Potential Four-Million-Square-Foot Expansion Would Accelerate the Creation of a Globally Recognized Innovation District for Science and Technology Companies
The University City Science Center and Wexford Science + Technology, a BioMed Realty company, are joining forces to significantly expand the Philadelphia-based Science Center and accelerate the creation of a globally recognized innovation district for science and technology companies. The new joint venture combines the Science Center’s 52-year history of commercializing discoveries and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship with Wexford’s unparalleled experience developing vibrant, amenity-rich, collaborative Knowledge Communities exclusively for universities, academic medical centers and major research institutions.
As a result of this joint venture, the Science Center has the potential to double in size as it and Wexford explore joint development opportunities for nearly four million square feet of office, laboratory, residential, retail facilities and structured parking over the next 10 years. These opportunities include development of the former University City High School (UCHS) site, adjacent to the Science Center, and the three remaining open parcels on the Science Center’s existing campus: 3400, 3800 and 3850 Market Street.
Much of the progress being made in University City has resulted from the leadership and vision of the Science Center to create and activate the neighborhood as a center of Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial activity. Expanding the Science Center increases opportunities for the region to incubate, grow, recruit and retain biomedical and other high-tech companies that are leading the way in innovation, job creation and economic develoment.
The Science Center selected Wexford as its development partner because of Wexford’s 15-year track record and its unique platform of Knowledge Communities across the country that leverage university intellectual capital and infrastructure, foster resource concentration, and promote collaboration and interaction. To date, Wexford has developed 4.35 million square feet across 11 Knowledge Communities built upon a foundation of research, discovery and entrepreneurial activity and offering the programs, amenities and activities attractive to life science and technology companies and their employees.
“Growing our brand and campus in concert with the growth of University City is a logical and welcome progression of the work we’ve done over many years to create and operate programs that support scientists, entrepreneurs and companies throughout the region and make University City recognized as a world-class innovation hub. Our strong partnership with Wexford enables us to take a proactive and engaged approach to the changing landscape of Philadelphia’s fastest-growing innovation neighborhood,” says Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA.
“Combining the vision and commercialization success of the Science Center, the development and programming expertise of Wexford and the intellectual capital and research strength of the institutions in University City, such as Drexel, Penn, and Children’s Hospital, this partnership is primed to create a new environment of innovation and collaboration that will expand University City’s role as the fastest-growing economic engine and destination for innovation in Philadelphia and the region,” says Jim Berens, President of Wexford.
“On behalf of the Science Center Board of Directors, we are delighted to see our partnership with Wexford (and its parent BioMed Realty) expand to facilitate the joint development of the UCHS site and the remaining parcels on our campus. Not only is this strategy consistent with the mission of Science Center and its campus master plan, but it also capitalizes on the preeminent scientific and clinical assets of University City, ” says Craig Carnaroli, Chairman of the Science Center’s Board of Directors.
“We applaud this new expanded alliance between the Science Center and Wexford, and look forward to the continuing redevelopment of the Science Center campus, which will bring more jobs and economic growth to Philadelphia,” says Brian Abernathy, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA). The development of the Science Center campus has been governed by a long-term redevelopment agreement between the Science Center and the PRA, which assembled and conveyed the original 17-acre site to the Science Center in the early 1960s.
To date, the Science Center and Wexford have successfully completed three development projects at 3701, 3711 and 3737 Market Street. These projects include multi-story buildings with lab, office and clinical spaces, structured parking, and ground-floor retail spaces.
About the Science Center
The University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. The Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information about the Science Center, go to www.sciencecenter.org.