Sixth Straight Year of Population Gains for Philadelphia

According to new census data, Philadelphia sees its sixth year of population gains. Over 7000 new residents moved to Philadelphia last year. While Philadelphia is still in 6th place as largest city in the US it marks a departure from projections that originally projected Philadelphia would be losing population.

This is a bullish sign for Philadelphia and urban places on the whole. More people are choosing to live in cities and we will see this trend continuing for some time as this country re-urbanizes.

Record Numbers Of College Graduates Moving Back In With Parents

According to new research, over 80% of college graduates are moving back in with their parents after college. This got me to thinking is this due to not having a job or money? or being prudent and living at home to save up money or a combination of both? If it's being prudent I think this can be attributed to the younger generation witnessing first hand the "great recession," which has most certainly had a profound effect.

If you look at our grandparents generation who lived through the Great Depression they saved, didn't really use credit cards and basically lived within their means. Hopefully we are seeing a renewal of these values.

This does pose an interesting question for housing, particularly rental housing in cities where many college graduates congregate. Will this trend create pent up demand? Will it create demand for new types of housing? Only Time will tell.

Portland Taking Interesting Approach To Creating Walkable Sustainable Neightborhoods

Just read this great article over at, where the mayor of Portland OR talks about creating what he calls 20 minute neighborhoods throughout the Portland MSA. His definition of a 20 minute neighborhood is effectively a neighborhood where you can walk or bike to restaurants - they liken it to a "mixed use development."

It would seem Philadelphia is extremely well positioned to leverage this concept as it's a city of neighborhoods. It would be interesting to see this concept made part of the Greenworks Initiative or some other program(s).

New Report Shows More People Walking and Biking

A new Federal Highway Administration Report due out today that studied the last 15 years of data on biking and walking has found a tremendous uptick in these activities.

From 1990 to 2009, the number of trips taken on foot more than doubled from 18 billion to 42.5 billion. Similarly, the number of bike trips increased from 1.7 billion to 4 billion.

This is a very good sign as it shows people are becoming less dependent on cars. And if you have read some of our other posts which show younger people are shunning cars and a re-urbanization both bode well for these figures to continue to increase. The benefits are obvious in terms of impact on the environment and wellness (obesity). It will be interesting to keep an eye on this trend in the future.

We know most of our tenants in Brewerytown have bikes, use public transit and walk a lot and most of them are young (under 30).

Catching Up With B Love of

Were you a fan of the late, great, photography website, Philly Skyline? B Love has left us for Portland, but his baseball heart remains in Philadelphia. In fact, you can catch his occasional posts on the fantastic Phillies blog The Fightins.

Which brings me to his latest post calling for a call-to-the-majors for top prospect Domonic Brown. I can't agree at this stage of the season. Despite the Phils' recent struggles there is plenty of baseball left, and the law of averages is on their side. Let Brown continue to mature, and revisit the issue in late July.

$19m Of Improvements Coming To the Parkway

The city just announced that work will commence immediately on over $19m worth of improvements to the Parkway including more bike lanes, one less car lane and a cafe pavilion. This is definitely a step in the right direction but would like to see more car lanes eliminated and add some retail so the Parkway is less like a highway. Link to story.

Art + Soul Food = Btown June 12th

2nd Annual Art + Soul Food along West Girard Avenue, Brewerytown Saturday, June 12th, 2010 2-6PM

Philadelphia, PA (May 17, 2010)- The 2nd Annual Art + Soul Food event will take place on Saturday June 12th, 2010 from 2-6pm along the 2500-2900 blocks of West Girard Avenue. The annual event celebrates life, art, and soul food in Philadelphia’s Brewerytown neighborhood. The inaugural event last year drew an impressive crowd despite unfavorable weather conditions and now in its second year the event promises to be an even bigger success.
Art + Soul Food transforms over 20 area businesses and vacant storefronts into an eclectic mix of art galleries highlighting mostly local talent. From the dry cleaners to the sneaker shop and even the sidewalks themselves the entire avenue becomes one enormous celebration of art. Couple that celebration with the delectable tastes of the some of the city’s best soul food restaurants and you get Art + Soul Food.
This year’s Art + Soul Food has some exciting additions and highlights, including: A meet and greet with Darryl McCray of “Cornbread” fame, a former Brewerytown resident dubbed the father of modern graffiti. Catch the trailer to his upcoming documentary “Cry of the City” by producer Sean McKinight setting the record straight on Cornbread. A recent mural installation by acclaimed muralist and street artist, Shepard Fairey of New York City. Shepard Fairey is most known for designing the iconic Obama poster during the 2008 presidential election. Showcasing work of local artists including Young, owner of Young’s Sneaker City. Young will display his work that is normally only stored in the back office of his sneaker shop. It’s not uncommon to see him at his easel in the back of the shop on any given day. Art and music from 10 area students from St. Luke’s Baptist Church After School Program will be on display along the avenue. Plus, the official Heineken After Party at North Star Bar (27th & Poplar) featuring Heineken Specials and soul music from 6-9pm.
The event, a collaboration of local community groups, aims to instill a sense of pride amongst neighbors in the area as well as highlight all the positive features of the neighborhood to visitors. Art + Soul Food is sponsored by Heineken, MM Partners, Pennrose Development, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and It’s made possible by the collaboration of a number of community groups including the Fairmount Community Development Corporation (CDC), Greater Brewerytown CDC, West Girard Business Association, and the Girard Coalition.
For more information about Art + Soul Food visit To receive sponsorship information or to learn how to showcase your work contact the Fairmount CDC at or by calling 215.232.4766.

Cars Trending Down ... Bikes Trending Up!

Via Richard Florida and Nate Silver comes evidence that car use is peaking. To quote Florida:

Younger people today -- in fact, people of all ages -- no longer see the car as a necessary expense or a source of personal freedom. In fact, it is increasingly just the opposite: not owning a car and not owning a house are seen by more and more as a path to greater flexibility, choice, and personal autonomy.

Philadelphia is smartly following this trend; the City is doubling the miles of marked bike lanes. We here at MMPartners welcome these trends. We are investing in Brewerytown precisely because of its location. Living or working in Brewerytown is convenient, and you do not need a car.

Article On Artists Collectives In Philadelphia

From, a great story on artist collectives throughout Philadelphia.

The Arts Corridor project on Frankford Avenue is just one example of artists finding new neighborhoods and new venues for their art. It is happening throughout the city - an organic movement, often centered around the large number of co-operative and collective spaces being created by artists, many of them relatively new to Philadelphia.

These co-ops exhibit new work, provide a space for the exchange of artistic ideas, and create microcommunities across the cities that sometimes extend their reach into both surrounding neighborhoods and the wider art world.

These collectives not only provide a great venue for artists to showcase their work but are great for creative collaboration and of course neighborhood development.

MM is working on a project at 2617-19 W. Girard which will include artist studios and possibly exhibit space as we strongly believe the arts are a key component to any neighborhood.

Walk To Work - Center City To Brewerytown

My car was is in the shop this morning so I decided to walk to the office from my house in the Fitler Square neighborhood via the Schuylkill River Trail to Brewerytown. It took only 25 minutes and was a nice way to start the day. I saw tons of people doing the same thing I was. In addition, lots of people exercising (biking, running, karate, yoga, etc). Notice the photos of cars sitting traffic as well as the statue of Stephen Girard behind the Art Museum.