State of Center City 2016

Posted by Center City District on May 2, 2016

The Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC)/Center City District (CCD) has released State of Center City, 2016, an in-depth look at the diverse sectors that make Center City Philadelphia the largest employment center in the region. The report combines data from many diverse industry reports with an exceptional range of original research, analysis and survey work. But it is also a candid look at what Philadelphia can and must do better to thrive with an expanding economy that can provide more employment opportunities.

As the CCD observes its 25th anniversary and CPDC its 60th in 2016, the new report documents the many positive changes that have transformed the downtown: rising office occupancy rates from 86.7% in 2014 to 88.5% in 2015, with suburban and out-of-market tenants accounting for 23% of newly leased space; dramatic attendance growth in 2015 at the Liberty Bell (23%), Franklin Institute (18%), Philadelphia Museum of Art (17%), African American Museum in Philadelphia (10%), and the Kimmel Center (25%); a 98% increase in hotel room supply from 5,613 in 1993 to 11,119 in 2015, and the highest hotel occupancy rate (76.7%) in recent history.

Since 1990, Greater Center City has been transformed from a 9-to-5 office district into a thriving, mixed-use setting for business, innovation, education, cultural and civic activity, as well as one of the fastest growing residential locations in the region. Greater Center City, the 7.7 square miles between Girard Avenue and Tasker Street, river to river, comprises only 6% of Philadelphia’s total land area, but holds 42% of Philadelphia’s 684,500 jobs, and attracted 25% of all new in-movers to Philadelphia since 2010, fueling an acceleration of downtown housing production. Since 2000, Center City’s population grew by 17% to 184,998, led by millennials and empty-nesters.

The 73-page report shows just how far Center City has come, highlights unresolved challenges and notes ways the city can continue to take advantage of the strong, national trends favoring large urban centers.

To view or download the report in full or by chapter, visit

For a full selection of Center City District Reports, visit

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