office boom

Philly Poised for Office Boom Not Seen Since Early ’90s

NBCUniversal, Inc.

What to Know

  • Philadelphia is getting taller in Center City and University City as more buildings are proposed.
  • The rise in new office development underscores trends at work in Philadelphia. Companies have become more comfortable spending top dollar to rent new office space in an effort to attract and retain talent in a tight labor market, experts said.
  • Demand for space — both office and lab — in University City remains strong.

So much new office construction is currently proposed for Philadelphia that it rivals the late 1980s and early 1990s, when an onslaught of office development flooded the market and recast the city’s skyline.

Eight projects totaling 3.6 million square feet are in different stages of planning, marketing and construction for Center City and University City, according to Newmark Knight Frank data. Those figures don't include commercial projects in the works at the Philadelphia Navy Yard or buildings like those that Jefferson Health is developing for itself adjacent to its Center City campus.

The rise in new office development underscores trends at work in Philadelphia. Companies have become more comfortable spending top dollar to rent new office space in an effort to attract and retain talent in a tight labor market, according to real estate experts speaking at the Newmark Knight Frank annual forecast.

In addition, demand for space — both office and lab — in University City remains strong. That recently prompted a development team consisting of the University City Science Center, Ventas Inc. and Wexford Science and Technology to break ground on One uCity Square, a 400,000-square-foot building with lab and office space, on speculation.

For details on the projects in the pipeline, click here.

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