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Project Profile: The Park at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A rendering of the park along the Delaware River.

Source: Credit to ©Hargreaves Jones Associates, courtesy of Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Project Name

The Park at Penn's Landing


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryValue Capture

Value Capture Techniques

Private Contribution & Right-of-Way Use Agreements


Highway, Pedestrian / Bicycle / Light Rail Transit


The Park's Landing vision began with a master plan for the Central Delaware region in 2011. The City of Philadelphia completed a $10 million study on the project in 2016, and in 2017, Mayor Jim Kenney proposed a $90 million budget to fund capping Interstate 95 (I-95), which would include covering the highway with 11.5 acres of green space. The park will stretch from Front Street to the Delaware River and Chestnut to Walnut Streets, connecting the City of Philadelphia to the waterfront. It will include a 2-mile extension to the Delaware River Trail from Spring Garden Street to Washington Avenue and extend the South Street Bridge to connect pedestrians with the waterfront. The park will include a new skating rink, water features, a café, play areas, accessibility to public transit, and food trucks.

On top of the City's contribution, State and private donors will contribute an additional $225 million for the project. In 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the William Penn Foundation agreed to contribute $100 million and $15 million, respectively. The project's first work began in 2017 when Philadelphia's waterfront manager removed concrete highway ramps between Market and Chestnut Streets.

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation selected the Durst Organization as the lead developer. Design, permitting, and construction documents are scheduled for completion in 2021.

The new park is slated to break ground in 2021. It will incorporate several elevation changes, crossing over I-95 and Columbus Boulevard, connecting to Walnut and Chestnut Streets, and descending to the river's edge. Its design will allow for solid interaction with new private development at its northern and southern edges and accommodate street traffic, surface transit, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The tilted portion of the park is expected to accommodate structured parking below the park surface. Once the park is completed, it is expected to generate $1.6 billion in revenue for the City, local school district, and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


$225 million

Funding Sources

  • $90 million - City of Philadelphia
  • $100 million - Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
  • $15 million - William Penn Foundation
  • Other Sources: Federal Highway Administration, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Project Delivery / Contract Method


Private Partner

  • The Durst Organization (Project Developer)
  • Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (Architect/Master Planner)
  • Hargreaves Jones (Landscape Architect)
  • Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) (Architect/Master Planner)

Project Advisors / Consultants

  • Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Consultant Team:
    • PennPraxis
    • Little Giant Creative
    • Make the World Better Foundation
    • SEAMAAC (Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition)
    • Village of Arts and Humanities
    • Knight Foundation
  • Penn's Landing Community Partners:
    • Republic Family of Companies
    • Keystone Property Group
    • Hersha Hotels & Resorts
    • Parkway Development
    • Toll Brothers
  • Lomax Real Estate Partners
  • Norman Mineta (Transportation & Infrastructure Financing Consultant)
  • Duane Morris (Liaison for Infrastructure Finance)
  • WRT (Master Planner/Architect)
  • Hassel (Master Planner/Architect)



Duration / Status

Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2021 and will be completed by 2024. While the Park at Penn's Landing was initially included in the master plan for the region in 2011, a study on the project was conducted in 2016. It received a financial boost with funding from the City, PennDOT, and the William Penn Foundation in 2017, which is also when construction on the project got underway. The new green space is scheduled to open in 2024.

Financial Status/Financial Performance

Of the $225 million it will cost to construct the park, the City contributed $90 million. PennDOT and the William Penn Foundation donated $100 million and $15 million, respectively. Upon completion, the park is expected to generate $1.6 billion in revenue for the City, school district, and Commonwealth.


  • Provide strong interaction with new private development at its northern and southern edges and accommodate street traffic, surface transit, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Expect to generate approximately $1.6 billion of new revenues benefiting the City, School District, and Commonwealth.
  • Create and sustain 1,850 permanent on- and off-site jobs, and will generate ongoing, annual tax revenues to the City of $35 million (including at least $9M for the School District of Philadelphia) and to the Commonwealth of $21 million.
  • Integrate of parks and other public spaces, high standards of sustainability, mixed-income housing, community engagement, and leveraging the project itself in a major way to expand economic opportunity for traditionally disadvantaged communities.
  • Connect the Old City neighborhood and the Delaware River. Connect the Old City neighborhood and the Delaware River. Construction of the interstate in the 1970s severed much of the Old City neighborhood's access to the river and displaced many residents and businesses
  • Require no subsidy from the taxpayers.
  • Create a total one-time economic output of $3.9 billion in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and support over 28,000 construction and construction-related full-time equivalent jobs resulting in nearly $2 billion of new wages for worker support for over 28,000 construction and construction-related full-time equivalent jobs.
  • Create a partnership with a minority-owned firm for up to 20 percent of the project.
  • Leverage the $225 million investment that the public sector and philanthropic leaders have already dedicated to create a substantial and inclusive new public park at Penn's Landing.

Related Links / Articles


Karen Thompson
Director of Planning, DRWC
(215) 922-2386

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