June 27, 2017
Brandywine Realty Trust, the developer behind the $3.5 billion project that is Schuylkill Yards, announced Tuesday it would dedicate $5.6 million of its budget for West Philadelphia developments, including $3.1 million for affordable housing.
The funds promise to create housing and business opportunities for the area and offer one solution for avoiding the gentrification trap as Brandywine attempts to transform Drexel University into a technological innovation hub. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Schuylkill Yards developments could take 15 to 20 years to complete and will encompass a significant portion of West Philadelphia.
According to Curbed, this commitment is the largest of its kind in Philadelphia. In addition to the $3.1 million allocated for affordable housing, $500,000 will be used for what Brandywine is calling the Grow Philadelphia Capital Fund. The funds help start a partnership with The Enterprise Center and small, local, minority business growth.
“The Brandywine Realty Trust initiative has the power to enact real change for minority small businesses,” Della Clark, president of The Enterprise Center, told the Philadelphia Business Journal. “When our local minority businesses have access to both capital and procurement opportunities, it drives growth and helps create local jobs.”
Schuylkill Yards is scheduled to begin breaking ground on phase one – a 1.3-acre park and a building renovation – this summer.