Center City Retail Update, July 2023

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Center City retail and restaurants have almost fully rebounded from the events and challenges of 2020.


1. Retail occupancy in core Center City in June 2023 rose to 82% from a low of 55% in June 2020 and is approaching 2019 occupancy levels of 89%.

2. Even with indoor dining fully restored, demand for outdoor restaurant seating remains high, with sidewalk café seating up 14% since 2022.

3. At least 26 businesses have planned 2023 openings. Brokers report sustained leasing momentum.

4. Taxable retail sales for the first quarter of 2023 in core Center City are at 97% of 2019 levels; bars and restaurants are at 95% of 2019 levels.

This recovery has occurred because in the last two decades, Philadelphia has emerged as one of the most walkable and diversified downtowns in North America. Within the boundaries of the Center City District there are 167 office buildings, seven major education and health care institutions, 498 cultural institutions, 208 apartment buildings, 128 condominium buildings and 45 hotels, which generate foot traffic, weekdays and weekends, during the day and evening hours. Greater Center City’s population has grown by 27.3% since 2010, while the downtown core has grown even faster, at 31.5%.

By June 2023, daily foot traffic in core Center City had been restored to 75% of 2019 levels and supported 1,871 retail premises within the boundaries of the CCD. Non-resident workers have returned to 61% of May 2019 levels; visitor traffic is at 75% of May 2019 levels, and overall pedestrian volume has reached 94% on weekends.

For more details, including a list of new and upcoming business openings, download the report- Center City District Retail Update, July 2023.

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