Office Sector News
Comcast's Center City Office Footprint Continues to Grow
Comcast has expanded and extended its lease at Three Logan Square, 1717 Arch St., bringing its total footprint in the Brandywine Realty Trust-owned building from 230,000 to 300,000 square feet. The new lease will run until 2023.
Comcast's total Center City footprint outside of the Comcast Center now totals 590,000 square feet, with 200,000 square feet at neighboring Two Logan Square and 90,000 square feet in Centre Square. Upon completion of the Comcast Technology Center in 2018, Comcast's Center City footprint will be 3.2 million square feet.
To read more, go to philly.com/philly/business/real_estate/commercial/comcast-leases-most-commercial-office-space-philadelphia-20171201.html.
Report: Philadelphia will see 8M sf of construction deliver in 2018
A new analysis by JLL Philadelphia tabulates 8.7 million square feet of development that will deliver for occupancy in the CBD next year, most in the third quarter.
Much of 2018’s square footage will be office space, the report notes. Projects like Aramark’s new headquarters at 2400 Market and One Franklin Tower in Logan Square are included in the estimated 30 percent of office space that will open in 2018. The Comcast Technology Center will be the biggest project to deliver next year, with its 1.3 million square feet of new construction to Center City.
To read more, go to jll.com/philadelphia/en-us/research/snapshots/502/philadelphia-11-27-17-cbd-pipeline-update.
For CCD’s full listing and profile of all development in the pipeline, go to
Apartment Tower On Boyd Theatre Site Scaled Down
Pearl Properties is scaling down its apartment tower project on the former Boyd Theatre site. Zoning permits indicate plans for a 24-story, 183-unit tower at 1910 Chestnut St. Original plans presented during the permitting process called for a 32-story, 250-unit structure.
Site work on the tower, which Pearl is calling the Harper, began in August, capping a development saga that began in 2014 over plans to demolish the Boyd’s ornate art-deco auditorium.
To read more, go to philly.com/philly/business/real_estate/commercial/boyd-theatre-scale-down-pearl-philly-rental-surge-20171129.html.
Developer Buys 15th Property in Callowhill Area
Local developer Arts & Crafts Holdings has purchased a warehouse at 418 N. 8th St. for $15.25 million. The 5-story, 121,100-square-foot building’s tenants include Penn Lighting, Message Agency, NPower, TechImpact, Brawer Hauptman and Cogent Communications.
The warehouse was constructed in 1896 for Bailey Cardboard Boxes and redeveloped in 1990 as loft-style offices. The new owners plan to make upgrades to the interior and exterior and bring food and retail to the site.
Arts & Crafts owns 15 properties in the greater Callowhill area, including the Electric Factory warehouse and performance space.
To read more, go to philly.curbed.com/2017/12/4/16733486/callowhill-office-building-sold-417-n-8th.
Convention Center Gets a Sign On North Broad Street
Plans are in the works to erect a sign above the North Broad Street entrance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Aluminum and acrylic letters will spell out “Pennsylvania Convention Center” atop the three steel canopies over the entrance doors on Broad Street.
Vitetta, principal architect for the Convention Center, is creating the sign. It will display blue letters during the day, and white letters lit at night. The sign should be installed in summer 2018.
To read more, go to philly.com/philly/business/tourism_casinos/finally-the-pennsylvania-convention-center-will-get-a-sign-on-north-broad-street-20171121.html.
Independence Visitor Center Announces Rebranding, Upgrades
The Independence Visitor Center on Independence Mall is developing a new brand, logo and website in conjunction with a $15 million expansion project of its building slated for completion in 2019.
The branding changes and the building expansion are aimed at making it easier for visitors to find information on the variety of activities and amenities available during their stay. A record-breaking 2.5 million people came through the Visitor Center’s doors in 2016; it has already exceeded that number for 2017.
To read more, go to bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2017/11/27/independence-visitor-center-being-rebranded-with.html.
Residential Market News
East Market Apartment Tower Turns Part Roost Hotel
The residential tower under construction at 1199 Ludlow St. will include 60 extended-stay hotel suites run by Philadelphia-based Method Co., operator of extended-stay hotel brand Roost Apartment Hotel.
