New 24 Story Drexel Student Housing; Lancaster Square

Drexel University continues to expand developing the northern fringes of University City into a world class "live- work- lean" community.  The university plans to enroll 9000 new students, some of which will be online and through satellite campuses in the suburbs, but many of those students will be in need of housing on Drexel's main campus.  Drexel is planning a 24-story residential mixed use tower at 34th and Lancaster in Powelton Village.  The project would offer roughly 1,300 beds in about 350 suites for students.  It would include modern amenities such as private bathrooms, and have first-floor retail space catering to community residents.

The project, known all Lancaster Square, designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architects out of Chicago, will be developed by American Campus Communities, which also built Chestnut Square.  It is part of the University's plan to bring students out of residential neighborhoods in Powelton Village and Mantua.  The Powelton Village Civic Association is concerned that the $165 million project still won't be enough to meet the demands as Drexel's enrollment climbs.

Images Courtesy of SBC

The project still needs approval from the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment because it exceeds the maximum density permitted at the site and contains less open space than is required.  This opposition may be in the end good for the university and the community, encouraging the University to develop the acres of parking lots along JFK and the current site of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.  There is plenty of land there to house thousands of student, create open space, and house additional educational and hospitality facilities.


  1. Such type of investment will prove to be very helpful to the students in search of housing..

  2. Student housing has always been a problem in the PA real estate industry. Hopefully this helps solve that issue! For housing & condo listings, check out phillyliving.com! Cheers.