Pearl Properties Buys Chestnut Street Building; Old Navy New Tenant
Pearl Properties has purchased the Art
Institute of Philadelphia building at 1618-22 Chestnut Street and will lease 23,464 square feet for a flagship Old
Navy store, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on August 28.
The Art Institute will continue as a tenant but will move some of its operations to higher floors, the article noted. Old Navy will reopen its branch at The
Gallery at Market East when the shopping center is completed in mid-2016.
To read the article, please go to bit.ly/1JJUEfG.
Wine and Spirits Store Coming to Brickstone Project
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control
Board has voted to lease approximately 14,000 square feet of ground-floor
and basement space in the Brickstone project 1112-1128
Chestnut Street, where it will open a new Fine
Wine and Good Spirits store, while closing a smaller store just west
of the new development, The
Philadelphia Inquirer reported on September 2. The new location will
open in spring 2016 and will offer a loading dock where restaurants
can pick up bulk beverage orders.
A 19,000-square-foot Target Express is expected to open in July 2016 and together the two stores will fill the project�s street-level retail space, the article noted.
To read the article, please go to bit.ly/1fXShhF.
Public Hearing Scheduled for Hudson Hotel Zoning
City Council�s Rules Committee will hold a public
hearing on Wednesday, September 30, at 10:00
a.m., on Bill #140858, which would create a zoning change that would enable the construction of the proposed $125 million Hudson
Hotel at 17th and Chancellor Streets.
The hotel will contain 300 rooms and 40 executive suites and is being designed by DAS
Architects. The penthouse floor will house an exclusive dining venue with panoramic city views, and two stories of luxury retail shops are planned along with underground parking.
In February, the Center City Residents
Association (CCRA) voted to not oppose the construction.
To read Bill #140858, please go to bit.ly/1N7JZAV.
New Lighting for North Broad Street
North Broad Street, from Hamilton
Street (between Callowhill and Spring Garden Streets) to Glenwood
Avenue (about 2.5 miles), will be illuminated with 41 street lights,
55 feet high, to be installed by the end of fall, The
Philadelphia Inquirer reported on August 26. The $8.7 million project,
funded through a mix of state, federal, and City money, will encourage
development and investment, the article noted.
To read the article, please go to bit.ly/1U6NP2P.
Tax Reform News
Report: Restructuring Taxes = More Jobs
Philadelphia could create 79,000 more jobs in the city over the next decade, if the Pennsylvania Constitution could be altered to allow the City of Philadelphia to tax commercial real estate at a higher rate than residential property and devote that increment to steady, mandated wage and business tax reduction, according to a new report commissioned by the Philadelphia
Growth Coalition and prepared by Econsult Solutions,
Inc., reports The
The incremental real estate taxes would be used to lower the wage tax to 3% for residents and 2.5% for nonresidents, while cutting the business net income tax in half.
To read the article from yesterday's Philadelphia
please go to bit.ly/1M87jzX.
To read the Econsult report and the case for tax reform
as a key component of economic development, please go to bit.ly/1UyvcoG [PDF].
Dougherty to Succeed Gillespie as Council Leader
John Dougherty, who has led Local
98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers since 1993, will take over leadership of the 40,000-worker Philadelphia
Building and Construction Trades Council on December 1, succeeding Patrick
Gillespie as business manager of the council, which represents nearly 40 unions in Philadelphia and its suburbs, The
Philadelphia Inquirer reported on September 2.
To read the article, please go to http://bit.ly/1OhMqPY.
Residential Market News
AQ Rittenhouse Sold
LaSalle Investment Management of Chicago has purchased the newly constructed AQ
Rittenhouse apartment building at 2021 Chestnut Street for $51.1 million from Aquinas
Realty Partners and MB1 Capital Partners, The
Philadelphia Inquirer reported on August 26.
Aquinas Realty Partners bought a vacant building from the Philadelphia
Redevelopment Authority in 2012, demolished it and contracted with BLT
Architects to design a building with 110 apartment units.
To read the article, please go to bit.ly/1JAaJrp.
Philadelphia Leads in Rental Population Increase
Between 2006 and 2013, the number of rental households increased in 11 of the largest cities in the U.S., but in Philadelphia it increased by nearly 24%, the highest rate of all the cities, while the rental vacancy rate fell from 12.5% to 6.6%, according to a report recently released by New
York University�s Furman Center and Capital
Philadelphia, however, had the third-highest percentage of households facing severe rent burden in 2013, the report noted.
