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William H. Gray III 30th Street Station District Plan Wins Prestigious National Award

By January 17, 2017 No Comments
30th Street plaza as seen from the southeast

Conceptual rendering depicting the station plaza as seen from the southeast.

PHILADELPHIA – The William H. Gray III 30th Street Station District Plan has been honored with the architecture industry’s most prestigious award – a 2017 Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects. The District Plan was selected from more than 500 submissions from around the world.

The award underscores the importance of the collaboration among the project principals – Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT and SEPTA – in developing the plan, with guidance from a coordinating committee and input from the public.

“The District Plan beautifully reimagines one of Philadelphia’s greatest assets at the center of a world-class urban district.” – Kristopher Takács, AIA, director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

“On behalf of the 30th Street Station District Plan partners, we gladly accept this award and appreciate the endorsement it represents of the hard work that went into developing the plan,” said Natalie Shieh, Amtrak project director. “We are enthusiastically moving forward on implementation, to take this inspiring vision and realize its great promise to transform the 30th Street Station District into Philadelphia’s next great neighborhood.”

Illustrative conceptual site plan for the 30th Street Station District

Illustrative conceptual site plan for the 30th Street Station District.

The District Plan is a comprehensive vision for the future of the area surrounding 30th Street Station in the year 2050 and beyond. In the near term, Amtrak and its partners are strategically advancing key projects to activate all four sides of the station and build a foundation for future growth and development. In November 2016, Amtrak issued a Request for Proposals to lease and develop a roughly 32,500 square foot tract of land and associated air rights adjacent to the station.

The plan ultimately envisions 40 new acres of open space and 18 million square feet of new development, including an entirely new mixed-use neighborhood anchoring the District atop 88 acres of rail yards along the western bank of the Schuylkill River. With a proposed $2 billion investment in roads, utilities, parks, bridges and extension of transit services, the plan has the potential to unlock $4.5 billion in private real estate investment with robust and widespread economic benefits.  An estimated $3.8 billion in city and state taxes and 40,000 new jobs would be created.

In fiscal year 2016, more than 4.3 million Amtrak customers began or ended their journey at William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, which ranks as the third busiest station in the Amtrak national network.