James Corner Field Operations Selected to Head Philadelphia Navy Yard Master Plan Update Team

by Navy Yard
April 7, 2021

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Multidisciplinary Team Includes 13 Subject Matter Expert Consultants; More Than 50% are Certified Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, in partnership with Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners (“Ensemble/Mosaic”), today announced the selection of James Corner Field Operations (“Field Operations”) to lead the master planning update process for the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Field Operations has assembled a team of 13 subject matter expert consulting firms with expertise in architecture, community planning, transportation, life sciences lab and manufacturing planning, survey and engineering, housing affordability and inclusive retail infrastructure, LEED/sustainability, welcoming public spaces, and arts-based engagement. (See complete list, below.) The plan, which will be an update and expansion of the initial master plan developed in 2004 and updated in 2013, is expected to be released in the spring of 2022.

New Mustin District will be focused on life sciences, commercial, office, and residential. Buildings are organized around pockets of green space and public recreation trails. Credit: DIGSAU

The RFP process for the selection of this master planning team was highly competitive, with  33 local, national, and international teams applying and seven making it to the interview phase. This robust response underscores the excitement and interest of the next phase of development at the Navy Yard.  Teams were required to demonstrate experience with projects of similar type and scale, a dynamic vision for a successful mixed-use campus, and a high level of commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Field Operations brings a fresh, creative, and inclusive approach that will drive an ambitious plan for new development at the Navy Yard. The entire Field Operations team is deeply committed to creating a campus that preserves the Navy Yard’s unique identity, accelerates diverse business growth and job creation, and creates a dynamic new residential community with a compelling array of inclusive public spaces and amenities,” said Kate McNamara, Senior Vice President, PIDC.

“Their experience, including designing Central Green, which is the park in the heart of the Navy Yard; the Race Street Pier, and many other public-private spaces gives us total confidence. We are thrilled to congratulate them,” McNamara concluded.

Just over 50% of the contract will be performed by certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MBE/WBE) with specialized expertise in key elements of the master plan, and nearly all have a local presence in the Philadelphia region. Field Operations was founded in Philadelphia, and has offices in New York, San Francisco, London, and Shenzhen, China.

“We are excited to have been selected to lead this diverse team and the planning of the next phase of development in the Navy Yard,” said James Corner, Founder and CEO of Field Operations. “It is an opportunity to weave together the Navy Yard’s diverse offerings into a powerful vision for its future. With new residential and retail development, we imagine the Navy Yard as a place that prioritizes both people and the environment – a place that connects with its surrounding communities and provides space for future building projects – a new cohesive neighborhood with an extraordinary public realm.”

The RFP, which was released on January 5, was expansive and comprehensive. It covered a large physical area, including the Navy Yard’s first residential development, and addressed a variety of technical planning challenges such as transit accessibility, infrastructure, parking and transportation, energy and sustainability, and space planning for highly specific needs such as life sciences, and economic development.

“The RFP itself and the selection process were critical to ensure we engaged with a team that will create a dynamic, feasible and inclusive Master Plan,” said Brian Cohen, Senior Vice President, Regional Director – East for Ensemble. “What we are designing is the future of work, especially in light of what it means to work on a campus of this size post-pandemic. Equally important is how the spaces outside the buildings will connect the campus and be used by the people who live, work, and visit. We are thrilled to create this collective vision with the Field Operations team which will guide the development of the Navy Yard deep into the 21st century.”

The master plan update will communicate not only what will be in the Navy Yard but how people will get to it, and once there, how they can make the best use of the campus.

“The Navy Yard is a microcosm of Philadelphia, and we are focused on making sure every aspect is welcoming, accessible and engaging,” said Greg Reaves, Co-Founder and Owner of Mosaic. “From retail and residential to activities and public events, we are redefining ‘work-live-play’ for years to come.”

This master plan update will reflect development that has occurred since the 2013 Navy Yard Master Plan Update, as well as incorporate and refine Ensemble/Mosaic’s conceptual plan for a new mixed-use program on 109 acres, including the first residential development at the Navy Yard.  The update will also include creative planning for PIDC-controlled sites, important common areas of the Navy Yard including the Broad Street gate, and public spaces and amenities.

Efficient, sustainable infrastructure, multimodal transportation, and energy distribution systems will be critical components of the plan. The master plan update is expected to integrate each of these important features into a compelling and achievable framework that positions the Navy Yard to deliver a dynamic, expanded commercial and mixed-use campus with a distinctive, integrated sense of place that attracts businesses and creates a vibrant new multi-family residential community.

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia to Host an Inside Look – May 6

Leaders from PIDC, Ensemble/Mosaic, and Field Operations will host a discussion with the Chamber about the upcoming plans for the Navy Yard at a virtual event on Thursday, May 6, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. The event is open to the public.

