Stephen Tang, President and CEO of the University City Science Center. “This is really a third dimension, the whole uCity Square concept.”

The massive development project will see the Science Center swell from over 1 million square-feet to 6 million square-feet by the time the 10-year, $1 billion (plus) plan is completed. The addition of the University City High School site directly north of Market Street makes it all possible to create this new live/work/play environment, with what developers Wexford Science + Technology call “a community of ingenuity” full of a mix cutting edge lab, office and retail space.

Both Tang and Joe Reagan, Wexford’s vice president of development, think the finished product will be unrivaled on the East Coast-including Cambridge’s tech hub, Kendall Square.

Read more »

Free Outdoor Movie Series Coming To University City


I love outdoor movies. I grew up spending weekends slowly asphyxiating inside my parents’ old Fiat at one of the last, true drive-in movie theaters around, watching the mosquitoes bashing themselves stupid against the glass of the windows that must NEVER be rolled down, watching some of the classics of the late 70’s the way god intended: through a smudged windshield and a fog of my father’s pipe smoke, soundtracks piped in over a tinny, terrible window-mounted speaker. Star Wars, Jaws, Hooper–I saw them all at the drive-in, a double-feature almost every weekend during the summer.

So obviously, I have a weakness for movies shown al fresco. And the folks at Clark Park in University City must suffer from the same affliction, because they’re running a whole series of free outdoor movies starting this weekend. There’ll be food, drink, ice cream, special events. And we have all the details right after the jump.

Read more »

Kevin Sbraga’s the Fat Ham Offering Three Days of Wings


Winged Out Pop Up at The Fat Ham

Kevin Sbraga, who is very much a chicken whisperer, is doing chicken wings for three days at his University City restaurant, the Fat Ham. His Winged Out Pop Up is running from Thursday, September 3rd through Saturday, September 5th.

The pop-up will feature three different kinds of wings at $7 for a half-dozen. The wings will be available for eat-in or takeout.

Check out the wing flavors »

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University City Dining Days Are Back

University City Dining Days 2015The “three courses, three prices” deal comes back to University City starting tomorrow, Thursday, July 16th, and running through Sunday, July 26th.

Participating restaurants (essentially almost every restaurant in the area), choose to offer customers a three course meal for either $15, $25 or $35. Yes, it’s a little bit confusing sometimes (like what will newcomer Hai Street Kitchen, possibly offer for three courses when they specialize in giant sushi burritos and very little else?), but for $15 I’m willing to see them try.

More Info, right this way

University City Science Center Plans Massive Live-Work Innovation Hub

The central public square | Rendering: Wexford Science + Technology, Photos: James Jennings

The surge in development in University City is showing no signs of slowing down, especially now that Wexford Science + Technology has unvieled plans to help the University City Science Center expand into a massive live-work neighborhood anchored by office and lab space, at least 300 (and potentially up to 600) apartments, plenty of retail and restaurants, new walkable streets and even a public square designed to give the 14-acre campus a sense of place.

Last week, the Science Center announced that they were looking to beef up their footprint to nearly 4 million square-feet as University City continues to position itself as an innovation hub in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region. A major part of that is a partnership with Wexford, who will develop 10-acres worth of the former Univsersity City High School site.

“It’s the culmination of ongoing success among the anchor institutions in University City,” Science Center CEO Stephen Tang told BizPhilly’s Jared Shelly last week. “The growth of Penn, Drexel, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — and the success we’ve had lately in nurturing startup companies that graduated from our incubator and wanted to stay in our facilities — makes this project possible.”

Here’s more on the plan

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