A lot of press has already been devoted to potential opportunities for the owners of residential properties in the Philadelphia area as a result of to the Pope’s visit in late September 2015. Considering the projected amount of available hotel/motel accommodations–approximately 30,000 units–pales in comparison to the expected 2 million-plus visitors, homeowners have been encouraged to become “short term landlords” and rent all or part of their properties to individuals visiting Philadelphia to see the Pontiff.
With that said, there has been little coverage of the potential effect that all of these visitors will have on commercial/retail property owners…in particular, those with large public parking areas, such as shopping centers that lie right outside the city center. Just recently, Mayor Nutter’s office announced a “traffic box” with boundaries from 38th Street to the west, South Street to the south, the Delaware River to the east and Girard to Ridge to Spring Garden to the north.
Further, regardless of whether the visitors are getting around Philly by foot, car or mass transit, they will need somewhere to stay, as well as eat and shop. This means that hotel accommodations, restaurant reservations and general retail traffic will surely increase. Given these opportunities to service the 2 million-plus coming to see the Pontiff, owners of any commercial/retail properties and parking lots should keep the following in mind to effectively manage the masses: