December 6: Ridge Ave demo bill | 95.5% occupancy | el Seed, West Powelton, Streets Dept

A new report finds that the Center City retail market is enjoying a healthy 95.5 percent occupancy rate, stabilized rents, and different tenant mix, writes the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni. Retail brokers speak to a range of rents on Chestnut and Walnut as well as landlords’ tactics to fill vacancies.

Episode 5 of the Streets Dept Podcast is out: Conrad Benner speaks with internationally renowned Tunisian-French artist el Seed, who was recently commissioned by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture and Mural Arts to paint a mural at Market and Preston Streets in West Philadelphia. el Seed talks about his approach to the built environment as an avenue to create dialogue among different cultures and generations. Al-Bustan also has an extremely detailed account of el Seed’s week in West Powelton, including time on “Little Filbert Street,” visiting People’s Emergency Center, and partaking in the weekly Men’s Coffee Talk at the Bank on Lancaster Avenue.

A new housing policy toolkit for inclusive growth aims to provide local governments with strategies and policies that can be applicable to three situations that cities face. The situations, Next City’s Oscar Perry Abello writes, consider if housing is already unaffordable, the city or neighborhood is already gentrifying, and if neighborhood blight and decline is a problem.

Update on Ridge Avenue demolition: the Rules Committee voted Tuesday to move Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.’s demolition moratorium bill forward to Council, Curbed Philadelphia’s Melissa Romero reports.

In national policy news, CityLab goes deep into how the Republican tax bill will affect urban residents, in particular commuters, renters, and retirees.

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