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New High-Rise To Replace Catholic Student Center In University City

The Newman Center in University City, Philadelphia, as of August

Another high-rise apartment building could be coming to University City.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is under contract to sell the plot of land at 3720 Chestnut St., the current site of Catholic student services building the Newman Center, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. In an email to Newman Center reporters obtained by the Inquirer, the Rev. Charles Keen named the buyer as EPG Urban LLC, which is an affiliate of Conshohocken-based Exeter Property Group.

Keen described EPG's plans for the quarter-acre plot of land on which the 9,800 SF Newman Center sits as a high-rise apartment building with ground-floor retail. The Newman Center itself will use the proceeds of the sale — the terms of which were not disclosed — to relocate its services around the corner to the basement of the St. Agatha-St. James Parish church and school building on 111 38th St.

Those sale proceeds will also go toward renovating the building for use by the Newman Center. The University of Pennsylvania rents space in the building for classes, but the archdiocese will not allow it to renew its lease.

Redevelopment of the future Newman Center location will begin in 2019 when Penn moves out, according to the Inquirer. Ahead of that date, the basement will be redone to accommodate part of the Newman Center.

The Inquirer reports that part of the sale proceeds will also go toward shoring up the archdiocese's finances. It might use some of that funding for its planned development of land surrounding the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Logan Square.