New tower coming to University City skyline

Starting in the fall, a new $100 million tower will be sprouting up in University City. 

It’s a joint project of the University City Science Center and two real estate firms, Wexford Equities and Southern Land Company.

The apartment building will be 27 stories tall, carving out a distinct chunk of the West Philadelphia skyline.

“This is massive,” said Stephen Tang, University City Science Center president and CEO. “This will be quite a statement.”

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The building, which will be located at 3601 Market Street, is seeking LEED Silver certification. It will be topped off with a green roof and a pool. A press release promises a fitness center, a resident lounge and top-of-the-line fixtures in each of its 364 rental units.

“This is intended to attract young entrepreneurs,” said Tang, adding that the goal is to create a “vibe” similar to that at high-rise developments in San Francisco, Boston and Toronto.

The Science Center turns 50 this year. And while the tower won’t be occupied until 2015, Tang says it represents a new chapter for the bustling research hub’s second half-century.

“This move to a residential building on our campus, we hope, gives the campus more of a 24/7 vibrancy,” Tang said. “It allows there to be a community of innovators and entrepreneurs that actually lives, works and plays on our campus.”

BLT Architects designed the building. It’s the same firm that helped* designed the nearby Cira Centre, which the new Science Center tower will rival in height.

(*Thanks to @mikegreenle for pointing out that the Cira Centre was co-designed by (st)architect Cesar Pelli.)

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