Center City District in the News, June 2023

From our annual State of Center City report, to new retail openings and developments, to the return of Center City District SIPS and our ongoing park programming, the second quarter of 2023 featured several stories around the growth and vitality of Center City. Here are some recent highlights:

Major Stories

How Can Center City Achieve Total Recovery?
By Paul Levy, for The Philadelphia Citizen

“Philadelphia has extraordinary assets, amenities and advantages… But only committed, proactive private and public leadership will enable the city to realize its full potential,” notes Center City District CEO in this opinion article. Read the full story from The Philadelphia Citizen.

Center City workers aren’t happy houring like they used to. Bar owners are hoping SIPS deals can lure them back.                     By Erin McCarthy, for The Philadelphia Inquirer

Through programs like Center City District SIPS, CEO Paul Levy notes that more pedestrians return to Center City and support local bars and restaurants, highlighting a 14% increase in nonresidents compared to other weekday evenings when the program returned in 2022. Read the full story in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Stories of the State of Center City

Center City’s jobs, retail, and tourism are recovering — but not everything is at pre-pandemic levels yet                                    By Michaelle Bond, for The Philadelphia Inquirer

Thanks to a variety of sectors present in Center City – including office, retail, medical, and entertainment – many areas have bounced back and helped Center City gain over 35% more residents now versus pre-pandemic. Read about what work still needs to be done in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Center City job growth ‘more urgent than it ever was before,' Paul Levy says                                                                                  By Paul Schwedelson, for the Philadelphia Business Journal

To fully recover from the past several years, it’s essential for the new mayor and City Council to focus on job growth and recovery. As Paul Levy notes, “Even if there’s going to be a certain amount of hybrid work, the more regional businesses and jobs we capture in the city, the more opportunity.” Read the full story in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

State of Center City report                                                              By CBS3

While job levels have bounced back to February 2022 levels, downtown office district vacancies increased to 18.6%. Check out a brief clip about three report takeaways on CBS3.

Center City District annual report highlights Philadelphia's economic recovery
By Alec Larson, for The Philadelphia Tribune

“Center City is rebounding well from the turbulence of the last three years, but full recovery is constrained by challenges that were left unresolved at the start of 2020,” notes CCD president Paul Levy. Read the full story in The Philadelphia Tribune.

Apartment Construction Is Booming. How Will That Change Philly?                                                                                                  By Sandy Smith, for Philadelphia Magazine

With several new residential developments being constructed across Greater Center City, including 12th and Walnut and 1620 Sansom Street, there come shifts in trends from homeownership to renting. Read the full story in Philadelphia Magazine.

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Check out the full State of Center City report here.

Stories on the Office District

WESTWARD EXPANSION: Philadelphia's Center City West corridor is undergoing big changes                                              By Paul Schwedelson, for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Thanks to new developments on West Market, like 2222 Market and 21st and Ludlow by Parkway Corporation, the traditional “office district” is diversifying with not only new office buildings but also new residential spaces. Read the full story in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

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More Philly office workers will come back in-person on multiple days, downtown boosters predict                                    By Jake Blumgart, for The Philadelphia Inquirer

A slow but steady recovery in nonresident workers in Center City gives reason to believe that office workers are continuing to return to the office in person. Read the full story in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Report shows increase in downtown foot traffic as Center City continues to rebound from pandemic                                            By Alec Larson, for The Philadelphia Tribune

In our report “Downtown Vitality: A Deeper Look Into Office Trends,” pedestrian data shows that there has been a gradual two-year upward trend in foot traffic from not only residents and visitors, but also office workers. Read the full story from The Philadelphia Tribune.

Philadelphia office market is just now starting to reset, experts say                                                                                                        By Paul Schwedelson, for the Philadelphia Business Journal

During our CPDC meeting in April 2023, panelists noted the shifting trends in office spaces likely to come after the past few years. Read the full story in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Read more stories about the office district from KYW Newsradio and the American Prospect. To read our report, “Downtown Vitality: A Deeper Look Into Office Trends,” click here.

Stories of Safety from the Brookings Institute

Brookings Institute study finds Center City is one of the safer spots in Philadelphia                                                                        By John Paul, for 6ABC

Despite public perception, a report by the Brookings Institute found that Center City accounts for less than 1% of crime increases in Philadelphia. Check out the story on 6abc.

