Nostradamus had the right idea, living in the 16th century and making predictions many years into the future. In giving himself that kind of lead time, it afforded him a certain flexibility that we simply don’t exactly have when we make annual predictions for happenings in the sports and real estate worlds in Philadelphia. And so Nostradamus is widely regarded as one of the greatest seers in history, if you believe in that sort of thing. As for us… we sometimes get things really right and sometimes get things way wrong. But it’s still fun to make predictions and check back to see how we did at the end of the year. So without further ado, here’s a look back at our 2019 predictions– let’s see how we compare to the great Nostradamus.

He sees all!

Here’s what we got right:

  • Three projects are indeed under construction on Washington Avenue west, with homes getting built on the 2100 block and the 2200 block and mixed-use buildings in the works on both properties. The modular apartment building at 25th & Washington is still under construction and looks like it’ll be ready in the first half of 2020.
  • Fashion District Philadelphia did indeed open its doors a couple months ago. Though it’s still not quite “fully operational,” it still is a game changer in Market East, opening the shopping mall to Market Street as should have been the plan in the first place. And there’s a fancy movie theater too.
  • 8th & Market is still a parking lot, though.
  • North Station District got some additional grant money and even presented plans for the project’s first building at CDR, but construction has yet to get started and we’ll stand by our prediction that it won’t happen in 2020 either. Maybe in ’21?
  • The Phillies signed Bryce Harper, just as we foresaw. This was not a sure thing a year ago, folks!

This guy

Some predictions were just a bit off base:

  • After years of delays, construction started at Broad & Spruce, as we predicted. But the SLS hotel/condo hybrid project fell by the wayside, swapped for a pure condo building called Arthaus, with prices ranging from $2M to $10M.
  • The Harper was finished, but Bryce Harper doesn’t live there.
  • The Sixers lost to the Raptors in the playoffs, but it was in the conference semis and not the conference finals. And we lost in 7 games, not 6. And it was horrible and excruciating. And Markelle Fultz was not involved in any way.

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 At 9.45.24 AM
Arthaus rendering

And then there were the predictions that were just wrong:

  • Starbucks has not opened on Frankford Avenue, in the face of considerable community backlash.  As of a few months back, Starbucks was planning to appeal after being denied at the ZBA. Something to keep an eye on in the coming year.
  • Aramingo Avenue did not become a hotbed of local commercial activity, alas.
  • Alterra hasn’t taken over the northeast corner of Broad & Washington, as it remains a vacant lot even as Lincoln Square across the street appears to be a great success story.
  • No Broad Street Line extension plans have come to bear, at least not yet.
  • Sadly, the Eagles did not win Superbowl LIII, thus preventing Nick Foles from achieving demigod status, winning an at-large City Council seat, and singlehandedly fighting off a hurricane. Birds did win the division the other day though…


Look for our prediction column later this week- we’ll try to do better in 2020. Happy New Year!