PHILADELPHIA—The Center City District, viewedby many as the economic engine that drives the city, is having someissues in terms of its office space and employment in key jobcreating sectors.

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According to the 75-page “State of Center City” report releasedby the Center City District, the district's office rental rates arelagging behind national and even suburban Philadelphia rates.

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The report notes that job growth in the n health care andeducation sectors, which have been the city's largest job creators,has flattened and for the first time in a decade, declined lastyear in Center City, according to The Inquirer.

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The report, which is for the most part positive on the CenterCity District's performance last year, did note that the district'soffice market, while sporting a high occupancy rate at 86%, fallsbelow the national average of $35.19 per square foot for officespace. In fact, Center City's $27.11 per square foot rate is lessthan rates commanded in Pennsylvania suburbs—$27.95 per squarefoot.

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Since 1990, Center City's share of the office space in thegreater Philadelphia region has slipped from 36.3% to 29.1%.

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"This is not meant to be a purely promotional report," saysPaul Levy, CEO of the Center City District. "Thisis meant to be a look at our strengths and our challenges. The cityis loads better than it was, but it is not yet fulfilling its fullpotential." See story in The Inquirer.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.