PHILADELPHIA — SkyREM has unveiled plans to redevelop Philadelphia’s historic Quartermaster site into the Quartermaster Science + Technology Park, a $250 million life sciences project. The development will include wet and dry lab space for both life sciences startups and established companies to conduct full-scale research and development, and bio-manufacturing. Plans also call for retail and restaurant space, a hotel and other amenities.
Named the Schuylkill Arsenal when it was first built in 1800, the Quartermaster site provided the U.S. military with supplies and outfitted the Lewis and Clark expedition. Around the time of World War I, the facility was expanded to meet demand for uniforms and gear and was renamed Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot. The campus was again expanded during World War II.
The clothing factory at the Quartermaster site officially closed in 1994 after operations were transferred to Northeast Philadelphia. The demolition of five original World War I warehouses took place in 1999. SkyREM purchased the campus in 2001 and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. Currently, the property serves as the headquarters for Indego bicycle transit and is home to other tenants in the healthcare and security sectors.
The Quartermaster Science + Technology Park will span 24 acres with six acres of green space. There will be six buildings for a total of 1 million square feet. An Aldi supermarket is scheduled to open on the property this quarter.
Gas and water upgrades to all buildings are currently being completed. The buildings will be Energy Star and LEED certified. SkyREM’s renewable energy subsidiary, SKY Power, is in the planning stage to construct rooftop solar panels to produce nearly all electrical power for the development.
SkyREM is a real estate investor, owner and developer with a portfolio of 25 properties across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Southeast regions, according to the company’s website. The firm maintains corporate offices in New York City and Philadelphia.
Scheer Partners Inc., a full-service commercial real estate firm with an office in Philadelphia, is leading the life sciences and technology leasing for the project as well as marketing. MPN Realty, a brokerage firm in the greater Philadelphia area, is the retail broker. SkyREM is also working closely with FIFTEEN, an architectural firm experienced in the life sciences sector.
Leasing efforts are underway. The project currently has 500,000 square feet of vacant space for life sciences and technology companies, including availabilities as small as 1,000 square feet and as large as 250,000 square feet. On the retail side, 150,000 square feet is available for lease. A timeline for full buildout was not provided.
— Kristin Harlow