Greystar and University of Pennsylvania Close on 588-Bed Student Housing Redevelopment Project on Penn Campus

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“The University enthusiastically joins in this partnership with Greystar, as specialists in rental housing for the collegiate marketplace, to kick off the construction and repositioning of this campus asset,” says Ed Datz, Executive Director of Real Estate at Penn. “We are glad we can preserve the existing building structure while meeting the goal of improving the offerings and better aligning the residential living needs of today’s graduate students.” 

Greystar has teamed with local Philadelphia team of Barton Partners Architecture and Hunter Roberts Construction Group to complete a comprehensive renovation and modernization of Sansom Place East, while maintaining the exterior design integrity. This approach will create best-in-class housing for Penn’s graduate student population while maintaining Richard and Dion Neutra’s original architecture. The redeveloped Sansom Place East will provide complete bed-to-bath parity, wherein each bed will have a corresponding private bathroom, including in the 2-bedroom units. Each of the 473 units will also have its own washer/dryer. Greystar will also be delivering more than 12,000 square feet of state-of-the-art amenity space to include a fitness center, co-working lounges, a test kitchen, study rooms and large multi-function rooms. Additionally, Greystar will fully renovate the existing outdoor plaza with a deck, landscape, hardscape, and seating along with an indoor-outdoor connection to the new amenity space.

“The project team has worked hard over the last ten months to make this complicated redevelopment a reality. We are excited to see this project come to fruition as another step in our long-term commitment to the Philadelphia region,” said George Hayward, Sr. Director of Development, who oversees development for Greystar in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, & Delaware region.

The existing building, built in 1970, was previously the only on-campus residence dedicated to graduate students. Ideally located, the redeveloped student housing will be only a block away from the Penn Law School; two blocks from both the Wharton School and the Graduate School of Education; and four blocks from the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Adjacent to the Sansom Place East property, the existing occupied commercial retail at street level and the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art will remain open during construction.

“We are excited to partner with Penn to transform the graduate residential experience, strengthen connections to campus and to honor the architectural legacy of Dion and Richard Neutra through this innovative public-private partnership,” said Julie Skolnicki, Senior Managing Director of University Partnerships for Greystar. “Well-located, high-quality, attainable housing is critical to graduate student success and an important part of Greystar’s commitment to higher education.”

This is Greystar’s second development start in the City of Philadelphia in the last six months and Greystar’s eighth student housing development start in the US over the last 12 months. Construction began January 2022, with an opening in time for the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year.

About Greystar 

Greystar is a leading, fully integrated real estate company offering expertise in investment management, development, and management of rental housing properties globally. Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar manages and operates approximately $230 billion of real estate in 215 markets globally including offices throughout North America, Europe, South America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Greystar is the largest operator of apartments in the United States, manages more than 754,000 units/beds, and has a robust institutional investment management platform with more than $49.9 billion of assets under management, including $22.6 billion of development assets. Greystar was founded by Bob Faith in 1993 with the intent to become a provider of world-class service in the rental residential real estate business. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Greystar