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Deal Reached on $400M Plan to Renovate Philly's 30th Street Station in 2022

Mon September 20, 2021 - Northeast Edition
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Amtrak said the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station Redevelopment Project is the first significant phase of its ongoing efforts toward implementing the Gray 30th Street Station District Plan. The project covers nearly 500,000 sq. ft. of renovation and modernization. (Amtrak rendering)
Amtrak said the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station Redevelopment Project is the first significant phase of its ongoing efforts toward implementing the Gray 30th Street Station District Plan. The project covers nearly 500,000 sq. ft. of renovation and modernization. (Amtrak rendering)
Amtrak said the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station Redevelopment Project is the first significant phase of its ongoing efforts toward implementing the Gray 30th Street Station District Plan. The project covers nearly 500,000 sq. ft. of renovation and modernization. (Amtrak rendering)

Amtrak and Plenary Infrastructure Philadelphia (PIP) reached a deal Sept. 15 on a lease and development agreement for the restoration and renovation of the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, multiple news sources reported.

Under the agreement, PIP will refurbish and upgrade the historic 88-year-old building, finance all improvements and maintain the station for a 50-year term, according to a news release.

Amtrak's 500,000-sq.-ft. redevelopment project for the 30th Street Station is expected to cost as much as $400 million.

PhillyVoice reported that the renovations are just one brick in Amtrak's $10 billion 30th Street Station District Plan, a building effort that intends to add 18 million sq. ft. of development space and 40 acres of open space over a 35-year timeline. The rail corporation said the projects will be completed on schedules that do not interfere with passenger service.

30th Street Station is Amtrak's third busiest behind New York's Penn Station and Union Station in Washington, D.C.

Long-planned renovations that will revamp the interior of 30th Street Station, including the food court and corporate offices, will commence next spring.

The project is expected to be finished by 2025 and create approximately 3,000 jobs, according to a PIP news release. The effort follows facade cleaning and restoration efforts made by Amtrak over the last several years.

The massive restoration of the 30th Street Station will seek to maintain the nearly century-old building's historic vibe while making station operations more efficient and convenient, PhillyVoice noted. The plan remains in the design phase, but includes the following proposed amenities:

  • Expanded and modernized concessions that include high-quality retail shops and a new food hall.
  • Upgrades to restrooms, ticketing and baggage areas, the north side waiting room and the metropolitan lounge.
  • Separate pick-up and drop-off areas for taxis and ride-sharing services.
  • A public plaza for the Market Street side of the station.
  • A better transit and pedestrian traffic flow around the facility.

The 30th Street Station project also will include an enhancement of the building's original Neoclassical and Art Deco architectural styles and renovations to the station's corporate offices.

"The scope of this work will transform this historic Philadelphia landmark into a modern world-class station with superior amenities, better intermodal connectivity and new customer-facing improvements over the next five years," explained Dennis Newman, Amtrak's executive vice president of planning and asset development.

Plenary Concessions Americas' executive chairperson Dale Bonner said in a statement: "We look forward to our long-term partnership with Amtrak and ensuring an improved customer experience for travelers and visitors to this historic station."

According to Railway Age, a nationwide news source, Amtrak is owner of the 30th Street Station project, while key PIP members include Toronto-based Plenary Americas, the lead developer; Gilbane Building Co., the nationally known design-builder (which maintains an office in Philadelphia); and Chicago's Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, serving as lead architect.

Located in Philadelphia's University City neighborhood, the 30th Street Station is a major stop on the Northeast Corridor and Amtrak's Harrisburg Line. The station also serves all Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Regional Rail lines, is the western terminus for New Jersey Transit's Atlantic City Line and serves several SEPTA city and suburban bus routes.

The building opened in 1933 at 2955 Market Street by the Pennsylvania Railroad and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2014, Congress passed legislation to rename the 30th Street Station in honor of Congressman William H. Gray III, who represented Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district from 1979 to 1991.




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