This week’s edition of Llenrock Local focuses on the symbiotic relationship between real estate and transportation:
- The Center City District and the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation recently released their “How Philadelphia Gets to Work” report. The report found that 70% of Philadelphians rely on public transit to commute to work and that housing values generally held up far better during the recession in neighborhoods located closer to employment centers and transportation hubs than in more automobile dependent suburbs. Additional studies indicate nationwide decreases in automobile usage among the millennial population while cultural, workforce and demographic trends favor amenity-rich live-work places. As a result, developers are focusing on constructing commercial and multifamily properties near public transit. For example, Dranoff Properties has proposed a 200-unit multifamily project with 10,500 square feet of retail space adjacent to the Ardmore Train Station. This project, dubbed One Ardmore Place, is expected to break ground next year.
- SEPTA is studying plans for a potential high speed railway to King of Prussia. Proponents of this plan envision a reliable rail alternative to King of Prussia from Center City that markedly decreases traffic congestion on the I-76 corridor while accommodating growth in Upper Merion Township’s office parks. These proponents foresee the rail system (or any viable alternative to the I-76 nightmare for that matter) directly impacting jobs growth (and office construction) in King of Prussia and its immediate environs. Don’t get too excited, though — if approved, SEPTA anticipates the project will take a minimum of 9 years.
- Investments in the Philadelphia region’s highways also foster real estate activity. A newly completed Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange in Malvern is spurring new development, including a new headquarters for Endo Pharmaceuticals and a 128-room Marriott Residence Inn. E. Kahn Development also plans to construct a residential development and additional retail space nearby.