Nationwide, rental prices have gone up 6.5% over the past year, to a record high of $1,155 in July 2015.
To read an article based on the report and published
on August 24 in Commercial Property Executive, please go to bit.ly/1LwylOe.
To read the report, Renting in America�s Largest
please go to bit.ly/1LLAViT.
Eds & Meds News
Drexel Adds Emphasis on Humanities
Drexel University on September 1 announced the launch of its Center
for Cultural Partnerships that will focus on making museums, libraries and historical societies more accessible to Drexel students.
The new center is part of the university�s overall goal of expanding its humanities programs and will establish partnerships lasting two years with various organizations and institutions.
To read the announcement, please go to bit.ly/1NSIeJr.
Jefferson Urgent Care Open House
Jefferson University Hospitals is hosting an open house on Saturday, September 12, and Sunday, September 13, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for its new urgent care center, Jefferson
at Washington Square, at 700 Walnut Street.
The office treats patients of all ages, and walk-ins are welcome. The office is staffed by Jefferson doctors who are board certified in emergency medicine.
For more information, please go to bit.ly/1Q6tvsL.
Brain Gain Even in Contracting Cities
Every major metro area in the country that has been losing population and/or jobs is actually gaining people with college degrees at double-digit rates, notes Aaron
M. Renn, writing in New Geography on September 1.
While Philadelphia is no longer shrinking and Center
City grew by 16% between 2000 and 2014, it does have a high rate
of educated residents, with 30% of Greater Center City residents 25 and
older holding a bachelor�s degree and 29.3% having an advanced degree.
Also, Campus Philly has noted that 64% of college students educated in Greater Philadelphia colleges and universities stay in the region after graduation, significantly more than in other cities.
To read the article, please go to bit.ly/1imyrhK.
To read the report, Brain Gain in
Cities, please go to bit.ly/1VDTqeh.
To read the Campus Philly report, please go to bit.ly/1MUV19q [PDF].
Outdoor Seating Popular and Growing in Center City
Since 2001 the number of food establishments in Center City with sidewalk seating increased 429%, from 69 in 2001 to 365 in the summer of 2015, according to a new report released on September 2 by the Center
City District and the Central Philadelphia Development
In the last year alone, there was a 12% increase in outdoor seating locations: 50% at full-service restaurants, 22% at sandwich and take-out locations, 11% at coffee shops, and 11% at non-food locations. Non-food establishments with outdoor seating are a relatively new trend and include cigar shops, hair salons, psychics, clothing stores and building plazas. They bring the total number of outdoor seating locations to 412 with the capacity to seat 6,056 individuals.
The report is based on exclusive survey work conducted
by the Center City District. To read Center City Reports:
Outdoor Seating 2015, please go to centercityphila.org/docs/CCR15_outdoorseating.pdf [PDF].
To read the coverage of the report in Philadelphia
please go to bit.ly/1QkcV8J.
Arts & Culture News
Many Shows Upcoming in FringeArts� Fringe Festival
The Fringe Festival continues with
the world premiere of Andy: A Popera, September 10 through September 20, and presented by Opera
Philadelphia and the Bearded Ladies, inspired by
the life, fame, and philosophy of Andy
For complete information on this and other Fringe Festival
offerings, please go to fringearts.com.
Papal Visit Update
As Pope Francis� visit draws near, plans continue
to evolve. The Papal
Visit Playbook is now available online and offers the latest information
But, as The Inquirer reported on Saturday (page
1 story), hotels continue to face challenges, as piecemeal communications
bring new surprises about event logistics, bit.ly/1K2joEC.
To respond to concerns about the visibility of the pope, the World
Meeting of Families (WMOF) announced Thursday that Pope Francis
will have two parades along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway,
one on each day of his visit, bit.ly/1XrmyHA.
Visit Philly debuted four new billboard
signs for Pope Francis� visit, including: �Sometimes It�s Good to Pontificate� � cbsloc.al/1L9UVJV;
No construction during papal visit � bit.ly/1QeM3ai;
�I'll Be There� campaign and #OpenInPHL kits
encourage businesses to stay open, with five additional updates
from Philly.com � bit.ly/1UxwnPU;
Reading Terminal Market will operate
on a moderated schedule � bit.ly/1hIeEc2;
RiverLink Ferry to run during papal
visit � bit.ly/1JFzIYc.
