Work from home, in the city.

From the Real Deal:

Philadelphia’s “beat up” office market struggles to recover

The City of Brotherly Love has no love for commercial real estate.

Office occupancy in Greater Philadelphia has contracted by nearly 10 million square feet since 2019, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, citing data from CBRE. Hybrid work models and remote work have cut significantly into the market.

“The downtown market is beat up right now pretty good,” Nick Gersbach, senior vice president in CBRE’s Philadelphia office, told the Inquirer. “I’ve been here 23 years in this market, and I haven’t seen it contract at this pace before … We’re a three- to five-year window from stabilizing and experiencing a slow recovery. … People are not going back into offices.”

The concern is that rather than a sluggish recovery, the current situation is really the new normal, leaving the office sector to grapple with how to deal with the losses.

While Philadelphia may not be appealing to go to work in an office, people still want to live there.

“There’s this weird phenomenon of residential construction continuing at a strong pace in Philadelphia, people wanting to live in the city, wanting to play in the city, wanting to dine in the city as restaurants and retail are reemerging,” Gersbach told the Inquirer. “But for whatever reason, not wanting to go into an office in the city.”

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, Philly. Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Work from home, in the city.

  1. dentssdunnigan says:


  2. jim says:

    second/ from Ohio!

  3. Very Unstable Democrat says:


    George Stephanopoulos gave his unvarnished take Sunday on an ABC/Washington Post poll predicting a Donald Trump landslide over President Joe Biden in 2024.

    “This poll is just brutal for President Biden,” Stephanopoulos said on “This Week.” He added he had difficulty processing some indicators of Trump’s strength in the survey.

    The new poll showed that Biden would lose to Trump, 49% to 42%.

  4. trick says:

    The house in our neighborhood that listed for $725 was under contract in less than a week. Last 3 that sold were $690-700. Its crazy. All young couples, not sure where the money is coming from.

  5. Fast Eddie says:


    The house in our neighborhood that listed for $725 was under contract in less than a week.

    Any indication of what the final price was and number of offers?

  6. trick says:

    Not yet, but will find out

  7. The Great Pumpkin says:

    That’s a sweet partnership right there. Don’t be stupid guys, go buy a little position.

    “Excited to welcome @Boehringer to the @ginkgo platform !!

    We 💚 enabling drug discovery efforts of biopharma companies !! This project combines ginkgo’s large proprietary genome databases / robotic labs and BI’s knowledge of key targets / biology 🧬🤝💊”

  8. The Great Pumpkin says:

    My wife’s younger cousin just paid a million in Westfield. I’m like how the f’k are they barely out of their 20s with their first child buying a house at this price. I am assuming good jobs combined with rich boomer parents.

    trick says:
    May 8, 2023 at 7:55 am
    The house in our neighborhood that listed for $725 was under contract in less than a week. Last 3 that sold were $690-700. Its crazy. All young couples, not sure where the money is coming from.

  9. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Her husband was in the military. She is in financial accounting.

    I said this 10 years ago when I was getting bashed on the price I paid for my house. I said 650k for your forever home is going to look cheap in 10 years. Here we are. We make a lot of money and only paid 650k for our house and it will be paid end of decade. Did we still overpay? Makes moves people and ignore the noise.

  10. 1987 Condo says:

    Trump: I guess he can win if suburban towns start getting inundated with migrants from the southern border….

  11. JJ Ghost says:

    JJ says:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Most national Muni bond funds buy high yield
    stuff to juice returns that widows and orphans look for.
    Most Detroit bond holders dont know they own it.

    I buy bonds direct and I buy stuff like MTA,
    Port Authority, NYU, NYS GO, NYS Sewer bonds,
    School Bonds from rich school districts etc.
    And I spread them out.

    If one is buying a national muni bond fund
    and lots just look at yield they get a lot
    of junk loaded in. I buy junky muni bonds
    but usually Suffolk or Nassau County etc.
    As I doubt the Northshore and Hamptons
    would let them go BK, they can raise
    property taxes and Steven Spielberg is
    not walking away from him 20 million
    mortgage free house causes taxes go up 5k.

