Morning Headlines: Center City Office Rental Rates Below National Average

The latest State of Center City report is released.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Every year the Center City District releases a “State of Center City” report. What did we learn this time around? It may not be doing as well as one would hope.
According to the Inquirer’s Chris Hepp, the report says Center City is “showing signs of distress” for…well, a bunch of reasons. What caught our attention was the issue of office rental rates, which shows that while Center City’s population has been increasing over time, office rental rates are still below the national average. What’s this mean exactly? Just the area’s inability bring in new employers, in direct contrast to other cities and even the suburbs.

To put this in perspective, here are some numbers from the Inquirer:

While Center City’s commercial occupancy rate (86 percent) is slightly higher than the national average for central business districts (85.8 percent), the per-square-foot rental rate ($24.67) dramatically trails the national average ($35.19). When it comes to top-tier office space, the Pennsylvania suburbs are commanding a higher rent ($27.95) than Center City ($27.11).

Since 1990, Center City’s share of the region’s office space has declined from 36.3 percent to 29.1 percent.

Center City showing signs of weakness [Inquirer]

In other news…

Philadelphia Navy Yard Shows Its Green Side [CBS3]

What’s next for Germantown High School? [Flying Kite]

Rittenhouse Estates rising fast; sales progressing even faster [PhillyLiving]

Design Center in the works for former Catholic School [PlanPhilly]

Local residents plan to appeal court decision for former 40th and Pine mansion [Daily Pennsylvanian]