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Philadelphia Navy Yard Updates Master Plan For First Time, Making Way For 8.9M SF Of New Development

Philadelphia's Navy Yard has a new master plan for the first time since 2013, and it calls for nearly 9M SF of new development worth as much as $6B over the next 20 years.

A conceptual rendering of commercial and residential buildings to be developed along a riverside promenade in the Waterfront District portion of Ensemble/Mosaic's master plan for the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The master-plan update was released on Tuesday at an event that also celebrated early milestones in master-developer Ensemble/Mosaic's bar-setting diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the Navy Yard. After PIDC awarded the joint venture of Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners development rights for 109 acres of the Navy Yard, Ensemble/Mosaic chose James Corner Field Operations to design the master plan for its development efforts through a competitive request for proposals process.

The 20-year plan calls for a total of nearly 4M SF of multifamily development, 2.8M SF of office and lab space, 1.5M SF of life sciences manufacturing, 440K SF of hospitality, 235K SF of retail and small-scale maker space, and 1.6M SF of open, public or landscaped space.

Of the $6B in anticipated spending on development, Ensemble/Mosaic expects to be responsible for about $4.8B, the announcement stated. The JV brought in Canadian institutional investor Oxford Properties Group in March as an equity partner to finance construction.

The master plan divides the Navy Yard into six sectors: the Gateway District, Shipyard District, Greenway District, Waterfront District, Corporate Center and Historic Core. The Historic Core and Waterfront District will contain all of the residential square footage, with a total of 3,900 units planned between them.

The Historic Core, which includes several historically protected buildings currently in use as creative offices for the likes of Urban Outfitters, will be the site of the first residential buildings since Navy officers lived at military housing on-site.

An aerial rendering of planned developments for the eastern end of the 109 acres Ensemble/Mosaic is developing at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, including residential, office, hotel and life sciences uses.

The first two buildings Ensemble/Mosaic is developing as part of its master plan were announced last year: a lab building and a Current Good Manufacturing Practices-level bioprocessing facility, both around 130K SF and both to be built on speculation within the Corporate Center sector. The lab building, 1201 Normandy Place, broke ground in March and is scheduled to be complete in the middle of next year.

The Gateway and Greenway Districts will contain the bulk of the biomanufacturing capability planned by Ensemble/Mosaic, as well as Gattuso Development Corp.'s speculative, under-construction building at 2500 League Island Blvd., which is unaffiliated with the master plan but sits within the Gateway District.

The Shipyard District is still occupied by users in the namesake industry, including the U.S. Navy, and Ensemble/Mosaic is planning only infrastructure improvements around the edges.

At the announcement ceremony, Ensemble/Mosaic also celebrated the first graduating class of the Navy Yard Skills Initiative, a workforce development co-launched by PIDC with the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative in 2020. Nearly all of the inaugural class's 64 graduates have jobs lined up with Navy Yard tenants, and future classes will have training more specifically tailored to life sciences jobs.

The event was attended by Mayor Jim Kenney, other elected and unelected officials, principals from Ensemble/Mosaic and representatives from many of the companies already based in the Navy Yard.