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40th Street Trolley Portal groundbreaking set for next week

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University City District will finally break ground on the 40th Street Trolley Portal next week, transforming the concrete-heavy trolley station at 40th Street and Baltimore Avenue into a more welcoming public space with a restaurant.

The groundbreaking is set for Tuesday, December 6 at noon.

It’s the culmination of years of planning by the University City District, which has been sitting on $2.1 million of raised funds since November 2015. A zoning permit for the project was approved earlier this year in March, the last big push needed to begin construction.

The 150-seat restaurant, Trolley Car Station, will be privately managed by developer Ken Weinstein, who is behind Mt. Airy's Trolley Car Diner and East Falls' Trolley Car Cafe.

Meanwhile, the public space will be softened with more generous landscaping and vegetation. It’s designed by Andropogon Associates, which also spearheaded the design for Bartram’s Mile, among other local projects.

If all goes to plan, the portal should open in next year in September 2017.