PHILADELPHIA– PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, today gathered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and University of Pennsylvania at the Pennovation Works on the banks of the Lower Schuylkill River to announce completion of a $600,000 investment by PIDC and the EPA which has helped in realizing the first major development in the Lower Schuylkill River Innovation District.
The Pennovation Works is a 23-acre research and development campus complete with state-of-the-art facilities to accommodate researchers, entrepreneurs, and private sector industry for advancing knowledge and translating research into new ventures. The Works will be anchored by the new 58,000 square foot Pennovation Center, a business and technology incubator, scheduled to formally open on October 28, 2016.
Penn Executive Vice President Craig R. Carnaroli provided a “first look” tour of the completed Pennovation Center to EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin, PIDC President John Grady, and Philadelphia City Councilman (Second District) Kenyatta Johnson.
“This project illustrates the best of public-private partnerships,” said Penn’s Executive Vice President, Craig R. Carnaroli. “We see it as our role and responsibility to create unique facilities available to students, researchers, faculty and startups and create an environment that energizes an enormous range of business opportunities that will benefit the city and region. We appreciate and value the investment from the EPA and PIDC to help us realize our collective vision.”
The development of the Pennovation Center marks a major advancement in the Lower Schuylkill Innovation District, one of three proposed districts identified in the Lower
Schuylkill Master Plan—a long-term plan to reposition a 3,700-acre, historically industrial corridor as a modern, integrated network of three distinct business campuses. The Pennovation Works is a key site within the Innovation District which is planned as a 512-acre advanced research and development campus on the east and west banks of the river.
“In planning the Lower Schuylkill, we saw tremendous opportunity for transformation, investment, and growth of an area that had been largely vacant and underutilized,” said PIDC President, John Grady. “Realizing the vision of the master plan takes dedicated partners like the City of Philadelphia, Penn, and the EPA. This project marks the beginning of a next generation of partnerships that will continue to drive growth in this area.”
Pennovation Works is being developed on the site of the former DuPont Corporation chemical engineering research and development facility. Development of the Pennovation Center followed a remediation in which Penn worked closely with the state Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) to clean up the site for its new use. As part of this effort, PIDC and the EPA invested $600,000 to support the cleanup and enable the Pennovation Center project to move forward.
“Brownfields funding helps communities remove critical barriers to redevelopment and reuse,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “This funding supports Philadelphia’s plans for improving the quality of life of residents by reclaiming areas for housing, commercial development and open space and at the same time protecting public health and the environment.”
“The City of Philadelphia is continuously looking for ways to reinvest in Grays Ferry,” said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. “The partnership between PIDC, EPA, and Penn supports big picture redevelopment projects like this and helps create innovative jobs in these neighborhoods. The potential here is great and I think this project will create jobs and spur interest in the additional opportunities that are available here in Grays Ferry.”
The Pennovation Center is already home to more than 100 individual employees and 20 companies, ranging from startup ventures to established corporations, including the fields of robots, biotechnology, life sciences, and information technology. Estimates project that when Lower Schuylkill Innovation District is fully built out, the precinct will support up to 3,300 direct jobs and 2.4 M square feet of new development.
PIDC is Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation. A non-profit founded in 1958 by the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PIDC’s mission is to spur investment, support business growth, and foster
developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive growth to every corner of Philadelphia. Over the last 58 years, PIDC has invested nearly $14 billion of financing and more than 3,100 acres of land sales – which has leveraged over $25 billion in total investment and assisted in retaining and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Philadelphia. As master developer of The Navy Yard, PIDC manages all aspects of the property’s management and development, including master planning, leasing, property management, infrastructure development, utility operation, and structuring development transactions. For more information about PIDC, visit www.PIDCphila.com and follow us @PIDCphila on Twitter.