James Egan of NGKF

PHILADELPHIA-In one of the largest recent Downtown leases here, Drexel University recently signed a ten-year deal for 186,000 square feet to house its medical and nursing schools at the Three Parkway tower.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s senior managing directors James Egan and Jeff Tertel represented Drexel University. The lease represented the largest expansion by any single tenant for the year in Center City, according to NGKF.

The space will be renovated to suit the tenant, and Drexel plans a phased-in move over the next two years of its College of Nursing and Health Professions and its College of Medicine.

The university currently occupies 68,000 square feet at Three Parkway, a 20-story office building at 1601 Cherry St., as well as space in nearby buildings surrounding Hahnemann University Hospital. The growth of the university’s programs, in particular the College of Nursing, prompted the search for additional space, said Egan, who has represented Drexel on a number of lease deals.

“Drexel continues to think strategically about its real estate needs today and into the future,” Egan said. “With this transaction, they have more than tripled their existing space at Three Parkway, and increased their commitment to Center City.”

Located near Logan Circle on Ben Franklin Parkway, Three Parkway offers easy access to public transit, parking and amenities. The landlord, Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc., was represented by Drew McGowan of Jones Lang LaSalle in the Drexel transaction.

 “We are thrilled to be in a position to facilitate Drexel’s growth and presence of their Center City Campus,” said Behringer Harvard’s Deidre Hardister. “This transaction further solidifies our commitment to Philadelphia.” In addition to Three Parkway, the REIT owns 1650 Arch Street, United Plaza (30 S. 17th Street) and the Wanamaker Building.