New green office building pushes office development further into West Philadelphia

A brand new, very green commercial office building is soon to break ground on the western end of University City, in what is commonly known as West Powelton, at 41st Street and Powelton Avenue.  This location, where there is currently an empty lot, is just beyond the University City Science Center, well into West Philadelphia.  This new 96,000 square foot, 5-storey building would have the effect of really pushing private, commercial office development well into West Philadelphia, beyond the usual University City commercial office hubs of the Science Center, which ends at 38th Street, and the Cira Center, along the Schuylkill waterfront.

The new building is called 2.0 University Place and is being developed by University Place Associates and designed by Shraga Studios.  It has, already, been certified LEED-Platinum, the highest level of green certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.  It will have numerous green features, such as “chilled-beam” heating and cooling, a revolutionary heating/cooling system developed recently by NASA; energy-efficient glass; storm water runoff management systems; elevators that produce electricity from kinetic energy released from their breaking systems; and a large green roof on top, that will have a patio for use by the office workers and, possibly, community groups.  There will be a large glass curtain wall at the northeastern end, and lobby, at the 41st & Powelton corner, contrasting with the nineteenth century townhouses on those blocks of Powelton Avenue.

The building will likely break ground in January or February.  The anchor tenant will be the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, that will take up about half the space, but the remaining space will likely be rented out to private companies.  The developers would like to attract high-tech, especially bio-tech, companies that are already locating in the Science Center nearby.  The developers own, or are trying to purchase, several adjacent properties in hopes of developing more office buildings that could attract these high-tech companies.  They see this as an extension of the Science Center, where office vacancy is extremely low.  The area near 2.0 University Place is dominated by parking lots, auto repair shops, and drug stores, as well as, Victorian era townhouses and some newer affordable housing.  So, this new development is a real contrast to the current neighborhood.  But, it is not the only such development in the immediate area.  The Science Center is about to build a highrise office building at 38th & Market Streets and Campus Apartments is planning to build a 15-storey office building at 41st & Walnut Streets, next to their new Hilton Homewood Suites hotel.  That new building would be the new headquarters of Campus Apartments, but would have several floors of leasable space that Campus Apartments would like to rent out to high-tech companies, as well.

All this would change this area of the city, extending the high-tech focused business district along, and adjacent to, Market Street.  It would, also, increase the housing demand and property values of the surrounding neighborhoods, particularly West Powelton, but probably, also, Spruce Hill, Mantua, and Belmont.  If you are interested in buying, selling, or renting a home or investment property in these neighborhoods, or anywhere else in the city, please contact me at or sign onto my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor and my new twitter realtor page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  And you can check out our Condo Shop website,, and our Condo Shop Facebook page, The Condo Shop, and our new Condo Shop twitter page, @The_Condo_Shop.  Also, you can check out the developers’ website for 2.0 University Place, right here and Shraga Studios’ website, including a cool 3-D animated-rendering tour, here.

Rendering of 2.0 University Place, from corner of 41st & Powelton

View from Market Street, Pep Boys site may be next office development

Aerial view shows extensive green roof and patio

Site of 2.0 University Place, @ 41st & Powelton, now an empty lot

Street sign @ the intersection of 41st & Powelton

Sign, facing Market Street, announcing 2.0 University Place

Site showing Hilton Homewood Suites in background, and site of future Campus Apts. headquarters and other properties for future office development

Looking east down Powelton Avenue, shows the older, lowrise buildings


About gabrielcgottlieb

I am a real estate agent at Long & Foster Real Estate Center City and someone who likes to write about development and urban planning in the City of Philadelphia. Contact me at if you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Philadelphia.
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