Pennovation Works

The Pennovation Works is a University of Pennsylvania real estate asset, located along the Schuylkill River at the intersection of 34th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue. This 23-acre former heavy industrial site offers the opportunity to accommodate a variety of uses that support the research and entrepreneurial mission of both University clients and third-party commercial tenants.  For complete information visit the Pennovation Works website.

Site and Development Plan

Pennovation Works located near Center City, University City

Pennovation Works is in a highly visible location that is well connected to the region, Center City, and University City.  It is envisioned to become a keystone in the emerging Lower Schuylkill Innovation District.  Recent investments in open space trails have connected the site to the Schuylkill River with dedicated public access and riverside amenities.

The site, and surroundings, are industrial in character and contain a range of buildings, from wide-span warehouse facilities to an advanced research laboratory. The development plan articulates a phased approach, with initial activity focused on constructing light industrial and flex-use buildings.  Landscaping for the entire Pennovation Works site will include stormwater management techniques, increased connections between buildings, and access to the Schuylkill River trails.

Phase I Design and Development

Pennovation Works, aerial

This first phase of development at the Pennovation Works is a $37.5 million investment by Penn and includes the Pennovation Center, site landscaping, and infrastructure improvements, along with signage and branding. The site planning calls for the design of the Pennovation Plaza and surrounding landscape which establishes a connection from the perimeter inward and forms a central active outdoor hub for tenants, as well as an instrumented, outdoor robotics lab. 

The creative design team which has collaborated with Penn on the project includes HWKN, design architect; KSS Architects, architect of record; landscape architects Land Collective; and graphic design consultants Bruce Mau Design.

Completion of the Pennovation Center and the first phase of the Pennovation Works site improvements took place in the summer of 2016 with Penn Engineering taking its third-floor Pennovation Center space (PERCH - Penn Engineering Research and Collaboration Hub) in the spring of 2016.

Pennovation Center

Pennovation Works is anchored by the Pennovation Center

The Pennovation Works is anchored by the Pennovation Center, a business incubator and laboratory that aligns and integrates researchers and entrepreneurs for the translation of basic research into products, services, and new business ventures.  The 58,000 sq. ft. facility houses two floors of co-working space designed to support individual entrepreneurs and startups from the University and the private sector seeking affordable and flexible office space. The Center creates and hosts workshops, programs, and professional-development resources for this community. These floors include wet and dry labs with shared lab-support equipment, meeting rooms, and social areas. The third floor is occupied by the Penn Engineering Research and Collaboration Hub (PERCH),integrating computer science and electrical, mechanical, and systems engineering.

Tenants and Leasing

Tenants and Leasing at Pennovation Works

Pennovation Works has been attracting tenants to the space since 2010 through the adaptive use of existing buildings and some new construction, including those listed on the Innovators section of the Pennovation Works website.

Pennovation Works in the News

The Pennovation Works and Pennovation Center have attracted coverage from local, national, and international news outlets, including major metropolitan newspapers and trade publications. Highlights of this coverage may be found in the News section of the Pennovation Works website.