Developer breaks ground on $56M University City project

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Groundbreaking is scheduled for Wednesday for the $56 million mixed-use project at 3201 Race St. by Radnor Property Group. The project includes office space and a preschool.

Radnor Property Group of Wayne will break ground Wednesday on Vue32, a mixed-use project on Drexel University land at 3201 Race St. in University City.

The $56 million project includes a residential tower, for-sale townhouses, a preschool and a plaza area for community use.

The 16-story tower, with 164 rental apartments, including junior one-bedroom, one-bedroom, two-bedroom units and three bedroom units, is expected to be completed in stages from June to August 2017.

Radnor Property Group is developing the project under a ground-lease agreement with Drexel at no cost to the university. 

Amenities include a fitness center, underground parking for 32 cars, and a rooftop deck with a gas fire pit and grills.

The residential tower's first two floors, totaling 13,837 square feet, will accommodate a preschool, called Chesterbrook Academy, with space for up to 180 children, being leased by Nobel Learning Communities.

The for-sale townhouse development will consist of 12 two-bedroom condominiums in three building clusters.

Construction will begin after the tower is finished, and will be completed in 2018.

The project received full land development approvals in April 2015.

Vue32 is designed to provide homes to a mix of graduate students, faculty, staff and non-Drexel professionals working in the area, according to Radnor Property's founder, David Yeager.

Yeager's last effort in University City was 3737 Chestnut, a 26-story, 276-unit glass-and-steel structure and a three-story office building, in partnership with the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, the 19th-century Romanesque-style brownstone church next door.

The apartment building accounted for $95 million of the total $115 million project cost and was designed by BLT Architects.

It was completed late in 2015.

Radnor Property Group is owner and general partner of Vue32 and has partnered with American Realty Advisors of Glendale, Calif., which provided equity capital to the venture.

Santander Bank has provided construction financing for the project.

Vue32 will be managed and leased by Bozzuto Management Co. of Greenbelt, Md., which also manages 3737 Chestnut and other apartment complexes in the region.

Since Yeager founded Radnor Property Group in 2000, the firm has worked on four million square feet of development projects valued at $400 million.

aheavens@phillynews.com

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