The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has begun an extensive review of its real estate needs in Philadelphia and the suburbs that could mean constructing new buildings and expanding its regional footprint.
The hospital has retained Cushman & Wakefield and Catalyst Real Estate to explore its options for housing its vast administrative and clinical research needs. ...In Philadelphia, CHOP is seeking 400,000 square feet of office space and possibly up to 500,000. The space would accommodate its corporate administrative functions and clinical research department. Those operations are currently in 226,000 square feet at 3535 Market St. in University City and 174,000 in the Wanamaker building in the Central Business District...The hospital has also asked real estate developers to offer proposals to construct a 400,000-square-foot office building at the former John F. Kennedy Center on Schuylkill Avenue in Philadelphia. Two months ago, CHOP bought the 700,000-square-foot facility, which is basically “deteriorating shell space” and would potentially be razed to make room for a modern building, said John McDonough, vice president of facilities at CHOP.
In the King of Prussia area, CHOP is looking for 100,000 to 125,000 square feet of space with room to expand...The hospital currently occupies a total of 70,000 square feet between two buildings in King of Prussia for its specialty-care operations. The two buildings — one on Mall Boulevard and the other on Pulaski Drive — are limited in their ability to expand. CHOP has outgrown them...One option would be to develop new facilities on the former 126-acre Valley Forge Golf Course along North Gulph Road where Realen Properties had envisioned a mega-mixed-use residential, retail and entertainment development called the Village at Valley Forge. CHOP could kick off the development, which has been stalled because of the recession and changes in the retail industry. That property would also give it plenty of extra ground for future growth.
CHOP has plenty of options downtown...“Like any large back-office user that draws from the Greater Philadelphia region, there’s a desire for access to public transit, there’s a desire from some for closer proximity to its main campus,” Garvey said. “That’s not a ‘must have’ but a ‘nice to have.’ At the end of the day, the goal is to get a good solution that’s economically responsible and meets their needs.”..CHOP’s president and CEO, said in previous interviews the expansion efforts are a response to the hospital caring for more patients from outside the region, and outside the country, who come to CHOP with complex medical conditions...While renewing in space where it currently occupies, relocating, buying a building if one was suitable, or constructing 400,000 square feet on the JFK site are all in the mix, CHOP could also be an anchor tenant for Brandywine Realty Trust’s Cira South or other Cira buildings
, setting in motion the construction of more office buildings in and around 30th Street Station.
We haven’t ruled anything out yet,” Garvey said, and McDonough added that “all options” will be explored. Depending on its growth, CHOP could need more than 500,000 square feet for its administrative and clinical research departments in just five years.