The Philadelphia Navy Yard could see nearly 9 million sq ft of new development during the next two decades, according to the latest master plan for the former naval base and shipyard located south of the city.

According to the plan released in late June by Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC), the city’s manager of the former federal property and site master developer, and the Ensemble Real Estate Investments/Mosaic Development Partners joint venture development team, life sciences facilities will make up nearly half of the planned $6-billion buildout, with 4.3 million sq ft of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) space designated for pharmaceutical operations, laboratories and office space.

Work on update of the plan, which dates to 2004, began last year

Eyeing LEED Gold Neighborhood Development certification, the plan also calls for a 109-acre mixed-use development that will include 3,900 apartments and 235,000 sq ft of retail and makerspace; expansion and preservation of open space and build-out of the waterfront area. Infrastructure improvements include raising portions of the site at risk of flooding, installing new stormwater upgrades such as canals and swales; and using dry ponds, green roofs and landscaping to increase resilience across the property.

Constructed to augment existing shipbuilding facilities following the Civil War, the 1,200 acre site operated for more than a century before closing in 1996. Four years later, PIDC acquired control of most of the property on behalf of the city. Since then, it says, the Navy Yard has been gradually transformed into a business community with 7.5 million sq ft of office, industrial/manufacturing, and research and development space.

Current projects under construction at the Navy Yard include 2500 League Island Boulevard, a 130,000-sq-ft life science facility being built by Blue Bell, Pa.-based Penntex Construction, and scheduled for completion at the end of the year. In March, ground was broken on 1201 Normandy Place, a four-story, 137,000-sq-ft speculative multi-tenant R&D laboratory and office building. LF Driscoll, Cynwyd, Pa., and Pride Enterprises Inc., Norristown, Pa., have teamed to manage construction.

PIDC will also begin reconstruction this summer of a portion of Broad Street, also called the “quay wall." The estimated $19-million complex project being built by James J. Anderson Construction Co. Inc. has been in planning and procurement for several years and will take about 12 months to complete.