Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI) prepared a study on the Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Comcast Corporation on the city of Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Proposed Comcast Innovation and Technology Center. ESI assessed the economic impact of Comcast Corporation in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, and its newly proposed development project, the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, which will be located along the 1800 block of Arch Street in Center City. The study evaluates the direct and indirect impacts that Comcast operations have yielded in the City of Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since the opening of the Comcast Center at 17th and JFK Boulevard in 2008. The study also projects the direct and indirect economic impacts the construction and ongoing operations of the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will yield for the City and Commonwealth, which will include a Four Seasons luxury hotel and restaurant and infrastructure improvements.
The combined economic impact of Comcast’s current and expanded operations will be significant in its reach and impact. The new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will contribute to job support and tax revenue increases through a rich spillover effect that includes commercial development, property value enhancement, and charitable contributions. Among the report’s key findings:
• The construction period of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center is expected to have a total economic impact of $1.7 billion in the City and $2.8 billion in the Commonwealth through its direct and spillover activities. The economic activity generated from the construction period is expected to provide an estimated $16 million in tax revenue to the City and $67 million in tax revenue to the Commonwealth.
• The construction period alone will yield an estimated 20,700 temporary jobs in the Commonwealth, 6,300 of which will be in the City of Philadelphia.
• The office, Four Seasons hotel, retail, and restaurant operations in the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center and their spillover activities will create an additional economic impact in the City of $720 million annually and over $1 billion annually in the Commonwealth. The operation of the new building and its spillover activities are estimated to increase annual tax revenues to the City by $22 million and by $31 million to the Commonwealth.
• Comcast’s current operations, including the Comcast Center, and the spillover activity it generates total $2.7 billion annually in direct and indirect economic activity in the City of Philadelphia and over $5 billion in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (This is more than double Econsult Corporation’s initial economic impact forecast conducted in 2008, which indicated Comcast’s operations would generate $1.16 billion annually in direct and indirect economic activity in Philadelphia and is more than triple the $1.65 billion in direct and indirect economic activity estimated in Pennsylvania.)
• Of this activity, Econsult estimates that Comcast’s current operations and spillover activity generate $131 million per year in taxes and fees for the City of Philadelphia and over $404 million per year in taxes and fees for the Commonwealth.
• We estimate that from 2009-2023, Comcast will generate, both directly and indirectly, a total of $213 million in revenues for the School District of Philadelphia.
• Since the construction of the Comcast Center, even with the recession period, property values in the immediately surrounding area of Comcast Center have increased when overall Center City property values have declined. Since 2007, house prices within a half mile of Comcast Center have grown by 15% and by 8% within a mile from Comcast Center. For the same time period, house prices in Center City declined by 3% and house prices in Philadelphia declined by 17%.
• Since the start of construction of the Comcast Center, there has been at least 8 million square feet of new investment (new construction and major renovation) near Comcast Center, totaling about $1.5 billion in investment in Center City Philadelphia.
Econsult Solutions, Inc. constructed an economic impact model using multiplier data provided by the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis to conduct this report. This allowed estimation of the scale and composition of the construction and operations activity’s spillover impacts. ESI also constructed a fiscal impact model to translate these spillover impacts into their commensurate temporary and permanent expansions in various City and Commonwealth tax bases. Therefore, they translate into increased tax revenues for the City and Commonwealth tax bases.