Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Philly Navy Yard Plans $6B Development

 By Jack Rogers

In the first update of its master plan since 2013, the Philadelphia Navy Yard has unveiled an ambitious blueprint for new development including almost 9M SF of mixed-use space in projects estimated to be worth up to $6B.

Last summer, PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Navy Yard, chose a joint venture of Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners (Ensemble/Mosaic) to update the master plan for the Navy Yard.

The deal included a $2.6B commitment from Ensemble/Mosaic to develop 109 acres of the 1,200-acre Navy yard campus. The joint venture said $1B of its investment in the Navy Yard would be targeted for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Ensemble/Mosaic chose James Corner Field Operations to design the master plan update, a 20-year blueprint that calls for a total of 4M SF of multifamily space, 2.8M SF of office and lab space, 1.5M SF of life sciences manufacturing, 440K SF of hospitality, 235K SF of retail and 1.6M SF of public space.

The updated master plan divides the Navy Yard into six sectors, including a Gateway District; Shipyard District; Greenway District; Waterfront District; Corporate Center and Historic Core. The plan specifies that all of the residential square footage, including a total of 3,900 multifamily units, will be located in the Historic Core and Waterfront District.

In the master plan update, Ensemble/Mosaic has increased its development commitment to $4.8B of an estimated total development worth $6B. In March, the partnership brought in Oxford Properties Group, based in Canada, as an equity partner to finance construction of the Navy Yard project.

The Historic Core includes several historic buildings protected by preservation laws and currently being used as creative offices.

The Gateway and Greenway Districts in the Navy Yard development will contain the bio-manufacturing facilities planned for the site, including a lab and a bioprocessing facility. In March, Ensemble/Mosaic broke ground for the 130K SF lab.

The new residential buildings will be the first at the Navy Yard since it housed barracks for Navy officers. Dating back to 1776—and known as the birthplace of the US Navy—the Philadelphia Navy Shipyard continued to operate as a naval base until 1996, employing more than 40,000 during WWII.

The base originally was set to close in 1991, based on a decision by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), an agency Congress formed to cull the US portfolio of military bases. The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard continued to operate for several years due to court challenges to the base closings.

The last ship-building project undertaken by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard prior to its closure on September 26, 1996 was a two-year overhaul of the USS John F. Kennedy.

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