A guide to executive suites and office space to rent in Philadelphia as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting offices in Philadelphia.
History & Geography
Philadelphia is one of the oldest and most historically significant cities in the US, as well as being one of the largest on the country’s East Coast. Philadelphia is located along the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers in the northeast of the country and is the seat of Philadelphia County. Before the arrival of Europeans the area around the city was inhabited by the Delaware Indians in the village of Shackamaxon. In the 17th century Dutch and Swedish settlers arrived in the area, establishing several settlements and calling their colony New Netherland. In 1664 New Netherland was conquered by the English, who established their own colony. William Penn, an English entrepreneur was given rights to the land by Charles II, and established the colony of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia, named after the Greek word for brotherly love. Philadelphia quickly became the most important city on the continent and grew rapidly. The city played an important role during the American Revolution, hosting the first and second Continental Congresses and having several battles fought in its vicinity. After the war Philadelphia became eclipsed by New York, but grew into an important industrial city. A massive influx of immigrants from Ireland and other European nations boosted the population even more towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. During the middle of the 20th century the city grew, with large suburbs being built on its outskirts. In the 1950s the population of the city peaked at two million, but then started to decline rapidly. In the 1970s the inner city saw major refurbishment and gentrification which continues to this day. New skyscrapers were built in the downtown area and the city also made a concerted effort to market itself as a tourist destination. Recently a new wave of immigrants, mostly from Asia has arrived in the city. Today the city is the commercial and cultural hub of the Delaware Valley.
Industry has traditionally been the bulwark of the Philadelphia economy. This remains the case today, however the city has also managed to diversify into other sectors and currently has a fairly varied economy. Manufacturing and oil refining are major employers in the city, as are food processing, biotechnology, health care and financial services. The city has an annual gross metropolitan product of well over USD 300 billion, making it the seventh largest in the country. Among the larger companies headquartered in the city are Comcast, Colonial Penn, CIGNA, Sunoco and the Lincoln Financial Group. Pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline and Wyeth also have large presences in the city. Another major employer in Philadelphia is the federal government, with both the Federal Reserve and the US Mint located in the city. Philadelphia also has a role as one of the most important centers for medicine in the country. The University of Pennsylvania has the country’s first medical school and there are many other medical schools in the area, including Thomas Jefferson University, Temple University School of Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine. Philadelphia also has a thriving tourism industry.
Tourism & Culture
Tourism is one of the most important parts of the local economy in Philadelphia. Much of this is due to the city’s long and interesting history, especially the role it played during the founding years of the United States. Among the most visited historical sites in the city are Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Also popular with tourists are the homes of Edgar Allen Poe, Betsy Ross and Thaddeus Kosciuszko. Other historic buildings in the city include the First and Second Banks of the US, Fort Miffin and the old Swedish church Gloria Dei. Philadelphia is also home to a host of museums, the most famous of which are the Academy of Natural Sciences, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, the Altwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia and the National Constitution Center. Philadelphians speak with a strong and distinctive accent and the city also has several unique dishes that it is known for, including the Philly cheesesteak, hoagies, soft pretzels and scrapple. Philadelphia is also known for its sports teams, the most famous of which are the Phillies in baseball, the 76ers in the NBA and the Eagles of the NFL.
The city is served by the Philadelphia International Airport which is to the south of the city and provides both international and domestic flights. Philadelphia itself has a comprehensive bus service and is also a hub for the Greyhound Bus company. The city also maintains its streetcar service, one of very few American cities to still do so. Philadelphia also serves a the regional hub of the Amtrak railway service. It is the primary stop on the Washington-Boston route and the 30th Street Station is Amtrak’s third busiest in the country on average.
Philadelphia was hard hit by the economic crisis and the recession which followed in its wake and is now in the midst of a slow recovery process. At the moment the unemployment rate is nine percent though has been gradually dropping. The education and health sectors are bulwarks of the economy and keeping it afloat. The overall vacancy rate currently stands at approximately 12 percent in the CBD and with the recent availability of new space on the market is likely to increase slightly. The average rental rate is USD 26 per square foot.