Amtrak has finalized the terms of a lease and development agreement for Philadelphia’s landmark William H. Gray III 30th Street Station.
Under the deal, Plenary Infrastructure Philadelphia (PIP) is responsible for restoring and renovating the historic building, as well as for financing the improvements and maintaining the station for 50 years, Amtrak announced on Sept. 15.
While refurbishing the building, PIP will also add retail space and renovate office space above the station. The work will maintain the station’s Neoclassical and Art Deco design elements, according to Amtrak. PIP will also modernize the station’s back-of-house facilities to accommodate a projected increased ridership.
Amtrak announced PIP as its partner for the redevelopment project last year. The PIP team includes Plenary Americas as its lead developer, plus design-build lead Gilbane Building Co., facility operations and maintenance by Johnson Controls Inc. and concessions managed by Vantage Airport Group.
PIP took over operations and maintenance effective Sept. 1. Construction is slated to start in 2022 and expected to be done in 2025.
On National Register of Historic Places
The eight-story building first opened in 1933 for the Pennsylvania Railroad and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Amtrak says Gray is its third-busiest station, also serving regional transit service from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and NJ Transit.
“This important milestone in the Gray 30th Street Station Redevelopment Project is part of Amtrak’s overall strategy to enhance the customer experience and operations at our major stations,” Dennis Newman, Amtrak's executive vice president of planning and asset development, said in a statement. “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.”
The deal with PIP is part of the larger Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan, a 2016 master plan aimed at redeveloping the area around the station in Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood and across the Schuylkill River. The principals on the project include Amtrak, as well as SEPTA, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust.
Other projects connected to the plan so far include improvements to SEPTA’s 30th Street subway and trolley station and a study looking at possible modifications to a local I-76 ramp and surrounding streets.
The last major renovation at 30th Street Station was a $75-million project conducted from 1988 to 1991.