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PHILADELPHIA-A master plan for the 1,200-acre former Navy base will be developed over the next two to three decades by a team headed by New York-based Robert AM Stern Architects. The plan separates the parcel, which nearly rivals the size of Center City, into seven zones. Together they constitute a community, complete with office and industrial workplaces, housing, retail, recreational and restaurant facilities.

The “Historic Core” retains some of the Naval Yard’s original structures, many of which have already been converted into modern office buildings. Among the newer occupants is Aphton Corp., which inked a 10-year lease for Building 10, a converted 1903 woodworking shop. It is relocating its headquarters from Miami. The master plan also calls for additional conversions in the historic core into as many as 1,000 residential lofts.

In 2002, a JV between locally based Synterra Group and Malvern-based Liberty Property Trust was selected to develop Navy Yard Corporate Center, a 70-acre, 1.4-million-sf multi-building office park just inside the Navy Yard gates. At the time, John Gattuso, Liberty’s SVP in charge of the project, told GlobeSt.com the estimated cost of the build-out over 12 years would be between $150 million and $170 million.

A portion of Research Park, a laboratory and high-tech manufacturing center adjacent the corporate center, contains a 75,000-sf, $20-million facility that Liberty constructed for St. Paul-based Apptec Laboratory Services. A second AppTec facility is on the drawing board.

Other zones include the still-operating Kvaerner shipyard area, which will be expanded for additional ship repair operations; the Norfolk Southern railroad yard; a Marina residential and recreation complex, and an area next to the port initially seen as a distribution center.

The plan also calls for a $260-million extension of the Broad Street subway and dredging of the Delaware River’s shipping channel to elevate land in the Marina zone. The entire site has Keystone Opportunity Zone status, which waives city and state taxes through 2015. The Pentagon closed the Navy Yard in the early 1990s and it was acquired by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.

Liberty and PIDC commissioned the master plan. San Francisco-based EDAW, Malvern-based Cathers & Associates, and the local firms of Daroff Design, Kelly/Maiello, and Urban Engineers participated with Stern in the plan’s development.

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