Redevelopment Project to Enhance, Preserve and Modernize Historic Philadelphia Train Station
PHILADELPHIA – A new era of passenger rail has officially launched in Philadelphia. Amtrak officials gathered today with federal, state and local representatives along with other community leaders to celebrate the construction kickoff for major renovations at William H. Gray III 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.
In 2016, in partnership with Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Amtrak developed a comprehensive vision to serve as a roadmap for the improvement and development of Gray 30th Street Station and the surrounding district. This project is part of the first phase of the District Plan.
“This large-scale restoration and renovation project will enhance the station’s functionality and improve the customer experience for Amtrak, SEPTA and NJ TRANSIT customers, while preserving this iconic Philadelphia landmark for future generations,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President, Business Transformation and Chief Financial Officer, Tracie Winbigler. “Additionally, this station transformation will improve Market Street Plaza, expand retail offerings and provide other benefits to the local community.”
Amtrak has partnered with the Plenary Infrastructure Philadelphia (PIP) as the master developer whose responsibility it is to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the station improvements for 50 years as part of a public-private partnership (P3) agreement. Key contractors currently performing various portions of its work include Gilbane Building Company as design-build lead, Johnson Controls Inc. for facility operations and maintenance, and Vantage Airport Group for concessions development and management. The project has an estimated capital construction value of $550 million with major elements of the station restoration and renovation to include:
- modernizing and expanding station food & beverage and retail offerings
- improving station operations and enhancing the customer experience
- upgrading The Porch landscaping and community amenities
- modernizing Amtrak corporate offices
- enhancing building infrastructure to achieve and maintain a state of good repair
PIP equity sponsor, Plenary Americas, LP, will also be investing $2.5 million into a community impact fund dedicated to supporting career development and small business growth aspirations of women, people of color, and individuals of under-represented groups in West Philadelphia and throughout the City. The first grants will be provided to worker training programs run by the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council (Samuel Staten Sr. Pre-Apprenticeship Program) and Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region (WINC, Women in Non-traditional Careers).
Additionally, The Enterprise Center will receive a grant to support their ongoing efforts to promote racial and economic equity by providing access to capital to small businesses, and grants will be made to other local small business advocates including the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA/DE/NJ, Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council, and Women Business Enterprise Council East.
Train operations will continue as normal, but customers should allot extra time to access boarding platforms due to construction activities. Changes to pedestrian paths were implemented last fall and will remain in effect.
Elevator and escalator work will begin in January 2024. Additional construction phases will continue through 2027. The station’s South Concourse closed for major construction on January 1, 2024, and is expected to reopen in Summer 2025. Now through the completion of South Concourse construction in 2025, concessions kiosks will be installed in the station’s main concourse. These temporary offerings will supplement existing retail not impacted by this construction. Concession locations in the SEPTA concourse and rental car facilities will remain open with concession kiosks on the main concourse including:
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Hudson News
- Pret A Manger
Plenary Americas, LP – Developer Equity Sponsor
“The Plenary Infrastructure Philadelphia team is proud to be celebrating the start of construction on the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station Redevelopment Project. I am also excited to announce a $2.5 million commitment to invest in local community and economic development efforts. Through a community impact fund, Plenary Americas, LP will support community groups dedicated to reducing poverty through job training and skill-building, small business growth, youth education and other community-building programs,” said Brian Budden, President and CEO of Plenary Americas, LP. “We look forward to our ongoing partnership with Amtrak and our collaboration with key stakeholders and community organizations as we deliver improvements to this historic station.”
Gilbane Building Company – Lead Design-Builder
“The redevelopment of the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station is a landmark project for the Philadelphia community,” said Shawn Carlin, senior vice president and Philadelphia business leader at Gilbane Building Company. “As the design-builder, we’ve worked with our design partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), over the last nearly 30 months to thoughtfully develop a design and phased construction approach that will transform the station into a world-class transportation hub while minimizing disruptions to ongoing operations. Today, we’re excited to mark the start of this historic modernization.”
Vantage Airport Group (Vantage) – Concessions Developer & Manager
“We are thrilled to celebrate today’s milestone with Amtrak and our consortium partners,” said Sammy Patel, Vice President, Commercial, Vantage. “Our goal is to create a modernized guest experience that offers high-quality retail and food & beverage options for passengers, employees, and all Philadelphians alike. The station’s new commercial program will have something for everyone, from quick service and sit-down dining to grab & go, travel & convenience, and specialty retail.”