Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Center City District Sees Philadelphia Retail Transforming, Repositioning

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
From the changing retail mix along Rittenhouse Row to the expanding food and beverage offerings on East Market and Chestnut streets, Center City’s retail landscape is being transformed and repositioned to meet the needs of the growing millennial population in Center City, while continuing to serve Philadelphia workers, residents and visitors.

Center City’s retail market is experiencing the shifting dynamics affecting retailers everywhere but is faring far better: vacancy along prime retail corridors in Center City is just 5.4%. By comparison, Q2 2018 retail vacancies hit 10.2% nationally and 8.4% regionally, according to Center City District’s annual report on the state of downtown retail.
Center City’s 3,195 active storefronts in 2018 consist of 986 retail stores, 1,005 food establishments and 1,204 service providers. And despite the recent additions of well-known national retailers, Center City shopping remains distinct from everywhere else in the region: 743 of those 986 retail stores in the downtown—three out of four—are local businesses.

Center City’s long-established Rittenhouse Row shopping district has grown beyond its previous confines along West Walnut Street as rents have increased, transforming West Chestnut Street and the connecting numbered streets and expanding the boundaries of Philadelphia’s prime retail corridor.

Meanwhile, east of Broad Street in the burgeoning Market East district, strong demand is being driven by national retailers seeking larger floor plates and by local businesses seeking lower rents than what is found west of Broad.
With three major retail-driven developments completed since 2016, two more currently under construction and another in the pipeline, Market East will see the addition of 1.2 million square feet of retail in the next few years, representing a $910 million investment. This critical mass of large-scale mixed-use development will development will create a continuous shopping and dining district from Independence Mall to City Hall.


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