The seventh-tallest building on Philly YIMBY’s December 2020 Development Countdown is the 34-story skyscraper proposed at 3001 John F. Kennedy Boulevard in University City, West Philadelphia. Designed by the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism and developed by Brandywine Realty Trust, the bulky office building will feature an eye-catching staggered massing and an exterior of red aluminum cladding. The building, which will rise approximately 530 feet tall to the top of the parapet, is the first 500-foot-plus tower in the Countdown, the tallest proposal so far in the 14-acre Schuylkill Yards development, and will be the second-tallest building in West Philadelphia upon completion. Philly YIMBY’s recent site visit has revealed no construction progress so far at the parking lot that spans the site.
West Philadelphia has become one of the city’s most rapidly developing neighborhoods over the course of the past decade, with two of the three tallest buildings in University City, Evo at Cira Center South and the 736-foot-tall FMC Tower, built during this period. The tower at 3001 JFK Boulevard will be located just to the west of where Cira 2, an expansion for to the original Cira Centre, was once proposed.
The site once sat at a lower elevation as it connected to the passenger lines under Schuylkill Avenue, but the site was elevated to the level of the John F. Kennedy Boulevard when the Bulletin Building was constructed nearby in 1954, making the site of 3001 John F. Kennedy Boulevard into the parking lot that is still at the site to this day. The tower was unveiled near the end of August 2019, with renderings showing a design like no other in Philadelphia.
Two months before the unveiling, site/utility permits were posted on the city site for earthwork activities, presumably soil testing for the building and for the tower proposed at 3025 John F. Kennedy Boulevard to the west. Later in October, zoning permits were issued for both 3001 and 3025 John F. Kennedy Boulevard for the complete demolition of all structures on the site along with the erection of the two high-rises. In February 2020, another site/utility permit was posted for excavation and sheathing and shoring the site.
3001 John F. Kennedy Boulevard is projected to start in mid-2023, and will possibly finish construction in 2026.