University City District Releases Annual Economic Development Report, Highlights “Future of Work” at State of University City

Thursday, December 6, 2018

CONTACT: Alissa Weiss, University City District, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications; 215-243-0555 or [email protected]


University City District Releases Annual Economic Development Report, Highlights “Future of Work” at State of University City

Annual Event Shines a Light on University City’s Innovation Economy and its Connection to Regional Economic Growth   


(December 5, Philadelphia, PA) – On Wednesday, December 5th, funders, board members, and community leaders will assemble at World Café Live for the annual State of University City. This year, the event will focus on “The Future of Work,” and how University City’s universities, health systems, startup companies and more are shaping the jobs and economy of the future.


The event will examine the neighborhood’s unabated real estate growth over the past year but, says Matt Bergheiser, UCD’s President, “If real estate is the ‘hardware’ of economic development, then jobs and work are the ‘software,’ since the vision for so many of these buildings is housing bold new companies, brilliant researchers and experts in fields that have yet to be invented.” Thus, State of University City will also highlight the entrepreneurs and innovators shaping the next generation economy while examining critical actions local partners can take to accelerate the district’s growth.  


The event also serves as the official release of University City District (UCD’s) State of University City 2019 publication, which demonstrates the neighborhood’s status as the regional leader in innovation and development. The report provides an in-depth guide to the development projects – academic, commercial, public, residential and more – transforming the district, along with additional data and stories on employment, innovation, retail growth and other critical economic development indicators. The State of University City is a critical resource for those seeking to do business in the neighborhood.  


This year for the first time, UCD has created an online map tracking the 26 new development projects that opened their doors or made significant progress towards completion. This represents approximately 4.5 million square feet of office, residential, academic, research, restaurant and medical space that will enhance the neighborhood’s already robust inventory.  The map can be seen at


This year’s publication highlights achievements in:



  • University City’s building boom continued, with 1,306,000 square feet of development completed in 2017. Major new projects on the horizon will keep the skies dotted with cranes for years to come.


Job Growth

  • University City topped 80,000 jobs for the first time in 2018. While hospitals and universities dominate the market, other sectors – including IT, hospitality, and construction – continue to grow.


Dining Options

  • University City is home to a whopping 270 places to eat and drink, with more on the way. The dining scene is a mix of cozy BYOs, authentic international cuisines, and world-class kitchens. 



  • In 2017 local inventors and developers received a record number of patents, while R&D funding rose 26% to $1.48 billion. These numbers are primed to explode as more labs and coworking spaces open.


Diversity and Education

  • In University City, 59% of residents possess at least a Bachelor’s degree, compared to 26% for Philadelphia as a whole. The neighborhood is one of the city’s most diverse, with a 62% chance that two residents are different races, and 22% of residents speaking a non-English language at home.



  • University City boasts fantastic scores for walking, biking, and public transit, earning “paradise” distinctions for all three from Increased investments in biking infrastructure and a new bus route will help improve these already stellar rankings.



  • With trees covering 15% of the neighborhood and nearly 100 acres of public space, University City is a green getaway minutes from Philadelphia’s core. Bicyclists, walkers, and runners are drawn to the neighborhood’s iconic parks, trails, and hidden havens.



  • Homes listed for sale in University City spent an average of 12 days on the market, the median cost for home sales increased to $400,000, and the median rental remained at $1,500. While high by regional standards, home and rental prices remain affordable when compared to peer innovation hubs.


UCD believes that University City’s future is critical to the future of the city and region, and that the district’s unique assets, opportunities and environment are both an engine of prosperity and an exemplar of community. This publication illustrates the neighborhood’s ongoing transformation and UCD’s impact on the neighborhood. To obtain physical copies of The State of University City 2019, contact UCD by phone at 215-243-0555 or by email at [email protected].



About University City District (UCD): UCD promotes a world class, vibrant University City through major investments in public space development, public maintenance and public safety, by connecting entrepreneurs and residents to economic opportunity, and through the creation and management of destination events.