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$3.5B Schuylkill Yards project hopes to break ground by mid-2017

Starting with the Bulletin and elliptical park

A rendering of Schuylkill Yards in Philadelphia. In the foreground is a park with trees and a lawn. In the distance are tall skyscrapers and buildings.
We should see some movement on Schuylkill Yards in University City in the next few months.
Renderings by SHOP Architects/West 8

The highly touted and much-hyped Schuylkill Yards project, a $3.5 billion venture between Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University, may break ground before the middle of 2017.

That’s according to Brandywine Realty Trust CEO Jeff Sweeney, who told the Philadelphia City Planning Commission that he hopes to begin work on the first projects sometime within the first half of the year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Drexel and the developer were on hand at a Tuesday meeting for an informational session on the multi-billion dollar project, which was first announced in March 2016. The project proposes to build transform West Philadelphia into a leading innovation hub of the region on 14 acres of land.

The commission approved a measure at the meeting to change the zoning in the Schuylkill Yards area from industrial use to high-density, commercial mixed-use. PlanPhilly says two towers have been proposed for the corner of JFK Boulevard and 30th Street, a 783,000-square-foot mixed-use and a 383,000-square-foot residential building.

City Council still has to approve the zoning change, but if all goes to plan construction will first begin on the renovation of the Bulletin and the proposed elliptical park.