It will be Roost’s largest hotel and its first foray east of Broad Street. Method Co. CEO Randall Cook said the location’s appeal is bolstered by East Market Street's growing retail and entertainment profile, with construction underway on Fashion District Philadelphia and plans in the works for an AMC movie theater.
The 217-foot-tall tower at 1199 Ludlow that also fronts on Market Street was topped off by its final steel beam earlier this month. Construction is expected to wrap up in August 2018.
To read more, go to phillyvoice.com/east-market-signs-roost-apartment-hotel-extended-stay-option/.
Report: Philadelphia Condominium Market Continues Recovery
Philadelphia’s condominium market has posted its best third quarter results in 10 years. According to the latest data from researcher Kevin Gillen, 642 condominiums sold in the third quarter, median condominium prices increased 2.8% in the last year.
The median condominium price in Philadelphia is currently $315,000, a 1.9% increase from $309,000 one year ago. The median price per square foot is currently $312, a 2.7% increase from $297 one year ago.
To read more, go to allandomb.com/philadelphias-condo-market-continues-recover-sales-growth-outpacing-price-appreciation/.
Philadelphia Remains A Bargain For Renters
Philadelphia’s median rent has declined 0.1% in the last month, according to the monthly rental report from Apartment List. Compared to this time last year, however, rents in Philadelphia have risen 0.6%.
The report calculates that the median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Philadelphia is $1,160, which is equal to the national average but more favorable than other U.S. cities. Seattle, Baltimore and Houston saw median rent increases last month between 1.6% and 3.5%, while median monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $3,050 in San Francisco and $2,480 in New York.
To read more, go to apartmentlist.com/pa/philadelphia?embargo=true#rent-report.
CCD’s Retail Report Now Available
The Center City District (CCD) and Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC) have released an in-depth look at retail market trends in downtown Philadelphia. Center City Reports: Philadelphia Retail analyzes all of the demand drivers for downtown retail and includes detailed data and demographics on Center City residents, workers, visitors and students, updated pedestrian traffic counts and a roundup of selected major retail developments in the pipeline.
The data-rich report outlines the factors fueling Center City’s flourishing retail scene, fueled by more than $1 billion in annual demand created by 300,000 workers, 188,000 residents, 3.2 million occupied hotel room nights and 108,000 college students in and around the downtown.
To read the report, go to centercityphila.org/research-reports/2017philadelphia-retail.
Eds and Meds News
Jefferson To Roll Out Health Centers Worldwide
Thomas Jefferson University is planning to formalize what for years have been informal working relationships that its faculty and students have around the world.
Jefferson is creating global health centers in India, Israel, Italy and Latin America to provide structure to international partnerships promoting exchanges of research ideas and personnel.
The goal is to establish and expand partnerships that facilitate students and faculty traveling to and from Philadelphia. Future expansions may include Ireland and Finland.
To read more, go to bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2017/11/30/thomas-jefferson-university-isgoing-global.html.
Arts and Culture News
Painted Bride Is Selling Its Old City Building
The Painted Bride Art Center has decided to sell its landmark Old City building and become a completely project-based organization. Executive director Laurel Raczka said the last performance at the Vine Street venue will be July 7.
Raczka said the absence of a building would enable the organization to explore new ways of presenting the arts. She emphasized that the Bride will focus on artist-led projects and will work to develop them in venues throughout the city and in public spaces.
To read more, go to philly.com/philly/entertainment/arts/painted-bride-old-city-selling-its-vine-street-building-20171127.html.
Parks and Open Space News
Holocaust Memorial Plaza Breaks New Ground
A groundbreaking ceremony on November 28 marked the start of a yearlong project to transform the corner of 16th and the Parkway into the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Plaza. The plaza will enhance what is the first public Holocaust memorial in the U.S., the Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs monument, erected at the site in 1964.
David Adelman, chair of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, said the park will include a remembrance wall with an eternal flame, a tree grove to commemorate the forest that sheltered resistance fighters and a sapling from the tree nurtured by children at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The CCD has overseen the design on behalf of the Foundation and will oversee the construction process as well.
To read more, go to jewishexponent.com/2017/11/29/holocaust-memorial-plaza-breaks-new-ground/.
