Young Clientele Drives Market for Center City Philly Retail Space
Millennials, young families, office workers and tourists are driving the increasingly vibrant Center City Philadelphia retail scene, sparking renewed interest in Philly retail space among local and national retailers.
A new report by Center City District and the Central Philadelphia Development Corp. said the demand and buying power of this group of young consumers has attracted a diverse variety of retailers to the market for Philadelphia retail space. The Center City area currently features 250 apparel stores, 133 food and drink establishments and 444 full-service restaurants, according to the report.
In addition, national retail chains — including Forever 21, Nordstrom Rack, Uniqlo, Michael Kors, Timberland and others — have been drawn into the market for retail space in Philly, with each of these brands opening new downtown stores in 2014, the report noted. But even with this influx of national names, fully 77 percent of Center City retailers are the typical boutiques, independents and regional firms, the report said.
The renewed optimism in the Philly retail space market can also be seen in the inclusion of new Philadelphia retail space in plans for larger mixed-use projects, the report said. These include:
- Midwood Investment & Development’s 60,000-square-foot multi-level building at 15th and Walnut Streets, which will be anchored by a Cheesecake Factory restaurant and will include multiple floors of retail space in Philadelphia.
- Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust’s 30,000-square-foot development at 15th and Walnut, which has the recently renovated Club Monaco already in place as a tenant and is looking to attract additional tenants to its retail space in Philly.
- The major renovation plans for The Gallery shopping mall to bring Philly retail space and restaurants back to the ground level, street side of the mall.
- Brickstone Realty’s Chestnut Street redevelopment plans that call for Philadelphia retail space with attached luxury apartments.
- National Real Estate Development’s transformation of the former Girard Square into the new East Market, a full city-block project that will include a 17-story tower with 160,000 square feet of retail space in Philadelphia in phase one.
The growing demand for retail space in Philly should continue to strengthen so long as these variables remain stable, the report noted. “With more than $4.7 billion in development projects and residential population increasing, Center City’s retail footprint continues increasing as demand and rents rise,” the report said.
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