Friday, February 5, 2016


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

Big dorm?

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.

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PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

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