Upscale Steakhouse to Open in SugarHouse
Hugo�s Frog Bar & Chop House, part of the Gibsons
Restaurant Group based in Chicago, will open a branch inside SugarHouse
Casino on the Delaware River later this year as part of the casino�s $164 million expansion, The
Philadelphia Inquirer reported on August 2.
The restaurant will have 300 seats and will be the exclusive caterer for SugarHouse's new 30,000-square-foot event space.
To read the article, please go to bit.ly/1JBMmcN.
New Schedule for PATCO
PATCO has announced a new schedule that will continue through the end of October, as the agency enters the final stages of its $103 million track rehabilitation. Trains will run on a normal schedule between Monday and Thursday morning, and a modified schedule between Thursday mid-day and Sunday night, with the weekend schedule continuing service every 30 minutes, the press release noted.
The work in this stage finishes the electronic signal and communications system replacements for the train track on the north side of the Benjamin
For schedules and more information, please go to ridepatco.org.
PennDOT Schedules Public Meetings for Statewide Rail Plan
PennDOT on August 31announced that it has scheduled three public open houses for review of the draft for a 2015 update of the Pennsylvania
State Rail Plan, which aims to identify future needs, set objectives, and create a clear vision for the next 25 years. PennDOT is working with the Federal
Railroad Administration (FRA) on the update.
The Philadelphia meeting will be Thursday,
September 17, at 30th Street Station, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The draft 2015 Pennsylvania State Rail Plan can be reviewed
and comments provided at PlantheKeystone.com/StateRailPlan.html until
October 2 or at the open house. The updated plan goes to the FRA
In other PennDOT news, a new website, PA
Transportation Projects, offers information on construction projects, Act
89 improvements underway, and projects scheduled through 2026, with four- and 12-year plans. Users can search the site by county, statewide, PennDOT district and more.
The site and mapping tools are compatible with mobile
devices. To visit the new website, please go to projects.penndot.gov/projects/PAProjects.aspx.
Parks & Open Space News
Fairmount Park Conservancy Awarded $3 Million Grant
Fairmount Park Conservancy (FPC), one of six organizations selected to participate in the ArtPlace
America Community Development Investments (CDI) program, will receive $3 million over three years to incorporate arts and culture into City park and recreation areas, ArtPlace announced on August 31.
FPC will collaborate with local artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions and work closely with Philadelphia
Parks & Recreation to develop projects and programs.
The FPC will host a community forum on the CDI program on October
22, at 4:00 p.m. at the Please
Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic.
To view the full list of recipients, please go to artplaceamerica.org.
To learn more about FPC, please go to myphillypark.org.
City Ends Year FY15 With Mixed Report
The City of Philadelphia ended the Fiscal Year 2015
(FY15) with $76.5 million more in the General Fund than initially projected
in the Five Year Plan and collected $34 million more in tax revenues than
projected, according to the Pennsylvania
Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority�s (PICA) analysis of the Quarterly
City Managers Report for the 4th quarter of FY15.
FY15 General Fund obligations were projected at $3,840.9
million, an increase of $16.3 million from the original Five Year Plan projection
(after adjustment for the loss of $700 million in PGW sale proceeds included
in the original Plan), the report noted, and overtime increased $37.6 million
above the initial Five Year Plan estimate.
To read the PICA report, please go to bit.ly/1La6fpl.
PA Has Second-Highest State Tax for Corporate HQs in the U.S.
Pennsylvania charges the nation�s second-highest effective
state tax rate for corporate headquarters, 23.1%; third-highest for an independent
retail store, 22.9%; fifth-highest for a distribution center, 41%; and fourth-lowest for
capital-intensive manufacturers, at 4.2%, according to a new report from the Tax
Foundation and the auditing firm KMPG LLC analyzing
and comparing effective tax rates for corporate headquarters and manufacturers
in all 50 states, and reported by The
Philadelphia Inquirer on August 26.
To read the article, please go to bit.ly/1JI3qy3.
To read the report, Location Matters:
The State Tax Costs of Doing Business, please go to bit.ly/1UsisAa [PDF].
Ornamental Portal Gates at City Hall to Be Unveiled
On Wednesday, September 9, at 2:00
p.m., Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Center
City District will unveil the first of four sets of ornamental portal gates, designed in the 1860s but never built or installed. The first of the gates are on the west side of City Hall at Dilworth
Park. Please join in the celebration of the latest improvement to City Hall, a National Historic Landmark and internationally acclaimed Philadelphia treasure.
