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PHILADELPHIA-The Central Philadelphia Development Corp. urges a comprehensive strategy for increasing office-sector growth in Center City. While applauding the efforts of the 1990s to expand the arts, entertainment and hospitality sectors Downtown, CPDC notes that a similar effort to lure office growth would have a bigger payoff, because office-based businesses employ more people and pay higher salaries.

During the decade from 1990 to 2000, the CPDC report notes, the number of professional service jobs Downtown declined by 10% while the suburbs experienced office growth of 34%. The Center City office market is now 87% occupied. “Every 1%-increase in occupancy adds 1,520 new office jobs and $18.9 million in annual salaries to residents of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods,” according to CPDC.

Suggesting that a focus on individual deals simply rearranges the office occupancy level, CPDC urges a marketing campaign to carry a message to “a broad national audience,” instead of focusing on retaining tenants on a case-by-case basis. Philadelphia successfully addressed the hospitality sector through a comprehensive strategy, CPDC points out.

Furthermore, the report also notes that the expanded arts, entertainment and hospitality effort included a $1-billion investment in infrastructure, which included the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Kimmel Center and the Independence Visitor Center.

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