What's on the horizon for industry in Philadelphia?

KSS Architects contributed to the PIDC’s latest report on industrial development in the greater Philadelphia area, “Philadelphia Delivers: A hub for logistics & distribution”.

At the heart of the report are the following key findings:

  • Philadelphia offers abundant land and skilled workforce—a regional workforce of 2.9 million people and sites that can support more than 14 million square feet of new built industrial space.
  • With the rise of global e-commerce from $500 billion in sales in 2010 to a projected $4 trillion in sales by 2021, Philadelphia will need to build its capacity to decrease delivery times by investing in urban warehouse and distribution infrastructure, as well as key last-mile facilities that may be smaller in scale, between 50,000 and 350,000 sf.
  • Industrial real estate will see shifts in the speed and types of products moved—as such, there will be increased demand for logistics and distribution hubs in a 6- to 9-mile radius of urban centers. 
  • This will drive workforce demands; while traditional warehouses require one employee per 1500-3000 sf, e-commerce facilities average one employee per 700-1000 sf.
  • With its history of manufacturing and distribution, multi-modal transportation assets, and location of 50 major distribution and warehouse facilities within 75 miles of the city, Philadelphia is a logical place for the growth of e-commerce fulfillment operations.

Perhaps the most exciting part? Philadelphia has nearly 1,300 acres of cleared, industrially-zoned land suited for logistics, distribution, and e-commerce development ready to be put to work.

Read the full report here.