Amtrak shortlists development teams for 30th St. Station revamp
The rail operator has named the teams involving Brandywine, Aramark, and WeWork as finalists in its search for a master developer to update the station in what's seen as a first step toward revamping its University City holdings.
Philadelphia-based Brandywine Realty Trust and Meridiam of France are among the developers on Amtrak's short list to oversee the redevelopment of historic 30th Street Station, the rail operator's third-busiest station.
Amtrak named teams led by the companies in a statement Tuesday as finalists in its search for a master developer to update the station in what's seen as a first step toward revamping its vast University City land holdings.
The Brandywine team also includes Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and commercial real estate firm CBRE. Brandywine has already built extensively in the area, with projects including the Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed Cira Centre building and FMC Tower, and is leading the so-called Schuylkill Yards redevelopment project on nearby land.
Meridiam, a Paris-based engineering firm, is being joined on its team, called the G30 Collaborative, by food-services giant Aramark and coworking behemoth WeWork.
Another short-listed team, dubbed PHL 30 Vision LLC, is led by real estate services firm JLL and includes New York-based architects FXCollaborative and the ARUP engineering office in London.
A final group is led by Plenary, an Australian infrastructure-investment group, and counts architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago among its participants. The four teams are among those who pitched themselves for the job of reinvigorating the station in response to a May "Request for Qualifications" from Amtrak.
Amtrak said it plans to select a team from the four in 2019 to help it expand its concourse to accommodate anticipated ridership increases, while introducing new amenities to the station, upgrading its commercial and retail offerings, and improving transit and pedestrian flow.
"The selection of the four teams is a significant milestone," Amtrak senior program manager Natalie Shieh said in the statement. "By partnering with the right development team, Amtrak will update this major transportation hub as a world-class gateway for the traveling public and Philadelphia."
The next step will be for the four teams to submit formal proposals for the station project, Amtrak said.
Amtrak has cast the station revamp as a first step toward a larger project known as the 30th Street Station District Plan that envisions the redevelopment of what would be a 175-acre site — including capping rail yards — between Walnut and Spring Garden Streets, east of the Drexel University campus and Powelton Village, over 35 years.
The plan was devised through a two-year, $5.25 million study led by Amtrak, Drexel, Brandywine, SEPTA, and PennDot that concluded in 2016.