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August 21, 2023

St. Joe's acquires 12-acre property, expands campus along City Avenue

A West Philly country estate and convent will be incorporated into the Jesuit university's 10-year plan for growth and renovations

Real Estate Universities
St. Joes Expansion Provided Image/St. Joe's University

St. Joe's University is expanding its campus in West Philadelphia with the acquisition of a 12-acre parcel from the Sisters of the Visitation. The university's Hawk Hill campus is shown above.

Saint Joseph's University will expand its campus with the purchase of a 12-acre property along City Avenue in West Philadelphia, where the private Jesuit college has been planning upgrades to its facilities in the years ahead.

The school has agreed to buy the land at 5848 City Ave. from the Sisters of the Visitation. St. Joe's Hawk Hill campus runs along the border between Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township. The newly acquired property is next to the Maguire-Wolfington Welcome Center and the Career Development Center at the intersection of City and Cardinal avenues.

The purchase was completed for $15 million, the Philadelphia Business Journal reportedSt. Joe's has been working on a number of renovations and new projects as part of a 10-year campus master plan it developed in 2019. 

Among the university's plans are the construction of a pedestrian underpass connecting the Philadelphia and Lower Merion sides of the campus, renovations to the Maguire Athletic Center and the O'Pake Recreation Center and a new residence hall and quad for first-year students, which is expected to begin construction later this year and should be completed by the fall of 2025. 

The new land adds to the 8.9-acre Cardinal's Residence on City Avenue that the university purchased from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for $10 million in 2012.

Last year, St. Joe's finalized its merger with the University of the Sciences. It also signed a definitive agreement this year to merge with the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences in Lancaster.

The new property St. Joe's acquired was originally developed as a country estate in the 19th century and was later converted for use as a convent. It received local historic designation in 2020 after it was nominated by the Overbrook Farms Club and the Keeping Society of Philadelphia.

A St. Joe's spokesperson told the Philadelphia Business Journal the university plans to incorporate the new land into its campus master plan.