Center City and University City GrowthJuly 8, 2014 | by Brooke Willmes
Most of us who live in Philadelphia will commonly refer to our downtown as center city but a new report released by the Center City District shows that it not exactly the center of the city. Every major city in the country has a define center of the city where it dominates in terms of economic activity. Philadelphia along with New York have two centers of economic activity. Center City and University City, which is also rapidly growing. Then report also found that our Center City has more commercial residents in it then most commercial districts, The only two commercial districts with more are Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Manhattan. Most of the census gather for the report are based on employment data from 231 major employment centers in the countries 150 largest cities. The report suggest that this is a better indicator of a city’s “downtown” so according to this report Philadelphia has two major centers, Center City with 288,227 jobs and University City 79,368 and with a lot of activities growing in the area. Projects such as the new CHOP Building that will be breaking ground soon that will look to help stabilize the Schuylkill riverside as well as other projects such as the $110 million dollar high rise rental effort called 3601 Market. Such projects are proof that University City has become a vibrant economic hub and neighborhood.
As far a Center City is concerned, it will also be getting a major boost in the next few years as Comcast’s sister tower the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will be raised. It will certainty give the Center City economy a boost providing short term and long term job stability. An enormous state of the art office space tower that will help boost the Center City economy even more and keep our local creative talents that graduate from Penn University and Drexel from relocating to California and New York. Center City also ranks third only behind again Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Manhattan with residents that lie with in the commercial district. There are 57,239 residents living between Vine and South Street, river to river. Center City ranks fourth in terms of the number of residents that live with in a mile of the commercial downtown (170,467 residents), Center City also ranks 10 in the nation in both total downtown jobs (288,227) and the residents who work downtown (40.7%). Philadelphia has seen a growth in population where working professionals have migrated back to the city or the surrounding neighborhoods over the last decade. It has become a mecca of entertainment for artist, nightlife and the restaurant scene. The residential population in the downtown area has grown by 16.3% from 2000 – 2010 and the area with in half a mile from center city has grown by 16.2%. These are all positive notes that has Philadelphia trending in the right direction. This report is proof that Center City life is booming and will continue to see more growth with new high rises coming soon and many more building planning begin to take shape.