Dorm high-rise puts Penn, Drexel above East Coast rivals

Posted: February 09, 2013

Where does the $158 million, 33-story high-rise planned for 850 University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University students on Chestnut Street in the planned Cira South development stand among the East Coast's tallest college dorms?

Boston University boasts a landmark 26-story tower with spectacular views. Penn's three brutalist 25-story undergrad dorms have anchored "Superblock" since the 1970s. Temple's new Morgan building dominates the view to Center City with 21 stories rising above North Philadelphia.

The newly started building, Grove at Cira South, is taller. Brandywine Realty Trust and Charlotte, N.C.-based Crest Campus Communities are cooperating on the project, where single rooms will start above $1,300 a month, with a pool, a fitness club, and other sweeteners.

This project is a homecoming for Crest chief Ted Rollins, son of the late business mogul John Rollins, who defied the du Ponts to build the tallest office tower near Wilmington.

"As a kid, my grandmother would take me to Philly," Rollins said. "I'd look up and see the high-rises and think, 'Wouldn't it be great to build one someday?' "

Crest knows campus housing. Brandywine's job is supplying the high-rise and Philly know-how: It's become Center City's leading office landlord, though apartments are paying better than new offices at the moment.


Contact Joseph N. DiStefano at 215-854-5194, JoeD@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @PhillyJoeD.

|
|
|
|
|