Center City 2013
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|A banner 2012 bodes well for Center City in 2013. Metro Commercial Real Estate prez Steven Gartner says the proof is in our stomachs.|
|Restaurants, the lifeblood of the edges around traditional Center City, keep opening, changing hands, and otherwise morphing as the neighborhoods can support commercial amenities to go along with their growing residential population, Steve says. The Fall 2012 Restaurant Week attracted more eateries than last year, but more importantly, it attracted nearly 25% more diners (240,000 total, which also says something about our home-cooking skills). “In all, Center City, and the close-by areas that ring it, have had a banner 2012," which he predicts will spill over into 2013.|
|“If I’m right, all I get to say is ‘See, I told ya so,’ and if I’m wrong, nobody remembers,” Steve explains. “Still, the best way to anticipate 2013 in Center City Philadelphia is to have a firm grasp on what happened in 2012.” For example: there’s been a voracious appetite for space on the prime blocks of Walnut Street. Sales by retailers here continue to show that it’s a good place to capture day, night, and weekend shoppers. Also, Chestnut Street and areas east of Broad continue to attract enterprising regional and local merchants.|
|Center City has residential momentum as well. The Center City District reported increases in residential unit sales (up 6.7%), as well as residential values (up 7.5%), during the first three quarters of 2012 compared with the same period last year. The average number of days residential units were on the market is down more than 10%. Most of the unsold condo inventory from mid-2000s has been sold, and new rental apartments are being built—more than 1,800 units are under way. Moreover, the population is diverse in terms of age. Young adults (25-34) make up 28.7% of the residents, but nearly as many are 35-55 (23.8%), and over 55 (21.9%). (Those statistics are measured by 'tightness of jeans.)|