Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, one of America’s busiest railroad hubs, will be the centerpiece of a major civic overhaul, and Parsons Brinckerhoff is helping to develop a master plan to rejuvenate the area surrounding the iconic station.
Parsons Brinckerhoff is part of a team led by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) that will develop the master plan. As part of the SOM team, Parsons Brinckerhoff will be responsible for leading the multifaceted transportation elements of the plan and will also provide project management support. Peter Denitz is Project Manager for Parsons Brinckerhoff; Steve Moore is the firm’s Principal-in-Charge.
“Over the next two years, the Philadelphia 30th Street Station Precinct Joint Master Plan will become a catalyst for realizing the long-awaited vision of a bold, fully integrated, mixed-use urban district, with a future-ready 30th Street Station at its center,” says Denitz.
The master plan represents an opportunity to create a compelling, modern civic vision for the area around the 30th Street Station, which serves Amtrak, SEPTA, and NJ TRANSIT. With the monumental 81-year-old rail station at its core, the master plan will support the station’s role as an intermodal transportation hub and community center.
“Through bold development, an activated public realm, and expanded transit network, this city-building endeavor will bring the vibrancy of University City and Center City West right to the station’s door,” Denitz says. “It will ensure the enduring prominence of the station as a destination and portal on the rail line linking Philadelphia to 50 million people in the Northeast.”
The SOM team, which also includes OLIN and HR&A Advisors, was selected by Amtrak, Drexel University, and Brandywine Realty Trust. The goal is to develop a plan that places a revitalized station at the epicenter of a dynamic, urban neighborhood full of opportunities for community development, economic development, and improved transportation connections.
A wide range of commercial opportunities, including retail spaces within the station and the potential development of air rights above approximately 34 hectares (85 acres) of rail yards adjacent to the station, will also be considered.
Development of the master plan will begin immediately and is expected to take approximately two years.
In addition to members from the SOM team, the master plan is being guided by a coordinating committee that includes the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, City of Philadelphia, NJ TRANSIT, CSX Corporation, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Schuylkill River Development Corporation, and University City District. The effort is being funded by Drexel University and its partners.
The 30th Street Station plan joins other station area plans along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) being developed by Parsons Brinckerhoff, as well as the NEC Future study being undertaken for the Federal Railroad Administration.
“For Parsons Brinckerhoff, this contract offers a singular opportunity to engage the talents of our professionals in what is perhaps Philadelphia's most significant planning project in a generation,” Denitz says.