West Philly Waterfront project announced to connect University City and Center City

30th Street Station and the area around it is known for a lot of car and foot traffic. And it’s about to get even busier with what’s being called a public plaza with a pool.

"Access to a public park and services sounds great," said Krista Campbell. But one look at the renderings and one can see it’s much more elaborate than that. It will also include a natural beach covered entertainment venue, a promenade with access to food trucks and rideshares.

"I think that will be really cool. I would use it," said Campbell.

The University City District calls it the new West Philly Waterfront. It’s a 2.4 square mile stretch of public space. Two decks built above and to the west of the Schuylkill River will connect University City and Center City.

Artist renderings of plans for University City.

"It’s a good area, right by the river," said Vincent Fallon. He and Victoria Subritzkykatz are interested because it will be a public space.

"You want everyone to feel free to use it. You don’t want it to feel exclusive or just for a certain class of people who live in these apartments right here," said Fallon.

"I don’t know the pitfalls of the project, if it’s necessarily the best use of the city’s resources or if there’s maybe other areas that can benefit from it more. But I think it’s a great concept," said Subritzkykatz.

The UCD, a special services non-profit is behind the project and will maintain it. In the press release they say, "Amenity-rich cities draw talent and investment and signal to the world that they are ready to compete for jobs and wealth-building in a global economy."

Campbell has one possible concern.

"Maybe noise. I’d say there aren’t many residential things other than these big buildings, maybe over by Fitler Square. So, noise.

"That’s the big one," she said.

The project still needs engineering and design approvals plus years of community engagement before construction can begin.