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Jan
19

Boomtown King of Prussia

January 19, 2017

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, Craig Ey

Greater Philadelphia is on a roll.

After two consecutive years in the national spotlight – for the pope’s visit in 2105 and the Democratic National Convention last year – the city and surrounding suburbs are poised for a period of advancement.

There are signs all across the region. In Center City, the cranes are in the air as new buildings, including the much-anticipated second Comcast tower, are taking shape. The western suburbs, including regional star King of Prussia, continue to be transformed into perhaps the most important business center. And long-battered Camden is becoming a major employment center and is starting to draw comparisons to Brooklyn’s now decade-old renaissance.

But severe challenges remain. While on an upswing, Greater Philadelphia’s economy has not grown as fast as its East Coast competitors – Washington, Baltimore, New York and Boston. Taxes and regulations continue to hamper job growth in the city and in New Jersey. Delaware is waking up to an economic earthquake as the state’s signature company – DuPont – merges with Dow Chemical.

Infrastructure remains a concern, as bridges and highways continue to age. One of the region’s best assets – the SEPTA transit system – has been beset by delays, a strike and a shortage of rail cars because of a structural problem.

And poverty and crime – as well as our undeserved reputation as a tough and unwelcoming place – continue to be major challenges.

In short, we are at a crossroads. Philadelphia’s potential as a city and a metropolitan region is boundless – if we take our problems seriously and implement solutions. Boston did it in the early 1980s. New York did it in the 1990s.

We can excel, in 2017 and beyond – if we dare to dream of the possibilities. What we published on our Jan. 20 print edition are dozens of short, concise stories about the projects, events, innovations and people reshaping Greater Philadelphia. On this site we will post the stories as premium content. We hope you enjoy it.

BOOMTOWN KING OF PRUSSIA

Back last May, we ran a cover story with the brash headline, “King of Prussia wears the crown.” Indeed, the story was about KOP’s dominance as Greater Philadelphia’s economic engine. Since 2008, nearly $1 billion has been spent on the purchase of office, retail, apartment and flex properties as well as raw but approved, developable land in King of Prussia, according to Montgomery County property records and its planning department.

Why it’s transformational: The King of Prussia momentum will not slow in 2017. These projects (and others) are on tap this year: A new headquarters for HTH Worldwide, luxury apartments at the Village at Valley Forge, a new Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th store in the Overlook at King of Prussia and a giant new Bassett Home Furnishings Store.

The players: King of Prussia District Executive Director Eric Goldstein, Simon Property Group, Toll Brothers Inc., Cornerstone Communities, Korman Communities, Hanover Properties.

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