The Philadelphia Zoo Continues its Transformation with a New Parking Garage, Landscaping, and Traffic Signaling and Lighting

PHILADELPHIA – April 5, 2013 – The Philadelphia Zoo’s transformation of the Philadelphia Zoo continues as it unveils The the Centennial District Intermodal Transportation Center, a project that will improve the visitor experience at the Zoo with the opening today of a new parking garage today, and the addition of new sustainable landscaping and dramatically improved streetscape lighting and traffic signaling.

The project includes a 4-story 683- space parking garage, and lighting, traffic and landscaping improvements in and around 34th Street, Zoo Drive and Girard Avenue. Developments will make the area safer for pedestrians and vehicles, while improving traffic flow and easing parking issues.

At the press conference today to open the new transportation center, Zoo President Vikram Dewan was joined by Philadelphia Zoo Board Chairman Jerry Calvert; Barry Schoch, Secretary of Transportation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Congressman Chaka Fattah; Senator Dominic Pileggi; Senator Vincent Hughes; Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell; and Jim Maddy, President & CEO, Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“The visitor experience at the Zoo is changing in more ways than one, and one of the pillars of our transformation is today’s opening of the Centennial District Intermodal Transportation Center,” said Philadelphia Zoo CEO, Vikram Dewan. “These changes will dramatically improve traffic flow in the area and ensure our guests’ time here will be enjoyable from the moment they arrive.”

The $24 million project is one of the Zoo’s largest construction projects to date, second to the $32.2 million capital campaign for the new KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo and Faris Family Education Center, which will open to the public on April 13, 2013. The project was funded by a mix of federal, state, city and additional Zoo investments.

The Philadelphia Zoo is an economic driver in the region, creating jobs and with a financial impact spanning a multitude of business sectors from construction, materials, services and labor to architecture and design, in addition to its full-time and part-time employment.

With the assistance of consultants, Urban Partners, the Zoo conducted an economic impact study that evaluated an eleven-year period, beginning in 2004 and projecting through 2014, in order to ensure a balance between the Zoo’s demonstrated performance and its projected plans and anticipated trends.

The study calculates a total economic impact of $244 million from the Zoo’s construction projects during this period. 

“The zoo of tomorrow is going to look a lot different than the Zoo of today,” said Dewan. “With a new animal trail system, new transportation benefits and a new children’s zoo opening next week, we are continuing to evolve the experience for both visitors and animals, and setting a new standard for zoos nationwide.”