Work starts at 'student tower' for Penn's '36-story' Chestnut St. site

Foundation work has started at the long-delayed 2930 Chestnut St. site where Brandywine Realty Trust hoped to build a 36-story 'Cira South' tower (and a second 47-story tower on the property's Walnut St. side). That permit application, renewed last month, here.

A new permit application by Philadelphia contractor Keating Building Corp. describes the foundation work at the same site for a "student residential tower.' Read a summary at the City of Philadelphia Web site here.

Brandywine had hoped to build an office tower at the site but has been unable to land a tenant. Brandywine spokeswoman Marge Boccuti and Penn spokeswoman Julie McWilliams had no specific comment when asked about plans for the site.

Penn had planned extensive dorm additions and renovations back at the end of the 1990s when John Fry (now Drexel's boss) was Provost, but those plans were sidelined as Penn concentrated on reducing its hospital debt, and most housing built around Penn in the 2000s was by private developers. Penn has since considered new dorms on the site of its Hill House athletic fields, among other places.