The former military base now hosts over 150 companies with over 12,000 employees, which includes many high profile corporate and regional headquarters. While there is still work to be done (the addition of another 1.3 million square feet, 10,000 jobs, and 1,000 multifamily residential units), it’s clear that this transformation will not only have economic impacts, but will put the Navy Yard on the map as a “hip” part of town.
Upon driving in, a visitor immediately sees magnificent and imposing navy warships—the site remains a reserve basin for retired vessels. Beyond that, there is turn-of-the-20th-century historic architecture along with suburban-style glass office buildings. There is a waterfront plus a park featuring hammocks and Ping-Pong tables. There is the ambiance of an academic campus, thanks to buildings with odd shapes, large open spaces, and people walking on sidewalks.
“The style there is a little edgy and cool,” Jerry Roller, ULI Philadelphia member and principal of Philadelphia’s JKRP Architects, told ULI. “The world of business is focused on trying to attract the millennials. They’re looking for hip and cool, and the architecture there definitely helps.”
Want to learn more? ULI Spring’s tour of the Navy Yard still has a few spots left!