Development of Philadelphia's 30th Street Station and several follow-up projects planned in the immediate area will generate billions in new taxes to the city and state, Amtrak and its partners claimed Thursday.
The 30th Street District Plan unveiled Thursday envisions 18 million square-feet of new development in University City that features an entirely new mixed-use neighborhood anchoring atop 88 acres of rail yards along the western bank of the Schuylkill River. The project, which would also include 40 acres of new open space, is spearheaded by Amtrak along with its partners, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust.
Amtrak officials said the project includes a proposed $2 billion investment in roads, utilities, parks, bridges and extension of transit services. The initiative has the potential to unlock $4.5 billion in private real estate development in addition to $3.5 billion planned for Drexel's Schuylkill Yards being developed by Brandywine, according to Amtrak, which estimates a potential $3.8 billion in city and state taxes.
"Philadelphia's iconic 30th Street Station is poised to anchor what could be a transformative new neighborhood built around transportation and the Schuylkill River waterfront," said Amtrak Board Chairman Tony Coscia in a statement. "The Amtrak team is committed to continuing the important and productive collaboration reflected in the creation of this single, integrated District Plan and will work hard to help realize the great opportunities it envisions."
Amtrak said later this year it intends to solicit partners to develop certain property adjacent to 30th Street Station. The agency also plans to analyze and suggest station improvements including retail offerings.
"The 30th Street Station District Plan is a transformative approach," said SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel, who added that the station is serviced by all regional train lines and bus routes. "The District Plan is another example of how transportation can drive economic development."
"The vision for the 30th Street Station District complements the recently unveiled master plan for Schuylkill Yards to be developed by Drexel and Brandywine," said Drexel President John A. Fry. "Together these two developments will bring fundamental transformation to University City and become the centerpiece of America's next great innovation district, a district characterized by its superior access to transportation."