Jefferson has spent $91M since 2000 to take over Washington Square West

The university/hospital owns buildings featuring Wawa, Milkboy and a nail salon.

Wikimedia Commons

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital bought the building that houses the bar / small concert venue Milkboy earlier this year for $2.1 million, and that seemed kind of weird. What exactly does a hospital need with that kind of space, which has a 15-year lease?

But for Thomas Jefferson it’s not out of the ordinary. Since 2000, the university/hospital has added so much property — $87 million worth — it nearly takes up one-fourth of Washington Square West. It’s also opened its checkbook (and upped its profile in Philly), spending $4 million for naming rights of the SEPTA train station near 8th and Market and merging with Philadelphia University. 

These aren’t all hospital buildings either. Thomas Jefferson owns the building with Wawa and Sweetgreen and even a random apartment unit at Independence Place.

Will Washington Square West pretty much just become Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Central? It’s possible given how much property Jefferson owns. We reached out to the university’s director of real estate services for comment about their strategy in the area but didn’t hear back. For now, here’s a map illustrating what we’re calling the Jefferson Creep and some of the stores and restaurants at the oddest locations the hospital/university owns.

The Map

Since 2000, Jefferson has bought 15 properties in Washington Square West. These include individual addresses, like where Milkboy is located, and entire swaths of the street, like between 917-933 Chestnut where hospital facilities are located.

The properties Jefferson has bought since 2000 are marked in red. Those the hospital has owned since before 2000 are in blue.

The random establishments at Jefferson buildings

  • Wawa, 912 Walnut Street (This seems to be the location where Fox News personality Sean Hannity got booed during the DNC.)    
  • Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut Street
  • Milano’s Pizzeria, 127 S. 10th Street
  • Fine Shaves and Cuts, 131 S. 10th Street
  • Lily’s Nails, 1110 Chestnut Street
  • Sweetgreen, 924 Walnut Street
  • Independence Place Apartment Unit, 233 S. 6th Street, #1010F

Want some more? Explore other Neighborhoods stories.

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