New Study: Philly’s Immigrants Provide A Disproportionate Economic Boost

 

New immigrants bolster the Italian Market’s fortunes. | Photo: Matt Stanley, via Citified

New immigrants bolster the Italian Market’s fortunes | Photo: Matt Stanley, via Citified

  • A new study undertaken by the Fiscal Policy Institute confirm that urban immigrant populations tend to revive failing commercial corridors–“what most of us observe in our day-to-day lives all the time,” says Citified’s Patrick Kerkstra. In regards to Philadelphia, Kerkstra notes that “although immigrants comprise just 10 percent of the city’s population, they own about 28 percent of ‘main street’ businesses (think mom and pop stores and restaurants). This is obvious in a place like the Italian Market, which would be in very rough shape today if not for the Mexican and Asian immigrants who have taken over the stalls and shops vacated by ethnic white U.S.-born merchants. Ditto for West Philadelphia’s 52nd Street, which now has a remarkably diverse corps of merchant owners hailing from around the world.”
  • Streets Dept’s Conrad Benner takes us inside the Goldtex Apartments building where developers have paid homage to the graffiti artists who used the former shoe factory as a canvas during its long vacancy. The Pestronk brothers commissioned local artist ESPO (Steve Powers) to design murals. Some of the original graffiti has also been retained, with choice pillars and beams left exposed.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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1 Comment


  1. You mixed up the name of two organizations, looks like – the homeless count was done by Prevention Point, with outreach support from Project HOME. Both do great work here in Philly, but they aren’t the same.

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