BizFeed: Amtrak Lawsuits Face $200M Hurdle

A crime scene investigator looks inside a train car after a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

After Tuesday’s Amtrak crash, expect plenty of lawsuits, but law states that damages will be capped at $200 million. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

1. Lawsuits a Certainty After Amtrak Crash, But Damages Capped at $200M

The News: In the wake of the Amtrak train crash, expect a slew of personal injury lawsuits against the company — especially considering that the train reportedly went double the speed limit and that Amtrak’s CEO said the company takes “full responsibility.” The first lawsuit comes from Amtrak employee Bruce Phillips who says he suffered brain trauma, body injuries and emotional stress, according to NBC10.

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Move Over Millennials — In Philly, Boomers Are Booming

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Much has been made of the Millennial “revolution” in this city in recent years, perhaps nowhere more than at this magazine. The attention is probably warranted, for reasons not worth delving into yet again (young adults have brought start-ups and pop-ups and optimism to Philly, yada, yada, yada). But too little attention has been paid to the booming number of boomers (and up) in Philadelphia.

That’s the focus of a new report by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) titled “Ageing in Cities.” Philly is one of nine cities worldwide that are highlighted in the report, as examples of where the challenges of a fast-growing, retirement-age community will emerge. And soon. According to the study, Philly will see a huge increase in this demographic over the next five years: Read more »

Millennials Hate Cars, Right? Wrong.

Source: Shutterstock.com

Source: Shutterstock.com

Millennials hate cars. They’re all about Uber and bicycles and subways, right? Well, apparently the conventional wisdom is now wrong. Like really wrong. According to a Bloomberg report out this week, there’s been a steep rise in Gen-Y car buyers over the past five years:

They’ve zoomed past Gen X to become the second-largest group of new car buyers after their boomer parents. Millennials are starting to find jobs and relocating to the suburbs and smaller cities, where public transport is spotty.

Citing J.D. Power & Associates data, Bloomberg writes that in 2010, Millennials accounted for 18 percent of new car sales in the U.S.; in 2014, they were buying 27 percent of cars sold. This suggests that Millennials weren’t steering clear of cars because they preferred life as pedestrians, but rather because they couldn’t afford cars, what with the dismal job market and the Great Recession. Now that wages and employment are picking up for Millennials, they’re the fastest-growing market for auto-sales. Read more »

Should Philly Bars Stay Open Till 4 a.m.?

Is the way to the hearts of Philadelphia millennials through their alcohol-soaked livers?

Rep. Jordan Harris thinks so — the Philly Democrat this week said he would introduce a bill that would let Pennsylvania bars apply to stay open until 4 a.m., an extra two hours beyond the current mandated close of business. He’s pitching the proposal as a bit of economic development aimed at keeping young millennials happy and in Philadelphia after they graduate.

“Philadelphia especially has lagged behind other major cities within a short radius as far as nightlife is concerned,” Harris said in a statement announcing his proposal, “and this bill would put our city on par with some of the largest cities in the country as far as having a healthy, vibrant nightlife.” Read more »

Philly Ranked 4th Most Walkable U.S. City

Philadelphia is the fourth most walkable large city in the country, according to Walk Score (a company that produces the “go-to metric for walkable cities,” says urban theorist Richard Florida). That’s the same Walk Score ranking Philly had last year.

It’s no surprise that parts of Center City, as well as Bella Vista and Fishtown, were named among the Philly’s most walkable neighborhoods. The rankings are based on walking routes, the friendliness of pedestrians, and other metrics.

Is Philadelphia’s walkability helping it attract millennials (and could it bring in even more)?

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Why Philly’s Millennials Aren’t Buying Houses

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Shutterstock.com

I love Philly, but I’m not going to buy a house here — at least, not anytime soon.

Neither, it seems, are thousands of millennials who call the city home, according to Sunday’s Inquirer. The reasons shouldn’t be surprising: They’re broke and skittish. But we ought to consider why it is they’re broke and skittish, and what it means for the future of the city that the next generation is hesitating to put down stakes here. Read more »

That Moment You Realize Fast and Furious Is Your Favorite Modern Movie Series

fast and furious

It’s a special kind of terror that sits on your shoulders when, after doing your best to keep your nose in the air and parse out rational, cutting movie critique, you realize that your favorite modern movie series is Fast and Furious.

It may be one of those special-circumstance-of-young-adulthood things, like going shopping for healthy groceries and coming home with a loaf of bread, Dr. Pepper, and five boxes of Gushers; or trying to re-learn how to dunk, even though your brain keeps telling you that your knee will fall apart like the chassis of a 1990 Corolla dropping out at 60 MPH on the thruway. It’s one of those quixotic, silly, confounding moments that help you realize that, in spite of all the trappings of professionalism and governmental subservience, you are still a kid, and sentimental. And that you like when cars go boom.

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Millennials Aren’t Flocking to Cities Anymore—Can Philly Buck the Trend?

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Shutterstock.com

Half a million fewer Millennials picked up and left to start over in new locations following the Great Recession, according to a new study released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Even though young adults remained by far the most transient age group out of all Americans both before and after the downturn — accounting for 43 percent of all movers over the six-year span studied — their movement slowed down, especially among 18- to 24-year olds.

People chase jobs. Less mobility in a post-recession world could be a positive indicator of a healthier economy for young people (more job stability) or it could be a casualty of the recession (moving is not an option for some anymore).

Philadelphia, though, is something of an Millennial migration outlier, which is good news. The number of young people moving into the city from other counties (aged 18-34) grew by seven percent between 2010 and 2012, compared to the three years prior. And the amount of Millennials moving in from other states grew by eight percent over that span.

That’s an encouraging sign, but it’s not the complete picture. Millennials move out of the city as well. And, indeed, a Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative report from last year warned that Philadelphia’s Millennial surge — 100,000 more young adults between 2006 and 2012 — could be slowing down:

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Urban Homeownership Is Dying Away

Not much vacancy. | Photo By Shutterstock

Not much vacancy. | Photo By Shutterstock

[Updated at 8:15 p.m. with context from a Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative study on the same subject.]

Cities are booming, but urban homeownership is fading fast, a new study out of the New York University’s Furman Center shows.

In 2006, renters outnumbered homeowners in just five of the nation’s 11 largest cities: Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. But by 2013, renters dominated in nine of the top 11 cities.

Not included in that list? Philadelphia. Read more »

Report Finds Philly Is Among the Best Markets for Renting to Millennials

Millennials have no doubt been the source of several headlines these last few years, and it looks like the Generation Y-talk won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Case in point, a recently released RealtyTrac report which, in addition to examining the best U.S. markets for buying residential rental properties in the first quarter of 2015, takes a look at the best markets for renting to millennials.

The results? Well as you can see from the chart below, the Greater Philadelphia Area, which saw a 25 percent increase in its millennial population between 2007 and 2013, has one of the country’s highest annual rental returns thanks to an 18.78 percent annual gross yield.

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