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March 30, 2008

Richard Florida

Who's Your Philly

« SanFrooklyn | Main | The Singles Map »

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Philadelphia has a secret weapon. Housing everywhere, from the urban core to its terrific suburbs, remains affordable. The biggest challenge in the leading mega-regions of the world is escalating housing prices. Wharton's Joseph Gyourko and colleagues dub this the "superstar-city" phenomenon. Prices in other key parts of Bos-Wash (not just Manhattan, but also Boston and Washington) have skyrocketed, and not even the subprime crisis or the current credit crunch has brought them down to earth. At a recent dinner party in Toronto, we were talking about trying to recruit a high-flying professor from a Philadelphia-area university, when a colleague jumped in: "We'll never get him. He has a mansion outside of Philadelphia for less than what it would take to buy a two-bedroom condo in Toronto." This housing-cost advantage is a huge edge for Philly's future. Philadelphia has plenty of challenges. As in all cities, there's work to do on crime and urban education. But both city and region are well-positioned for the future.

The rest is here.

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» Asset Pricing and Agglomeration Economics from Newshoggers.com
At the Creative Class Exchange, Richard Florida is promoting an interesting angle on Philadelphia's strength based marketing and economic development. Interesting, but I think wrong or at least incomplete.Philadelphia has a secret weapon. Housing every... [Read More]

Comments

Zoe B

Philly is a glorious city, where you still can get East Coast life for a Midwestern price. A friend of mine (who was such a fan of the place that he made a career of running Philadelphian archives) claims that Philly's PR problem dates from 1875, when it did an infamously incompetent job of a World's Fair. The city got a rep for second-ratedness from which it hasn't yet recovered. WC Fields (a native) said that he wanted his gravestone to read: 'On the whole I'd rather be in Philadelphia.' And in about 1980 there was talk of a slogan for selling the city: 'Philadelphia isn't as bad as Philadelphians say it is.' (Compare this circumstance to that of Chicago, who did such an impressive job of their 1893 world's fair that it is a legend among urban planners.) But this worked to my advantage - straight out of college, I could afford to live in Philadelphia.

Frank L.

affordable? really? I lived in philadelphia for 13 years before moving to ohio in 2003. I was back there recently, and saw that my old house was for sale, so I looked up the asking price online: 469,000. almost half a million for typical south philly rowhome with no driveway and a 12-by-12 slab of concrete for a back yard. if that's affordable, I'd like to know what the writer considers expensive.

Zoe B

I don't know where you were looking, but I think the central area is not entirely gentrified out. And I could be out of date, but if you compare to NY or DC areas it's still a bargain. I shared a rented rowhouse, and later rented an apartment, in the Clark Park are of West Philadelphia, between the U of Penn student rentals (east) and the point where the racial integration stopped and the ghetto began (west). The Spring Gardens area, Old City and Manayunk were beginning to gentrify, and a lot of North Philly was hard-core ghetto. The South Street area was beyond my price range, but deeper in South Philly would have been affordable to rent. There were vast working-class row house neighborhoods in the Northeast, near the Broad Street line. I never even thought of trying to buy a place.

And I could have gotten a much cheaper place if I'd stayed in the Midwest, but damned if I was going to do that!

mike b

frank, you're comparing philly w/ ohio? that's silly...of course philly is more expensive..it's a large east coast city. but compare that place to a similar place in manhattan or DC, and you'll see that the asking price would be about twice that. that's the point of the article, and "expensive" is always relative. a lot of folks in india would consider ohio to be stratospherically priced, too. my place (a 1500sf 2BR townhouse with parking and a 16x16 yard, in center city) rents for $1500/mo. what would that place rent for in NYC?

Colleen A

I lived in Philly from 1989 to 1998. I rented in the Spring Garden neighborhood aka the Art Museum Area. I had a beautiful 1,100 sf two bedroom apartment for $750 per month. In 1995 the 4 unit townhouse I lived in went up for sale, I didn’t want to move so I bought it! It was only $125,000 and as a first time buyer there were incentives to buy with very little down. Since then I have lived in Switzerland (high rent) and outside of Boston with a high mortgage. I have a management company handling my Philly house. The neighborhood was declared an historic district in 2000. The rents have doubled since 1998 and the value of the house has more than doubled, but still much cheaper than it would be here where it would be doubled again. We have refinanced twice to help pay for renovating our home in MA but the rental income still carries the Philly mortgage.

I need to mention the restaurant and music scene in Philly, they are accessible and fabulous! I say that after appreciating them deeply while there and even more so since I have been away.. .. In Philly you are tripping over excellent, affordable and really creative places to eat! And all summer long there are free concerts on Penn’s landing featuring great musicians. Also, Penn’s radio station really connects one with all things musical in the city and beyond.

Colleen A

I lived in Philly from 1989 to 1998. I rented in the Spring Garden neighborhood aka the Art Museum Area. I had a beautiful 1,100 sf two bedroom apartment for $750 per month. In 1995 the 4 unit townhouse I lived in went up for sale, I didn’t want to move so I bought it! It was only $125,000 and as a first time buyer there were incentives to buy with very little down. Since then I have lived in Switzerland (high rent) and outside of Boston with a high mortgage. I have a management company handling my Philly house. The neighborhood was declared an historic district in 2000. The rents have doubled since 1998 and the value of the house has more than doubled, but still much cheaper than it would be here where it would be doubled again. We have refinanced twice to help pay for renovating our home in MA but the rental income still carries the Philly mortgage.

I need to mention the restaurant and music scene in Philly, they are accessible and fabulous! I say that after appreciating them deeply while there and even more so since I have been away.. .. In Philly you are tripping over excellent, affordable and really creative places to eat! And all summer long there are free concerts on Penn’s landing featuring great musicians. Also, Penn’s radio station really connects one with all things musical in the city and beyond.

captive insurance companies

I have never understood how people can be attracted to philly. I just honestly don't see the appeal. I mean, yea, fresh prince was from there, but beyond that I don't see it. ;)

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