Philadelphia-based landscape architect James Corner, whose past projects have included the redevelopment of Race Street Pier on Old City’s Delaware River waterfront, has been selected to lead the next phase of planning at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.
Corner’s firm, James Corner Field Operations, will bring “a fresh, creative, and inclusive approach that will drive an ambitious plan for new development,” said Kate McNamara, senior vice president with the Navy Yard’s quasi-governmental overseer, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., in a release announcing the selection Wednesday.
Corner has already made a mark on the former military base as designer of the landscaped Central Green recreational area at the core of the Navy Yard’s existing Corporate Center development.
As the leader of the master-planning-update process for the property, Corner will lead a team of 13 specialist firms, more than half of them minority- and women-owned businesses such as civil-engineering company David Mason & Associates.
The team also includes architecture firm Digsau, which has designed several buildings at the Navy Yard and in central Philadelphia, as well as in other cities.
The Navy Yard, which employed 40,000 at its peak, came under city ownership in 2000 after the U.S. Defense Department decommissioned the site as a military base.
Most of its development since then had been undertaken by Liberty Property Trust, which was acquired last year by another company, following a master plan by architect Robert A.M. Stern.
Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners were selected in July to helm the next, $2.5 billion phase of Navy Yard development, which is slated to include millions more square feet of labs and offices, and apartments over 109 acres.
The first of their projects will be a pair of biotech buildings, they said last month.