CPDC Meeting: Start-ups, Coworking and the Independent Economy
On Tuesday, September 29, at 4:00
p.m., the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC) will hold its fall Membership
Meeting in Lincoln Hall at the Union
League, 140 South Broad Street.
Until recently, nearly all older �B� office buildings were being converted to residential use, but lately there has been a significant increase in coworking spaces and leases to smaller, creative firms for upper floors of older buildings. How deep and sustainable is this demand?
CPDC will be releasing a report, funded by the Knight
Foundation, on the independent workers who have emerged as a growing sector alongside traditional wage and salaried employment. Based on surveys of independent proprietors, start-up entrepreneurs and occupants of coworking spaces in Center City, the report will help answer questions about the makeup of Philadelphia�s independent economy, the diverse occupants of coworking spaces and what impact they may have on commercial real estate and the growth of Center City�s office sector.
A panel of speakers will discuss the new report with Moderator John
P. Derham, Senior Managing Director and Market Leader, Cushman & Wakefield of Pennsylvania.
The speakers will be Wayne L. Fisher, Executive Managing Director, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; Lauren
Gilchrist, Vice President and Director of Research, JLL; Peter
C. Soens, Partner, SSH Real Estate; and Paul
R. Levy, Executive Director, Central Philadelphia Development Corporation.
Business casual attire is required. No denim.
CPDC members are encouraged to invite both young professionals and other members of their firms to attend this meeting. Please RSVP by Wednesday,
September 23, at Noon, to Carol Raffa at email@example.com or 215.440.5500.
Play Space Design Competition Launch and Reception
Tomorrow, Wednesday, September
9, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.,
Design Collaborative will launch a new national
competition to design innovative play spaces for Philadelphia. The
launch will include a reception with drinks and hors d'oeuvres at
the Center for Architecture, 1216 Arch Street, where you can meet architects,
landscape architects, educators, public artists and others whom you may want
to include on your competition team.
Tickets are $10 and $20.
For more information and to RSVP, please go to bit.ly/1EFg9m1.
A Variety of Activities at Dilworth Park
Rosa Blanca Caf� is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Also, Capogiro
Gelato Artisans, a family-owned gelateria, has its custom-made cart open seven days a week from noon to 9:00 p.m. on the north side of the park. Capogiro offers sorbetto and gelato in a wide array of flavors.
Scheduled activities include:
Sips at Dilworth � Wednesday, September
9, and Wednesday, September 16, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Rosa Blanca Caf� will host Center City District Sips at Dilworth. DJs providing music from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on September
9 will be Rahsaan Lucas, Reggae, and on September
16, Roger Culture, Island Vibes.
Farmers� Market at Dilworth Park � Every Wednesday
through November 18, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, houseplants and flowers are stocked with Farm
to City�s finest.
Rhythms at Rosa Blanca � There are two more Thursdays to enjoy Rhythms at Rosa Blanca, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., on September
10 and September 17, when the live Latin music of De
Tierra Caliente will be featured.
PNC presents Live @ Lunch returns on
Wednesdays, tomorrow, September
9, with a 2015 Fringe Festival Preview. On September
16, it�s Wheel Battles with The Clay Studio,
a pop-up ceramics studio.
Plus, Octoberfest presented by Saul
Ewing will fill the park from October 21 through October
25 with games, vendors, DJs and live music to accompany the 21+
Saultoberfest Beer Garden by Rosa Blanca
Save the date! The Rothman
Ice Rink at Dilworth Park reopens November 13!
Please visit dilworthpark.org/dilworth-park-events for
complete schedules and details for all events.
For complete information on Dilworth Park, please go
Activities at Sister Cities Park
On Thursday, September 10, from 5:00
p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the park at 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will host the summer�s final Pairings
on the Parkway. Bring Your Own (BYO) favorite bottle and Logan
Square Caf� will offer a special grilling menu. Andrea
Nardello will perform from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Fall Family Fun Days with Furry
Friends � On two Saturdays, October 10 and October
17, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sister Cities Park will celebrate
fall with music and family-friendly activities, including free hay rides,
face painting, balloon twisting and treats from Logan Square Caf�.
For more information, please visit sistercitiespark.org.