Restructuring Phila.’s Business Taxes; Hope for Vacant Land; and Improving Independence Mall

Stupickles Blog Posts

Please enjoy this week’s edition of Capstone Law’s Philadelphia Real Estate Trends:


  • The Philadelphia City Council Finance Committee approved a bill that, if ultimately adopted, would substantially restructure the city’s business tax system. The bill intends to eliminate the net income portion of the dreaded Business Income and Receipts Tax in favor of increasing the gross receipts tax over a five-year period. According to its sponsor Councilman Bill Green, the proposed legislation would shift 17% of the tax burden from businesses headquartered in Philadelphia to those not based in the city that somehow “claim no profits in the City of Philadelphia”, such as Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot. If passed, the bill could ultimately lure new companies to the city, thereby providing a major boost to our commercial office sector.


  • Every day I walk past the saddest vacant lot in Philadelphia. It’s a large and long vacant parcel at 1911 Walnut Street with direct frontage on Rittenhouse Square, and I often feel it creates an abrupt halt to the energy ebbing just to its east on Rittenhouse Row. Apparently, however, Toll Brothers set its sights on acquiring this valuable piece of real estate in order to build a large mixed-use project complete with a condominium tower, hotel, and ground level retail space.  This potential project is just the latest evidence of Toll’s increasing interest in Center City after spearheading  its Naval Square and 2400 South Street developments.


  • Keystone Property Group, Mack-Cali Realty Corp. and Parkway Corp., the new owners of the 350,000 square foot Dow Chemical Building on Independence Mall, announced plans to transform the currently uninspiring property into an attraction.  The owners intend to convert the building’s substantial sidewalk frontage on Sixth Street into a “dynamic outdoor space” that will “enhance the pedestrian experience.”  Their plans include a 3,000 square foot restaurant with outdoor seating.  The owners will also provide underground parking for 120 to 130 vehicles.  Dow Chemical will continue to lease the vast majority of the building’s office space


As always, please check-out Capstone’s website and the “Llenrock Local”, for the latest news from Philadelphia’s busy commercial real estate sector.  


Until next time, have a great week!