  12. Libturd says:


    Thanks for your AMPH deep dive. I guess it’s a wait and s if the acquisition pays off. We have a meeting tomorrow. I’ll share any insight on Wednesday.

  13. Libturd says:

    Wow. Just got my homeowners insurance renewal. Went from $2400 to $3,000. We did have that IDA flood claim. But wow. May shop it around again.

  14. Fast Eddie says:


    Wait.. what? You pay $250 per month for house insurance?

  15. Libturd says:

    Now I do. Though I keep pretty high limits. Lots of kids running around here all of the time, plus the pool.

  16. leftwing says:

    Pumps, you do realize that these ‘partnerships’ are the company’s stock in trade? In other words, contrary to the random Twidiot comments, they are not revolutionary or Earth moving, just literally what the company does. Like dozens of them? This announcement is the functional equivalent of a major car manufacturer announcing model year changes on one of their brands…it happens, it’s supposed to happen, not a big deal just normal course of the business…

    Let’s deconstruct this one though….BI is going to spend ‘up to’ $406m with DNA from base molecule identification through the life cycle of commercialization. Being very generous – that all the data points like milestone payments do actually occur, a rarity – and that the cycle takes say only eight years that’s $50m annually from a company that spends $5B on R&D annually.

    BI is in the top 20 of R&D spenders industry-wide. R&D spend falls off precipitously once you get further down from the top 30 or so….

    So, how much potential revenue is *really* out there for DNA? Not much, if they’re only grabbing 1% annually of a major’s R&D budget…

    The more I look at this company the more I’m convinced the revenue to support their forecasts just isn’t out there and that they are ultimately just a product line in a larger CRO or pharma supply/service company….the problem there is with their wild unprofitability no other company can touch them. They are at scale – generating nearly $200m of revenue which is no small feat – yet they are nowhere near profitability so no light at the end of the tunnel….

    Also, I prefer my CEOs to not make announcements on social media with heart emoji and respond to random Twidiots with ‘clappie hands’…your CEO is acting like a suburban housewife liking her kid’s Instagram account, and I don’t invest in suburban housewives.

  17. Libturd says:

    Well, not until she remarries.

  18. Phoenix says:

    I guess this is how homeless camps start:

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    May 8, 2023 at 8:58 am
    My wife’s younger cousin just paid a million in Westfield. I’m like how the f’k are they barely out of their 20s with their first child buying a house at this price. I am assuming good jobs combined with rich boomer parents.

  19. leftwing says:

    LOL Lib, bazinga!

  20. leftwing says:

    And that was far from an investment, more like a total writeoff!

  21. Fast Eddie says:

    Regarding the empty office space everywhere; why do they insist on plowing more and more green areas in the suburbs to build a zillion condos when these office buildings can be repurposed? At the very least, knock down the existing office buildings and build a multistory dwelling.

  22. The Great Pumpkin says:

    All aboard!! Loading zone!! 🚀👍🏻🤘🏻💪🏻

    “This should be a slow few months in the future as the platform keeps scaling —

    “Ginkgo’s business development news has been on a tear in recent months. The company bought gene therapy assets from StrideBio, sold a former Zymergen lab to the multinational chemical and materials manufacturer Solvay, lined up an mRNA manufacturing platform pact with Sensible Biotechnologies and came together on an experimental RNA pill for colorectal cancer with Esperovax, among other announcements.””…

  23. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Because they know offices aren’t dead….referring to the owners.

    Fast Eddie says:
    May 8, 2023 at 11:52 am
    Regarding the empty office space everywhere; why do they insist on plowing more and more green areas in the suburbs to build a zillion condos when these office buildings can be repurposed? At the very least, knock down the existing office buildings and build a multistory dwelling.

  24. Fast Eddie says:

    punkin nogin,

    The office space capacity will not be the same. I see the advantages of being present among coworkers but people will not go back to five day commutes and full capacity. Consolidation is happening and will continue.

  25. Libturd says:

    “And that was far from an investment, more like a total writeoff!”

    I’m sure she calls it good will.

  26. The Great Pumpkin says:


    Understand that the stock is cheap because people like you won’t buy until the investment is deemed “safe.” By the time the investment is “safe,” you make bs index like returns. I’m here to hit a grand slam, not get on first base.

  27. leftwing says:

    Pumps, only one of those items has any meaningful revenue producing capacity…Esperovax…which is years away from even an IND….

    “The science is still in early stages, and Ginkgo’s head of mammalian foundry Narendra Maheshri told Endpoints News that he estimates they are 2.5-3 years away from an IND. “There’s a lot of work to be done,” Esperovax advisor Greg Fiore said.”

    Plus, despite the CEO posting this on Twitter just TODAY…the news is nearly half a year old….

    You are in the middle of the biggest pump and dump out there quarterbacked in part by the CEO and you don’t even see it, all to enable two firms – ARK and BG – to dump their shares on the public after they were foolishly caught holding over a quarter of this company with no exit in sight.

    But please be sure to keep us informed of any more recycled news by the CEO on social media!

  28. The Great Pumpkin says:


    Just what I see. The office will not die as long as human labor is needed. Just a short term trend now. It might die in 20-30 years as AI slowly replaces white collar labor.

  29. leftwing says:

    “I’m here to hit a grand slam, not get on first base.”

    Buy a State lotto ticket, odds are better. And characters less shady.

    Remember, sympathy in advance here for your future losses…GL

  30. 3b says:

    According to an article in The Hill, almost half of baby boomers have no retirement savings.

  31. The Great Pumpkin says:


    Maybe I read it wrong, but I took the tweet as meaning that news like this will “seem slow” as they start to scale rapidly. 3-5 years and this stock will be much higher. I’m in it for much longer than that. Minimum 10 years for me.

    “Plus, despite the CEO posting this on Twitter just TODAY…the news is nearly half a year old….”

  32. The Great Pumpkin says:


    Think about it like this. It’s only a matter of time that DNA will have its tentacles in all these projects embedding itself as an integral platform.

  33. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Fed expectations are shifting.

    Markets now see a 31% chance of a rate cut in July.

    The base case shows three 25 bps rate cuts this year beginning in Sept.

    It’s time to deal with the aftermath of the fastest rising rates in history.

    Fed futures think the Fed broke the system.

  34. leftwing says:

    My point is your CEO and two largest shareholders are doing a classic biotech info pump…never a good sign.

    As to ‘tentacles’ into ‘all these projects’ that is exactly where the rubber meets the road and what needs to be critically and financially evaluated…as to top line, timing, and profitability relative to valuation.

    Just throwing spaghetti against the wall and saying ‘wow, there’s lots of spaghetti on that wall, BUY’ is not financial analysis…in fact, it’s the opposite. Lotto.

    Again, GL.

  35. Libturd says:

    The FED didn’t break the system. The non-stop, near universal income, for 99% of the population and many of the 1%ers who fraudulently took it too through PPP when less than 20% of the population was materially impacted by covid is what broke the system. It’s what allowed businesses to raise their prices among a supply shortage and the demand side didn’t say “boo.” Why would they? Covid was saving them somewhere between 5 and 20% in work from home savings and Uncle Sam was paying them an extra 5 to 10% bonus for it.

  36. Libturd says:

    It has to do the pump. They will run out of money if they don’t. Lord knows profitability is still far, far away.

  37. 3b says:

    Lib: People crying about the Fed raising rates to fast is a bunch of nonsense when they started raising from less than zero.

  38. Libturd says:

    I agree. The FED didn’t break anything. What’s broke is our government, which keeps spending at a much higher pace than inflation. The debt to GDP is the only thing keeping us all employed, until it’s people won’t buy it any more.

  39. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Would do you guys suggest? More painful boom and bust cycles? I don’t understand people that think the alternate to central banks intervention is better. We tried that…it led to absolutely no stability as the panics happened over and over. You need stability to maximize growth investments that drive the economy. Get real.

    Everyone talks chit about the Fed, but what is the alternative? Boom and busts are a natural part of capitalism and the Fed does not create them.

  40. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Get real. It was an insane rate hike. It broke banks and you want more? Wtf?!

    Do you enjoy unnecessary pain? I don’t get it.

