Mike D'Onofrio
Jan 13, 2023 - News

First phase of South Philly's new Bellwether District to soon begin

A rendering of Hilco's development project for South Philadelphia

A rendering of the Bellwether District in South Philadelphia facing southward. Courtesy of Hilco Redevelopment Partners

One of Philly's largest development projects is on the cusp of breaking ground.

What's happening: Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP) will begin the initial phase of its multibillion-dollar project in South Philly, dubbed the Bellwether District, in the coming months.

Isaac Avilucea
Jan 9, 2023 - News

Sixers stadium plan faces new Chinatown opposition

The Fashion District shopping center where the Philadelphia 76ers hope to build a new arena.

The Fashion District shopping center where the Philadelphia 76ers hope to build a new arena. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP Photo

A faction of Philadelphia's Chinatown leaders is splintering off to form a new coalition aimed at blocking the 76ers' arena proposal.

Why it matters: The Chinatown community has a long history of fending off large-scale development projects, including a 2000 bid to build a new Phillies stadium at 12th and Vine Streets.

Mike D'Onofrio
Jan 9, 2023 - News

Philadelphia cracks down on Airbnbs and short-term rentals

Illustration of an upside-down house forming a downward-pointing arrow.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The new year brings new regulations for Philly's Airbnbs and other short-term rentals.

Why it matters: The rule changes are expected to reduce the number of vacation property rentals.

New Year's resolutions for Philadelphia in 2023

Illustration of the Axios logo moving sidways like a rightward arrow, and revealing the year 2023 over a field of blue and black streaks.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

2022 is officially in the rear view, and we have high hopes for Philadelphia in 2023.

What's happening: The new year brings new resolutions, and Philly leaders have promised to address long-term challenges and make good on bold commitments. Here's how officials are hoping to improve the city this year.

Abortion rights drew Pennsylvania voters to the polls

Data: #WeCount/Society of Family Planning; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios
Data: #WeCount/Society of Family Planning; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Abortion proved to be a big motivator for some Americans — and Pennsylvanians — in last week's midterms, the first election in the Keystone State since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Driving the news: Josh Shapiro's victory has given abortion rights advocates a sense of relief that Pennsylvania's next governor won't roll back protections at the state level.

Mike D'Onofrio
Nov 14, 2022 - Business

Screen Time with Fancy Brigade performance producer John Best

Photo illustration of a grid of smartphone screens, the center one showing an image of John Best.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo courtesy of John Best

John Best is bringing his Emmy Award-winning pedigree to the Fancy Brigade Association's annual Mummers performance.

State of play: Best was hired this year as the producer for 6ABC's broadcast of the association's finale inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on New Year's Day.

How to call out if Philly wins the Fall Classic

Illustration of the Phillie Phanatic with "OOO" on the back of his jersey.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Thought experiment: Let’s say the Phillies take it all this weekend. People have a litttle too much fun. Enough that maybe Monday's a good day to stay home from work.

  • Just hypothesizing here, guys.

OK, but how might someone call out?

There’s raw honesty:

  • "Look, boss, even if I come in, I'm telling you I'm gonna be about as productive as Houston's Alex Bregman was at the plate."
  • "I'm like the Phillies bullpen. I should get an extra day off for rest."

You play the sympathy card:

Or just play the wild card:

Mike D'Onofrio
Oct 12, 2022 - News

Philly's "eds and meds" economy

Illustration of an open briefcase full of pencils and health pluses.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Higher education institutions and hospitals power nearly 13% of all jobs in our regional economy, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Driving the news: The fed’s report, released last month, provides the first-ever nationwide economic assessment of the impact that “eds and meds,” also known as anchor institutions, have on their communities.

  • The report includes a “Reliance Index” that calculates how dependent local economies are on these establishments.

Zoom in: Philadelphia — home to the University of Pennsylvania and its health system, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Temple University — is among the most heavily reliant on eds and meds compared to its peer cities.

  • We rank fifth among peer regions when it comes to the overall impact that anchor institutions have on employment, trailing New York City and Chicago.

Why it matters: Higher ed and hospitals have wide-ranging economic effects on their hometowns.

  • They help stabilize communities through their large employment pools, typically resist economic shocks, spark innovation and attract talent.
  • Plus: These institutions remain anchored to their regions, whereas corporate headquarters or manufacturing facilities can pick up and relocate.

Yes, but: These industries are experiencing disruptions as a result of the pandemic and remote work, demographic changes and rising costs.

  • The result, the report says: “Regions that have reliably depended on anchor institutions, especially as other industries have moved out, may be looking at uncertain futures.”

By the numbers: Eds and meds in the Philly region account for more than 495,000 employees and 8.4% of the region’s income — or $33.8 billion — per the report.

What they’re saying: Deborah Diamond, director of the Anchor Economy Initiative at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, tells Axios that the city’s meds and eds have led to the creation of companies in different industries, such as Spark Therapeutics, a gene therapy company.

  • Those spin-offs, she believes, have helped reduce the city’s overall reliance on eds and meds.
  • They have “diversified our regional economy even further,” she said.

Go deeper: Read the full report and use the online dashboard.


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