Category: General
Brave New World



The election is over. Choices have been made. Time to move forward. Excited to get back to business and work on exciting projects. I hope that people can and do come together and that our economy maintains its strength. I hope the financial markets continue to perform well and that banks keep lending. As always, I want to help people buy houses, rent spaces, start businesses and do awesome things. Tell your people who want to get something done: call Christopher Plant, that MoveToPhilly guy, he will help you get what you need.


Cheers To You. Cheers To Us.

Pew Charitable Trusts Study Confirms Philadelphia. Is. Awesome.

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ work is all about laying a foundation for policies and civic responsibility practices for a better city life. By using non-partisan, evidence-based analysis, they are able to better pinpoint specific challenges facing cities and their citizens, therefore highlighting the path to make real, positive changes.

For the seventh consecutive year, a report was released last month by Pew Charitable Trusts titled Philadelphia: The State of the City 2015. In this report, they analyze jobs and economy, public safety, education, housing, government and transportation, arts and culture, and health and welfare. Reports like these enable us to compare numbers in context to other cities similar in size, location and makeup as Philadelphia, as well as comparing current statistics with our own from years past.

Here are some of its most notable findings:


Philadelphia’s population is on the rise. After declining for over a half a century, more than 71,000 new residents in the past seven years now call the City of Brotherly Love home. Despite its population of over 1.5 million, Philadelphia feels and functions like a collection of neighborhoods- each with its own unique identity.

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The age profile has altered… a lot! Between 2000 and 2013, the age profile in Philadelphia has changed pretty dramatically. More than ever, Philadelphia offers a younger adult generation art and culture, nationally-renowned higher education opportunities and a growing economy. Since 2013, 25-29-year-olds remain the city’s largest age cohort by far.

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People are excited about the future of the City, and a staggering margin show that they have immense confidence that Philly will continue to get better- proving to be an even better place to live as time goes on. M2P agrees!


Unemployment rates continue to drop. While Philadelphia was a little slow to recover after the recession, since 2011 we continue to see the number of unemployed citizens decline significantly. Similarly, Philly gained over 8,800 jobs in 2014 alone, marking the highest employment level in the city in more than a decade.

Some other notable mentions:

  • Tourism of domestic overnight visitors has increased well over 2M since 2004
  • Colleges and universities continue to bring in huge amounts of revenue for Philadelphia, with University of Pennsylvania and Temple University alone bringing in over $3.7B  and $1.2B respectively.
  • Violent crime at a record low since 1968, and an overwhelming 43% of responders to the poll said they felt safe in their neighborhoods
  • High school graduation rates on the rise (68% in 2012 compared to 52% in 2005)
  • Of City residents ages 25-34, nearly 40% had bachelor’s degrees, nearly 7 percentage points higher than the national average. Back in 2000, this number was only 26%.


Studies like this one shed light on just how awesome Philadelphia is and how much it continues to get better each year. We’re excited to watch as the positive changes keep comin’.




A Collective Moment of Opening Day Zen


Let’s all have a collective moment of Opening Day Zen as we wish the Phillies a stellar season. With a less than impressive standing last year (73-89, landing them in 5th place in NL East), the loss of a few familiar faces, and recent sharp comments from the likes of Hamels and J-Roll, we need to get our head back in the game. Today the Phillies are back at Citizens Bank Park to face off with the Red Sox for the home opener. We at M2P are all staying positive and believing that here in Philly, anything can happen… even World Series wins.

To kick things off, those outside at 2:13 p.m. can line up on 10th Street and cheer on our boys as they make their “Leadoff Walk” into the park. Pre-game anthems to be sung the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Men’s Chorale, as reps from all of the Armed Forces unfurl an enormous American flag. Hamels is expected to start, so for the time being we’ll forgive him for the less-than-positive remarks and for those annoying Red Sox rumors. Get tickets here

Let’s Go, Phillies!



The “Starbucks Effect,” and What it Means for Philadelphia

This year, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and its Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries released a book that changes some things about the way we think of real estate trends. One of the interesting topics discussed in the book has generated a lot of conversation in the RE world, and that’s the concept of the “Starbucks Effect.” So what’s the story behind the idea and more importantly, what does it mean for Philadelphia?

Simply put, the Starbucks Effect is a term originally coined back in the late 90’s that refers to the increase in home prices that are located within a close proximity to a Starbucks coffee shop. As it turns out, before the folks at Zillow started to closely monitor and study these trends, no one had actually ever done the measurable research on this topic. Their findings were somewhat shocking- between 1997 and 2013, homes located within a 1.8 mile radius of a Starbucks saw an average increase in value by a staggering 96%. That number, compared to the national average of 65%, caught Rascoff and Humphries’ attention. By honing in on a Starbucks location, one could much more accurately assume that a home would see a notable increase in value, therefore predicting the next “hot neighborhood.” Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, this was largely determined by following the gay neighborhoods. As they were segregated to specific blocks in metropolitan cities (often more run-down and in need of repair), these neighborhoods were quickly restored and brought new commercial ventures, which brought money to the area and increased home values. As we continue to progress and elevate our way of thinking in light of gay rights, this is no longer the way ‘the next big neighborhood’ is measured. The Zillow team determined that Boston, where homes near Starbucks saw property values rise 171% in the same research time period, has the Starbucks Effect more than any other city in the US.

Philadelphia ranks 2nd in the nation with a 112.6% increase. One can likely argue that a Starbucks isn’t going to be erected in an area that doesn’t already come with a heftier price tag. Rascoff and Humphries address those arguments in Zillow Talk by stating:

“True. properties near Starbucks locations tend to start out more expensive. But as you can see, these properties appreciate at a faster rate than U.S. housing on the whole. Interestingly, they’re also recovering much more quickly from the housing bust.” 

Listen to NPR’s Here and Now interview with Rascoff and Humphries here