    3b says:
    May 8, 2023 at 1:36 pm
    Lib: People crying about the Fed raising rates to fast is a bunch of nonsense when they started raising from less than zero.

  41. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Does the Fed assist boom and busts….sure. That’s their job. To cut off too much upside and too much downside. What more do you want? Those bubbles and busts would be insane without their assistance.

  42. chicagofinance says:

    The insidious Chinese government plays the long game…..

    TikTok Tracked Users Who Watched Gay Content, Prompting Employee Complaints
    Company logged categories of content and users on app in effort to boost engagement; spokeswoman says TikTok has restricted access to that data

    By Georgia WellsFollow
    and Byron Tau
    May 5, 2023

    For at least a year, some employees at TikTok were able to find what they described internally as a list of users who watch gay content on the popular app, a collection of information that sparked worker complaints, according to former TikTok employees.

    TikTok doesn’t ask users to disclose their sexual orientation, but it cataloged videos users watched under topics such as LGBT, short for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, the former employees said. The collection of information, which could be viewed by some employees through a dashboard, included a set of affiliated users who watched those videos, and their ID numbers, they said.

    Other topics in TikTok’s data set also included lists of users, but the former employees didn’t consider those topics to be sensitive. TikTok workers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia in 2020 and 2021 raised concerns about this practice to higher-level executives, saying they feared employees might share the data with outside parties, or that it could be used to blackmail users, according to some of the former TikTok employees.

    Many social-media and ad-tech companies infer traits about their users based on online behavior. They use it to select which content or ads to serve to users.

  43. trick says:

    Fast, Do not know the sell price yet but multiple offers, they accepted an offer the 2nd day. Figuring they hit ask or higher.

  44. Libturd says:

    The rate hikes didn’t break banks. Poor bank managers broke banks.

  45. ExEx says:

    3:38 wHo iS wAtChinG DylAn Mulvaney’s dime store Audrey Hepburn guise.

  46. ExEx says:

    Biden vs Trump II

    …. look how far we’ve fallen.
    We are a laughing stock.

  47. BRT says:

    lol, if banks couldn’t survive 5% interest rates with an S&P hovering around 10% off peak, how would they survive an actual recession?

  48. Juice Box says:

    Chi – I am shocked that the left is not complaining that TikTok only recognizes two genders in their data they collect for advertising sales.

    They target based upon behavior and hastags etc. If you go ahead and like a video about dogs and cats you will get ads served to that effect. No different than any other social media platform in that regard.

    BTW – Nudity, pornography, or sexually explicit content are all banned on TikTok. So what kind of GAY content are we taking about here? The whores on the other platforms are also banned from posting their ads for sexual services etc. In that regard TikTok is superior to other crass platforms out there looking to monetize in any way possible including prostitution.

  49. Juice Box says:

    This china hysteria is comical. We gotta ban Chinese from buying farmland..!! We goota ban TikTok…. Meanwhile we import 1/2 trillion a year in manufactured goods with about 1/2 of that being Machinery & Mechanical Appliances including the precious iPhones that nobody can seem to live without.

  50. Crushednjmillenial says:

    “Where is the money coming from?” For high house prices?

    In the last two years, everyone that jumped jobs got a 20% raise. So, $100k went to $120k EASY. So, more buying power pushing up the high-ish end of housing.

    Anyone who wants a min wage job right now is getting $14/h. A blink of an eye ago it was $7.85 or $8 or whatever. Tremendous upward pressure on the low end of the housing market. That is, two people working full time at $15/h each is $4800 GROSS/ month. These people previously were making $2400 gross and paying like $1200/ month in rent. Thus, today any apartment under $2k/mo in rent is getting rarer and rarer.

    For buyers in Westfield, they might have $60k/year in gross income than 2-3 years ago. Commissions are killing it, too. Meanwhile, the rental alternatives and low end potential purchases are very bad by comparison. I’m not saying it is sustainable, but for the buyers if they are just looking and thinking about the next year or two, then that payment doesn’t look bad on a $1m house. They are not thinking about what happens with one income lost to unemployment or whatever right now.

    Lib- your insurance is off the charts high, man.

  51. 3b says:

    Crushed: It all might look good on paper, but wait until they actually start paying all the bills every mont. One million for a house based on your analysis is still insane based on the example you illustrate.

