Vue32 Officially Opens in University City

The mixed-use development brings much needed housing and childcare to the community

The Harman Group is pleased to announce the grand opening of Vue32 in University City. The 176,000-square foot, 16-story residential tower and mixed-use development caters to Drexel faculty, staff, and graduate students, as well as non-Drexel professionals living in the area. The development meets one of the tenets of Drexel’s master plan to reduce the pressure on off-campus housing in Powelton Village.

The residential tower at 32nd and Race Street offers 164 junior one-and two-bedroom apartments, as well as a three-bedroom apartment on the top floor. The units all feature nine-foot ceilings and full-height windows that provide sweeping views of the Philadelphia skyline. The development has many community amenities, including a roof-top deck with outdoor cooking facilities, a community room with a full kitchen, a billiards and game room, a conference room, a fitness center, and a secure parking garage under the building. The facility is located just 10 minutes away from Fairmount Park and the Parkway Museum District, and is also near the 30th Street Station transportation hub.

The most anticipated amenity is the Nobel Learning Communities preschool, Chesterbrook Academy. Nobel Learning Communities is the fifth-largest private childcare organization in the country. The preschool, which will accept up to 180 students from six weeks through six years of age, opened in September and provides much sought-after childcare to the larger Drexel and Powelton Village community.

The Harman Group provided structural engineering and parking planning and design services on the project. Radnor Property Group is developing the project at no cost to Drexel University, and will lease the property on their behalf. Erdy McHenry Architecture designed the building, which was made to be taller and angled slightly east in order to minimize the impact on Center City views from the neighborhood as well as prevent shadows on a neighboring community garden.

Ownership and the design team worked closely with the neighborhood and the Powelton Village Civic Association to accommodate their requests. One of the most important requirements was that there should be no visible parking. The developer arranged for there to be 39 parking spaces, which The Harman Group designed below grade.

“The parking structure was relatively small, so putting it underground was an easy fix to the neighborhood’s request,” said Janis Vacca, vice president and principal at The Harman Group. “The lot’s downhill slope allowed us to keep the ground-floor plaza level while also allowing for an at-grade entrance to the parking garage on 32nd Street.”

The second phase of the project, which broke ground in November 2017, will also bring 12 two-bedroom condos to the development as part of Drexel’s plan to encourage faculty and staff home-ownership in the area. Construction is slated to be completed in November 2018.