Cira Centre South, University City’s New Vertical Neighborhood


Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s most dynamic campus district, this prestigious new building redefines residential living. Cira Centre South shifts the city’s center of gravity, bridging university city housing in defining a new vertical neighborhood.

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Designed by award-winning architects Pelli Clarke Pelli and Piero Lissoni Associati, the towers’ upper 19 stories feature brand new, ultra-luxury residences offering spacious studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses with breathtaking skyline views. In addition to a roof deck and study lounge, Level 28 features lifestyle-enhancing amenities including a fitness studio, a yoga room and a secluded screening room.

Residents enjoy the close proximity to the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel, as well as best-in-class public transportation and an enviable food, arts and shopping scene. However, as with all neighborhoods, the affluent nature of the area may not be ideal for every graduate student’s budget or housing preferences. In particular, the areas of Cedar Park and Squirrel Hill have higher levels of crime than other parts of the city.

Amid the gentrification of University City, an ongoing fight over local affordable housing is playing out. Last year, IBID Associates announced plans to sell and redevelop its 69-unit University City Townhomes complex at 39th Street and Market Street, which is located in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood formerly known as Black Bottom. A local group called Save the UC Townhomes is fighting to stop those plans. The group says the development would displace low-income families who rely on federal subsidies to live in their units. A bill introduced by Councilmember Jamie Gauthier that would create an Affordable Housing Preservation Overlay District for the block of the townhomes and a portion of the surrounding blocks is pending before Philadelphia City Council.

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