Attendees will learn about the approach to further establish the Navy Yard as a world-class business destination, the Ensemble/Mosaic partnership, initial phase and conceptual designs, and the master plan update. Details and registration here: https://bit.ly/3fOVX8r

Addendum: Subject Expert Consulting Firms

Firm Role Certification
Amber Art & Design Arts-based engagement MBE (pending)
David Mason & Assoc. Civil engineering MBE
DIGSAU Architecture
Dharam Consulting Cost estimating MBE
HERA Laboratory Planners Lab planning WBE
Mdesign Consulting Housing affordability & inclusion MBE
Pennoni Assoc. Infrastructure
Re:Vision Architecture LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND)
Rodriguez Consulting Survey & civil engineering MBE
Sherwood Design Engineers Resilience & integrated systems  —
THA Consulting Structured parking MBE
Toole Design Transportation WBE
Urbane Development Community planning, workforce development MBE


About PIDC

PIDC is Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation. A non-profit founded in 1958 by the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PIDC’s mission is to spur investment, support business growth, and foster developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive growth to every corner of Philadelphia. PIDC has invested more than $16.6 billion of financing and more than 3,200 acres of land sales—which has leveraged over $29 billion in total investment and assisted in retaining and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Philadelphia. For more information about PIDC, visit www.PIDCphila.com and follow us @PIDCphila on Twitter.

About the Navy Yard

The Navy Yard is a growing community of nearly 15,000 employees and 170 employers who occupy 7.5 million square feet across a mix of property types, including office, retail, industrial, R&D, and institutional. These employers include the Urban Outfitters headquarters; GSK’s North American headquarters; Jefferson Health; life science companies such as Wuxi, Iovance, and Adaptimmune; manufacturers; corporate R&D, such as Axalta’s Global Innovation Center; critical U.S. Navy engineering centers; technology startups; and a graduate engineering, business, and research campus for Penn State University.

In addition to its proximity to a large, diverse talent pool; airport and highway access; and the ability to create customizable workplaces, the Navy Yard offers community members a range of amenities including restaurants and cafes, a riverfront greenway, free shuttle access, bikeshare, and over 20 acres of open green space. The Navy Yard is a collaborative community with curated food trucks, health and wellness programs, rotating public art installations by local and international artists, and hosts a variety of food, fitness, and philanthropic events in its parks. For more information about the Navy Yard, visit www.navyyard.org and follow us on Twitter @NavyYardPhila.

About Ensemble Real Estate Investments

Over the past 40 years, Ensemble has successfully invested and developed more than $2 billion in real estate across the United States, offering state-of-the-art property solutions in the healthcare/life science, hospitality, commercial, multi-family and mixed-use sectors. A widely respected leader in its industry, Ensemble has revolutionized the art of master planning, delivering iconic and strategically engineered facilities and beautifully preserved historic buildings—all designed to transform and inspire the communities they serve. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Ensemble has offices in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Reno. For more information, visit www.ensemble.net.

About Mosaic Development Partners

Mosaic Development Partners is a Philadelphia based, minority-certified commercial real estate development and project management company founded in 2008. Mosaic primarily focuses on ground up development and adaptive reuse of commercial properties in underserved urban communities. The company has successfully used viable, but complicated finance instruments (largely in the form of local, state, and federal loans and tax credits) to help stabilize and grow neighborhoods and create jobs. By partnering with municipalities, established developers, not-for-profit organizations and government entities, Mosaic has leveraged its investments and revitalized properties in struggling or stagnated communities. Since 2012, Mosaic and its partners have secured and invested more than $120 million in Philadelphia neighborhoods, resulting in hundreds of construction and full-time jobs, eliminating blight, and spurring additional investment in those communities.  To learn more about Mosaic, visit www.mosaicdp.com.

About James Corner Field Operations

James Corner Field Operations is a leading-edge urban design and landscape architecture practice with offices in Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Shenzhen, and London. Field Operations is renowned for strong contemporary design across a variety of project types and scales, from large urban districts and mixed-use master plans; to large parks, waterfronts and public spaces; to small well-crafted, detailed design projects. Regardless of scale, there is a special commitment to the design of a vibrant and dynamic public realm, informed by the ecology of both people and nature, rooted in place and context. Important projects include the design of Philadelphia’s Race Street Pier and the Navy Yard’s Central Green, New York’s High Line, Brooklyn’s Domino Park, Seattle’s Central Waterfront, Cleveland’s Public Square, and Chicago’s Navy Pier. For more about Field Operations, visit www.fieldoperations.net.

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