Scaled-down plans for the site
include a 14-story community
with 832 beds in 238 units,
and ground-floor retail space.

PHILADELPHIA—After more than a year in the planning stages, ground has broken on a $100-million student housing community on the site of the former John Wanamaker School here. Being built by the Goldenberg Group with partner Bridge of Hope Community Development Corp., the 320,000-square-foot project will serve students attending the nearby Temple University.

The Blue Bell, PA-based firm had originally planned to build a large multi-phase, mixed-use development on the 4.6-acre site in partnership with Bright Hope Baptist Church. Former plans, according to, called for the project to incorporate parts of the existing school building into its design, and include a Green Construction Training Center, an Arts & Education Forum, a charter school, student housing and public space.

Goldenberg Group’s new plans, however, call for a smaller project of 320,000 square feet in 14 stories, with 832 beds in 238 units, and 11,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. It will offer residents a fitness center, computer lab and laundry facilities on each floor.

Delivery of the new project, to be managed by Asset Campus Housing, is slated for the fall of 2014. Interestingly, the community only takes up about half of the overall site, leaving room for future development.