Why Valley Forge Is Banking on Sports to Lure Visitors

Making the pitch for a regional sports facility in Montgomery County at a Feb. 16 news conference at Center Ice in Oaks were (left to right) Chris Branscome, CEO, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer; Andy Carl, sports sales manager, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board; Jennifer Shipman, director of sales, DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia/Valley Forge; LIsa Karl, vice president of sales and strategic partnerships, VFTCB; Mark Shepard, King of Prussia Fire Department, and Mike Bowman, president and CEO, VFTCB. | Photo: Sandy Smith

Making the pitch for a regional sports facility in Montgomery County at a Feb. 16 news conference at Center Ice in Oaks were (left to right) Chris Branscome, CEO, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer; Andy Carl, sports sales manager, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board; Jennifer Shipman, director of sales, DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia/Valley Forge; LIsa Karl, vice president of sales and strategic partnerships, VFTCB; Mark Shepard, King of Prussia Fire Department, and Mike Bowman, president and CEO, VFTCB. | Photo: Sandy Smith

For an investment of just under $50 million plus a modest annual operating subsidy, Montgomery County hotels and restaurants could see $100 million or more pour into their coffers within five years if a new multi-sport tournament-ready playing facility is built in the county.

To get the ball rolling towards that goal, the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board held a kickoff news conference last Thursday (February 16th) at Oaks Center Ice to mark the formal start of raising funds and soliciting proposals for a Valley Forge Sports facility. Read more »

How Philly Moms Are Fighting for the Right to Pump Breast Milk in Privacy

Illustration by Anna Parini

Illustration by Anna Parini

Like most moms, I’ve breast-pumped while perched delicately atop toilets, while wedged into filing closets, while idling in Target parking lots.

This is all de rigueur in the pumping world, which is one of endless workarounds. For one thing, being topless at work and milked by a motorized pump is nobody’s first choice; for working moms, pumping is the only way to feed their kids breast milk for the full year recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Secondly, even though federal and city laws require most employers to provide non-bathroom private space for moms to express milk, there’s wide latitude in what those spaces look like and how consistently they’re available — particularly in our increasingly open-office society. Not to mention all the public spaces that offer, like, zip. So … hello, Wawa bathrooms, hotel lobbies, broom closets. Read more »

U-City Named Hottest Tech Submarket in Nation

One Drexel Plaza and Drexel Square

Strong demand and rising rents should make it easy for projects in the University City development pipeline, like the Schuylkill Yards joint venture between Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust, to find tech-sector tenants to fill them, if the latest CBRE “Tech-Thirty” report is any guide. | Image: SHoP Architects and West8

Those shiny new buildings rising in University City are not only turning it into Philadelphia’s second downtown — they’re making it the nation’s hottest submarket for high-tech office space, according to CBRE’s annual “Tech-Thirty” survey.

The survey, which examines job growth and technology office space rent growth in the nation’s 30 largest technology employment centers, put the area surrounding Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania at the top of the list for office rent growth — the average rent of $41.40 per square foot is up 37.8 percent over the two-year period from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2016 — and in growth of net absorption (the amount of space on the market that gets occupied), it ranked second only to Tempe, outside Phoenix, with a growth rate of 23.3 percent over that same period. Read more »

The Most People Ever Visited Philadelphia In 2015

Philadelphia Skyline | R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Skyline | R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

Visit Philadelphia released Philadelphia’s tourism statistics today, and the numbers are record-breaking: 41 million people visited our city last year, up from 39 million in 2014.

But to some extent, the results are unsurprising — this marks the sixth year in a row that Philadelphia has broken the previous year’s tourism record. And with the city playing host to marquee events like the papal visit in 2015 and the Democratic National Convention this year, why should we be surprised? Philly’s a city on the rise. (The New York Times shouted us out in its “36 hours” series in May).

And while Philly rises, its economic fortunes do, too. According to Visit Philadelphia, visitors to the city generated $10.7 billion in economic impact, or, put another way, $29 million every single day. 

Read more »

Verizon, City Could Tussle Over Fios Franchise Agreement

Verizon Fios ad - Suburban Station

An ad for Verizon Fios in Suburban Station. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Verizon says it’s fulfilled its contractual obligations to roll out Fios to the entire city. Philadelphia isn’t so sure.

Earlier this month, the city asked residents to let them know if they’d tried to get Verizon Fios but were told it was not available in their area. Verizon signed a franchise agreement with the city for its Fios television service in early 2009. One requirement, standard in most franchise agreements in American cities, was for Verizon to have the entire city covered with Fios service by February of this year.

“It’s in our best interests as a company — after pursuing the franchise agreement and investing millions of dollars to build our network — to make the service available to as many city residents as possible,” says Verizon spokesman John O’Malley. He says Verizon completed a build-out of its network a bit before the February deadline.

But Philadelphia has received more than 500 submissions to the city website asking residents if they’ve been unable to get Fios, says Philadelphia Chief Information Officer Charlie Brennan. If it’s determined Verizon violated the agreement, the company could pay fines up to $2.6 million “if we can prove definitively that they have not met their commitment,” Brennan says. Read more »

It’s Happening: Comcast Is Buying DreamWorks

comcast-dreamworks-940x540

NBCUniversal, which is part of the mighty Comcast Corporation, announced the purchase of Dreamworks Animation today, in a major deal for the Philadelphia-based cable and entertainment conglomerate.

DreamWorks Animation is a production company that makes animated films, TV shows, live entertainment and related products. You know it from animated features like Shrek and Madagascar.

According to a statement from Comcast, DreamWorks has an equity value of about $3.8 billion, and DreamWorks stockholders will receive $41 per share. The boards of each company and the majority shareholder of DreamWorks have all approved the agreement, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Read more »

Study: Navy Yard One of Most Successful Redevelopment Projects in U.S. History

The Navy Yard | Photo: PIDC

The Navy Yard | Photo: PIDC

The long-running transformation of The Navy Yard from its shipbuilding past to its present as a growing urban office park has been hailed as one of the “most successful” redevelopment projects in U.S. history by the Urban Land Institute.

The former military base has become home to a host of corporate and regional headquarters, ULI observes in a new article — a location that has attracted more than 150 companies with 12,000 employees.

Oh, and it’s hip, too. Read more »

Philly Chamber of Commerce Report Pushes Gas Pipeline

A map of proposed natural gas pipelines into or near the greater Philadelphia region taken from "A Pipeline for Growth."

A map of proposed natural gas pipelines into the greater Philadelphia region taken from PGEAT’s “A Pipeline for Growth” report.

The push to make Philadelphia America’s next energy hub continues.

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce this morning hosted an event, “Building the Nation’s Next Energy Hub,” that called for the construction of a natural gas pipeline from the Marcellus Shale to the Philadelphia area. Read more »

So, Is Aramark Looking to Move?

Aramark's corporate headquarters in Philadelphia. (Wikimedia Commons)

Aramark’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia. (Wikimedia Commons)

Oh snap.

Aramark, one of Philadelphia’s most famous corporate residents, could be looking to move its headquarters elsewhere.

“Elsewhere” could mean relocating from its Center City office tower to the Navy Yard, which is home to an ever-growing number of businesses that dig the chilled-out campus feel and choice selection of food trucks. Or it could mean… New Jersey. (Shudder.)

That’s according to the Philadelphia Business Journal, which broke the news of Aramark’s potential move this afternoon. The company occupies 350,000 square feet of its building at 1101 Market Street — you know, the one with the red star-shaped person at the top — and another 50,000 square feet in the Wanamaker building. Read more »

« Older Posts