Center City is one of the safest areas in Philadelphia, report says                                                                                                      By Howard Monroe, for CBS3

“Everybody wants to make like Philly is the worst place to live… I disagree, so yes. I love this city," noted a Philadelphia resident when asked about safety in Philadelphia after a report from the Brookings Institution reported Center City as one of the safest areas in Philadelphia. Check out the story on CBS3.

Stories of New Openings

New plaza caps a 10-year effort to reignite a struggling corner of downtown Philly                                                                          By Aaron Moselle, for WHYY’s PlanPhilly

 “Each of these separate buildings really reinforce each other in a really unique way. And they remind us that successful cities are not built out of one employment sector or another employment sector, but an ensemble of all of those different sectors coming together around one place,” noted CCD CEO Paul Levy on the completed Jefferson Plaza project. Read more from WHYY’s PlanPhilly.


Stories of CCD SIPS

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Center City SIPS returns with more than 70 venues this summer                                                                                              By Alicia Vitarelli, for 6ABC

To kick off Center City SIPS, 6ABC joined Vice President of Marketing and Communications Michelle Shannon at the Wayward for a sneak peek of SIPS specials. Watch more at 6ABC.

Center City SIPS is back: On a Positive Note                                By NBC10

To celebrate the return of CCD SIPS, Visit Philly and NBC10’s ongoing “On a Positive Note” segment highlighted the first week. Watch more at NBC10.

Center City District SIPS is Kicking-Off the New Season With a Preview Party at Pagano’s Hosted By Wooder Ice                      By Wooder Ice

In advance of the first week of SIPS, Wooder Ice featured the kickoff party at Pagano’s Market and Bar. Read more on Wooder Ice.

Make Happy Hour an every Wednesday occasion with Center City SIPS                                                                                            By Alex Butler & Jessica Yakubovsky, for PHL17

PHL17’s Alex Butler joined Senior Retail Marketing & Events Manager Giavana Suraci at Double Knot to try some of their SIPS specials and make a cocktail. Watch more at PHL17.

For other stories about the return of CCD SIPS this summer, check out stories by Visit Philly, Yahoo, Philadelphia Patch, CBS3, NBC10, The Philadelphia Caller, PhillyBite Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly Voice.

Stories about the Rothman Orthopaedic Roller Rink

Your Guide to Philadelphia Pride 2023                                          By Lauren McCutcheon, for The Philadelphia Citizen

As part of Pride Month, The Philadelphia Citizen highlighted events happening in the city, including Dilworth Park’s Pride Skate presented by Hornitos® Tequila. Read the full guide on The Philadelphia Citizen.


Dilworth Park’s Roller Rink Returns for Spring                              By Laura Swartz, for Philadelphia Magazine

Aside from the return of the Rothman Roller Rink, specialty skates including Wizards and Witches Skate, Pride Skate, and Christmas in July help keep the excitement all season long. Read more from Philadelphia Magazine.

Dilworth Park roller skating rink to open for spring season    By Ross DiMattei & Tom Dougherty, for CBS3

To kick off the warm weather, Center City District brought back the Rothman Orthopaedic Roller Rink, featuring a brand-new art installation by Lucky Dog Studio. See more on CBS3.

For other stories about the Rothman Orthopaedic Roller Rink, check out stories by KYW Newsradio, PhillyBite Magazine, Metro Philadelphia, Philly Voice, and NBC10.

Stories of CCD Parks

Free family attractions in Philadelphia on Memorial Day Weekend                                                                                            By Marcella Baietto, for CBS3

Aside from the beach, a popular tradition for families during Memorial Day Weekend is visiting Sister Cities Park for their free splash pods and Discovery Garden. See more from CBS3.

Parkway Pals Returns to Sister Cities Park with Free Events for Families                                                                                                By Philadelphia RowHome Magazine

To kick off the return of Parkway Pals presented by Independence Blue Cross, Parkway Pals Play Day featured a day full of family fun. Read more from Philadelphia RowHome Magazine.

14 Great Spraygrounds to Cool Off Your Philly Kids                    By Laura Swartz & Ashley Primis, for Philadelphia Magazine

What better way to beat summer’s heat than by stopping some free splash pads in Center City? Both Dilworth Park and Sister Cities Park have free splash pads and a pond for kids to cool off, all summer long. Read more from Philadelphia Magazine.

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