University City is about to get a new highrise hotel. Campus Apartments, the large student apartment management company headquartered in University City, and Hilton are developing a 10-storey Hilton Homewood Suites hotel at 41st and Walnut Streets. The new hotel will be a middle market, extended stay hotel intended largely for families of patients at the nearby University City hospitals and those visiting the universities themselves. It is being designed by Alesker & Dundon Architects and will be approximately 110,000 square feet and have 136 rooms. Each room will be about 500 square feet and will have kitchen and dining areas that most hotels don’t have. There will be a gym and dining and meeting spaces in the building as well. It will, also, be LEED certified with features such as low-flow fixtures, a green roof, and storm water management.
The hotel was originally proposed to be built at 40th & Pine Streets, closer to the hospitals. But neighborhood opposition on the 4000 block of Pine Street, which has houses from the 1850s, caused Campus Apartments and Hilton to look elsewhere. Campus Apartments then decided to use a site they owned where they had just demolished a dilapidated fraternity house. The project just broke ground last December. It is financed by Beneficial Bank and government entities, such as the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and will cost about $50 million to build. It, also, is being financed with help from the city through its Energy Works program, which gives loans to sustainable builders.
Campus Apartments intends to eventually build a new office building on the corner of 41st and Walnut Streets. That building would be approximately 15 storeys and 150,000 square feet and would be the new headquarters for Campus Apartments. There would be additional space that Campus Apartments would rent out to other tenants, bringing some commercial office space to that end of University City, not far from the University City Science Center and the hospitals. There would be a courtyard imbetween the two buildings which would continue north of the office building towards 41st Street. Altogether, the new hotel and office development would be the biggest commercial development west of 40th Street in several decades.
I have renderings of the hotel and pictures of the construction site below and a link to a press release I found on the Campus Apartments website here.