  52. Phoenix says:

    Catholic group spent millions on app data that tracked gay priests
    A group of philanthropists poured money into a Denver nonprofit that obtained dating and hookup app data and shared it with bishops around the country, a Post investigation has found.

  53. Juice Box says:

    Phoenix – People that now own Grindr want to get paid, they poured 600 million into buying that App 3 years ago, but they were selling data before even when it was a Chinese company.

    What data isn’t for sale these days anyway? Advertising is approaching a trillion dollars a year in spending, everything is for sale just ask your bank. All the financial junk you get today is because of them.

  54. Juice Box says:

    BRT – “ how would they survive an actual recession”

    They will be just fine, the 2.2 trillion they sweep over to the Fed every night earns a nice bit of interest 100% risk free.

  55. Bystander says:

    120K is not buying a $1m. Realistically, two incomes for total 240K should not purchase $1m home. Certainly not with accompanying 25k tax bill.

  56. Juice Box says:

    House just listed on my street over the weekend status has changed to under contract. Listed for $850 as it is on the smallish side and original design from 1976. He paid $574,900 during the bubble in 2005. Homeowner is a retired electrician, been driving his car with Vermont license plates as long as I have known him. I gather he is headed to his Vermont home for good.

  57. Libturd says:

    Crushed. I’ll bid it out again. Too steep of an increase. What sucks is that it’s only for one or two years more.

  58. trick says:

    Tax’s out by us are not as crazy, the $725 house is just under 14k. Maybe WFH is affording people to move more west yet still in blue collar county. Cant believe I said 14k was not crazy.

  59. chicagofinance says:

    Interesting…… sounds plausible to me….

  60. ExEx says:

    I can’t wrap my brain around a Hispanic White supremacist .
    That is some serious cognitive dissonance.

  61. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Keep blaming the Fed for the inflation, or wake up and smell the coffee. Supply chain bs is the source.

    “In normal circumstances this wouldn’t last. Capitalism is generally self-correcting – competitors slash prices to take market share, and margins (and inflation) fall back. Look back as long as we have records, says Edwards, and you can see that profit margins have always been mean-reverting. This time, however, the mechanism seems a bit clogged up. More than half of EU inflation is now a direct result of profit growth. There is evidence of the same in the US.

    Earlier this year Isabella Weber and Evan Wasner of the University of Massachusetts had a good look at the data in a paper called Sellers’ Inflation, Profits and Conflict: Why Can Large Firms Hike Prices in an Emergency? In it they note that the “overlapping emergencies” and the reporting of those emergencies in the last few years have handed a fabulous gouging opportunity to retailers, legitimising price rises and “creating acceptance” on the part of consumers. “This renders demand less elastic,” something that gives companies cover to all raise prices together – something they can’t usually do.

    The result? US corporate profit margins hit a record 13.5% in the second quarter of 2021, even as oil, gas, freight and food prices fell back. The share of the economy taken up by corporate profits is now higher than at any time since 1929. This, then, is “predominantly a sellers’ inflation that derives from the ability of firms with market power to hike prices”. The same dynamic is on the go in Canada, where grocery store prices are reaching record highs but farmers are seeing little, if any, of that price growth (the National Farmers Union says retail prices have completely “decoupled” from food input prices). It is the same story in the UK, where food inflation is nearly 20%.”

  62. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Well said.

    Crushednjmillenial says:
    May 8, 2023 at 5:21 pm

  63. The Great Pumpkin says:

    That’s pure bs. That’s the headline excuse. The Fed broke them by raising rates way too fast and hard. Simple as that. They were buying bonds for god’s sake.

    Libturd says:
    May 8, 2023 at 4:47 pm
    The rate hikes didn’t break banks. Poor bank managers broke banks.

  64. The Great Pumpkin says:

    That’s what the Fed does when they raise rates…try to break something. They can’t come out and say it, or face backlash. That is how you slow down an overheated economy.

  65. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Rate hike cycle is over.


  66. BRT says:

    umm, you realize Powell told them exactly how he planned to raise rates, they took bets against that plan, and lost.

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