The first part of the transformative $3.5 billion Schuylkill Yards project is finally here.
Drexel Square Park, a 1.3-acre urban park at 30th and Market streets opens Monday with a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by festivities at night, including a festival, arcade games, and the unveiling of the world’s largest video game display, according to a statement form Brandywine Realty Trust.
The park, designed by Shop Architects and West 8, includes a 12,00-square-foot elliptical lawn, 9,000 square feet of raised planted beds, 23 Redwood trees (reaching over 25 feet tall), seating, light poles, and security at night.
It’s the first project in the multi-part Schuylkill Yards development, which is headed up by Brandywine and Drexel University, and will transform 14 acres of University City into an innovation hub. Officials broke ground on the park in 2017—back when the land was being used as a parking lot—and announced that the park is just part of the 6.5-acres of green space planned for the overall Schuylkill Yards development.
The rest of the development, which is rolling out over the next decade and a half, will see new towers, totaling 6.9 million square feet in new construction. That includes office, lab, residential, retail, hotel, and green space.
In addition to the park, the groups are also working on renovating the Bulletin Building, replacing the grey facade with glass and metal, which will open late this year, writes Inquirer.com’s Inga Saffron.
Monday’s opening ceremony will include a ribbon cutting from 2 to 3 p.m., followed by a nighttime celebration starting at 6 p.m., when Drexel will unveil the largest video game display in the world.
“Students and teachers from K-12 schools across the Greater Philadelphia region have been working with experts in Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, including Dr. Frank Lee, to design and code new games for the building,” the statement said.