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OLD CITY VISION 2026

Philadelphia, PA

The Old City District (OCD) retained a multi-disciplinary planning team led by the RBA Group to prepare a master plan for the Old City neighborhood, known as Vision 2026. The plan is intended to provide OCD with a comprehensive planning strategy that outlines a specific, implementation-oriented agenda for future investment and improvement
in the District.

Old City Philadelphia is known as the nation’s most historic square mile, home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and the National Constitution Center as well as a commercial district noted for its eclectic independent art, design, fashion and restaurant tenants and a residential neighborhood comprised of historic homes, loft conversions and newer infill developments. Despite its regional appeal, the Old City District faces competition from other burgeoning neighborhoods in Philadelphia's expanding Center City area and our work focused on identifying market opportunities that would capitalize on Old City's location and unique character. 


Urban Partners’ conducted a real estate market assessment for the Old City neighborhood, documenting the economic conditions for several key market segments -- including retail, office/commercial and sales and rental housing. In addition, Urban Partners completed a comprehensive inventory of building use throughout the neighborhood, categorizing ground floor activity and estimating
upper floor occupancy and use.


Based on our identification of uses for which adequate demand exists to support new development, the entire planning team assessed the scale of development appropriate for Old City and identified specific locations at which investment should be targeted. Urban Partners examined financial feasibility of development and operational sustainability for potential development
scenarios in Old City -- including a new supermarket, a building rehabilitation and a movable marketplace that could be located under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Our analysis estimated approximate development costs and identified potential financing approaches.

Old City 2026 Retail Market Analysis

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Client: Old City District