Philadelphia Cab Firms Plan To Merge Fleets In Partnership
A taxi vehicle partnership in Philadelphia will create a combined fleet to combat competition from ride-sharing services. PHL Taxi and Freedom Taxi will combine their fleets under the banner of 215-Get-A-Cab. Around the beginning of next year, all of the nearly 1,100 cabs for the firms will operate under the Get-A-Cab branding.
It is part of a new unified strategy for the three firms that will also include updating their cabs and revamping a smartphone application, in order to better compete with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.
To read more, go to
Raised Intersections Coming To South Broad Street
South Broad Street will soon have four pedestrian-friendly raised intersections at Chestnut, Sansom, Moravian and Walnut streets. When the work is completed this spring, the intersections’ crosswalks, curbs and interior asphalt will be lifted slightly above level of the rest of the street.
To signal drivers to slow down, the crosswalks will be finished in red asphalt, scored to look like bricks. To pay for the work, the city and the Avenue of the Arts Inc. secured $3 million from a state program funded by fines from red-light camera infractions.
To read more, go to philly.com/philly/columnists/inga_saffron/safety-improvements-prepare-south-broad-street-for-a-residential-future-20171207.html.
PICA: General Fund revenue collections, obligations rise in Q1 of FY2017
A new PICA analysis of the Quarterly City Managers Report (QCMR) for the first quarter (July 1 – September 30) shows the city’s General Fund revenue collections were $741.9 million, $45.5 million more than the first quarter of fiscal year 2017. General Fund obligations totaled $1.25 billion, an increase of $22.0 million over the first quarter of last year.
The QCMR projects revenues to increase for the full fiscal year, while obligations are projected to decrease due to lower than expected city employee benefits costs -- more specifically, a $2.7 million reduction in employee disability costs. Additionally, the city’s year-end fund balance for fiscal year 2017 totaled $189.2 million, over $100 million more than projected.
To read more, go to picapa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Staff-Report-on-QCMR-Q1-2018-final2.pdf.
Affordable Housing Bill Advances To Full City Council
City Council’s Rules Committee has voted to advance a bill that would require private developers to include subsidized units for low-income tenants in new, high-density projects. The bill is to be presented January 25 to the full Council.
The measure has been amended since its introduction last summer by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez but continues to raise concerns from many developers and neighborhood groups. In the bill’s current version, affordable housing set-asides would be limited largely to the high-density, mixed-use zones of Center City and University City.
To read more, go to philly.com/philly/columnists/inga_saffron/philadelphia-takes-another-step-toward-providing-affordable-housing-20171205.html.
CCD’s 5-Year Reauthorization Goes To Full City Council This Week
The Center City District’s reauthorization proposal has been reported out of the City Council’s Rules committee and is scheduled for a second reading and final vote by the full Council this Thursday, December 14.
CCD’s reauthorization process began this summer with the proposed five-year Plan and Budget receiving overwhelming support. For 2018 to 2022, CCD’s supplementary assessments will be devoted to keeping Center City clean and safe seven days a week; to market research and the promotion of restaurants and shops; to landscaping, lighting, signs, trees and new streetscape enhancements; to ongoing improvements and programming in four CCD-managed parks; and to leveraging grants and contributions to create the new Rail Park.
To read more, go to centercityphila.org/research-reports/2018-2022-plan-and-budget-for-the-center-city-district.
Parkway 100: Reimagining the Future of the Boulevard
As we celebrate the centenary of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, join us for an exclusive preview of a portion of an upcoming Sam Katz documentary. The preview of Parkway 100: Reimagining the Future of the Boulevard will take place at 8:30 a.m. on December 19 at Sky Philadelphia (formerly Top of the Tower), Three Logan Square, 1717 Arch St., Vista Room.
The preview will be followed by a panel discussion about opportunities and recommendations as the Parkway begins its second century. The panelists are Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation; Mark Silow, Fox Rothschild, Logan Square resident; Gail Harrity, President & Chief Operating Officer, Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Laurie Olin, Olin Studio.
CPDC members are encouraged to invite young professionals and other members of their firms to attend. RSVP by Wednesday, December 13 to Romina Gutierrez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.440.5543.