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Cornell Real Estate Review

Abstract

As the pace of change has accelerated, there is wide recognition that the future will belong to innovative and advanced technologies and industries. Competition among cities and, indeed, within cities, has intensified to attract and retain the individuals and companies that are leading this change. While areas like Boston’s Kendall Square and Silicon Valley are at the forefront of this movement, other areas are significant but under-reported contributors. Philadelphia, with its "eds and meds” economy, is well-positioned to excel in, and indeed has been capitalizing on, this innovation economy. While Philadelphia has received significant attention as an innovation center, much of this focus has been on University City, a portion of West Philadelphia with high-profile universities, spin-offs, and real estate developments. Meanwhile, South Philadelphia has quietly been creating a diverse innovation ecosystem, fueled by start-ups, Fortune 500 and publicly-traded companies, and professional sports teams. Anchored by the Philadelphia Navy Yard, which is rapidly expanding to become a research and development hub, the diversity and depth of South Philadelphia’s innovation ecosystem may well elevate this neighborhood – and Philadelphia – into the national consciousness as a leading center of innovation.

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