A new St. Joseph’s University dormitory for first-year students is being proposed as part of a plan to shift undergraduate housing away from West Philadelphia’s residential neighborhoods, minimizing conflict between students and area residents.

The university says that the 578-bed, six-story building at 5800 City Ave., wrapping around the intersection with Cardinal Avenue, will essentially replace two aging dormitories slated for demolition near Overbrook Avenue and Cardinal, which are closer to residential neighborhoods.

It is the latest element of St. Joseph’s master plan, which was drafted in the years before the pandemic as an effort to modernize the university’s sprawling campus in Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township.

The project will be considered by the city’s advisory Civic Design Review committee on Sept. 5. It also needs permission from the Zoning Board of Adjustment to remove heritage trees (which will be replaced with fresh plantings) and to ease setback requirements.

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