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PHILADELPHIA-Over the next 15 years, the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia plan to construct approximately 1.8 million sf of clinical treatment and research facilities on a 19-acre parcel. Penn’s health system and Children’s Hospital are located adjacent each other across from the property on Civic Center Boulevard in University City. “The land assemblage has taken place over the past 10 years,” Peter Longstreth, president of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., tells GlobeSt.com. While some work has already begun on the site, this month the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development, which is managed by PIDC, finalized the sale of the last portion of the assemblage– the city-owned former Convention Hall and Commercial Museum–to the U. of Penn trustees. Longstreth declined to disclose the price.

Since 1994 when convention activities moved to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City, PAID has been working with the city to redevelop the site in coordination with the two institutions, Longstreth says. “In fall 2004, the city re-zoned the site to C-5 status, the only such status outside Center City’s business district, in order to accommodate the development’s planned density.”

To date, Penn and the hospital have jointly constructed a 1,900-car garage on the southernmost two acres. A central parcel of 7.9 acres is owned by Children’s Hospital, and it is flanked by two Penn parcels of 5.8 acres and 3.3 acres. At a cost of more than $32 million, Penn has demolished the two buildings and cleared 12.7 acres.

Penn and Children’s Hospital are the two largest physician groups in the city. Their projected doubling of patient volumes and increase in medical research created the need for this expansion. In addition to clinical treatment and R&D facilities, the master plan currently under development calls for related office, parking and retail space, and will also include campus courtyards and gardens. Calls to Penn and Children’s Hospital were not returned by deadline.

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