Drexel University plans a groundbreaking tomorrow for a new $170 million, 24-story, 580,000 sq ft building that will house 1,300 students and 11 stores, at 34th St. and Lancaster Ave. Drexel is joining developer American Campus Communities on the project; that company is also building the Chestnut Square high-rise at 32nd and Chestnut a short walk away. American Campus will manage the Lancaster Ave. building, Drexel will lease it and eventually own the building. Drexel says the project will create around 850 construction jobs.
In a statement, Drexel President John Fry called it the biggest building the school has built -- and the biggest for American Campus, which builds student housing around the U.S.. Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architects designed the building, Hunter Roberts Construction Group will build it, completion scheduled for fall 2015.
As part of the deal, American Campus has donated to Drexel the land and air rights to the University Crossings apartments next to the Drexel Campus. Drexel estimates the value of that building at $68 million; American Campus plans a $22 million renovation.