The stretch of Market Street, just west of 40th Street, has many parking lots and auto-oriented businesses. Several years ago, 2.0 University Place was built at 41st Street and Powelton Avenue. 2.0 University Place is a five story office building that has the U.S. Immigration Service as its primary tenant. A neighboring site at 41st and Market Streets had a Pep Boys store and parking lot on it, but that has been demolished and is now just a vacant lot. The developers of 2.0 University Place, University Place Associates, have decided to build another major office building as part of a growing “Platinum Corridor” business district along Market Street, just west of 40th Street. The new building is called 3.0 University Place, second in a series of seven new buildings along this Platinum Corridor, and it will be an office and research building that will set a new standard for sustainable architecture and development. UPA is partnering with the Wistar Institute and this new building is designed by The Sheward Partnership.
3.0 University Place will be an eight story building with 45,000 square feet of office space, 120,000 square feet of research laboratory space, and 26,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, with a plaza in front on Market Street for cafe-style seating. Some of the space will be coworking space offered by 1776. The first couple floors will protrude out towards Market Street, with a landscaped terrace on top looking out over Market and a curved cornice. The office space will face south and the research laboratory space will face north. The roof will be a green roof with a solar panels. There will be 58 parking spaces underground. The exterior will have spandrel glass, orange and dark blue accents, and wood trim. The building will set a new standard for sustainability because it will be the first LEED Platinum v4 certified office and research building in the world. That means it will have features meant to conserve energy and water, such as chilled beam heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, glazing that will automatically tint in the sun, and rainwater infiltration that will reuse the rainwater for things like a water-based air conditioning system. The surrounding sidewalks will have several new street trees.
The development of 3.0 University Place, and the eventual Platinum Corridor, is a major milestone for West Philadelphia. This new business district will bring many new jobs in high-tech industries to the middle of West Philadelphia. The quality of the sustainable construction and design will help set a new standard for high-tech office and research buildings. The new retail will, also, help enliven this stretch of Market Street. This new Platinum Corridor is just north of a neighborhood where a lot of new housing is being built and the nearby West Park Apartments, owned by PHA, is about to be renovated and PHA is selling off two of its towers to private developers or, perhaps, Drexel University. The former Provident Mutual Life Building, at 46th and Market Streets, is about to be renovated into a medical and community campus. To the east is UCity Square, where several new office and residential buildings are being built, as well. 3.0 University Place is the start of an important new business district along West Market Street that will connect these other prospering areas.