Between 1998 and 2001, approximately twenty-four hotel projects were completed in Philadelphia at an estimated total investment of $815 million. This development, driven largely by the completion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in 1993, increased tourism, growth in Philadelphia airport travel and the hosting of the Republican National Convention in 2000, added more than 5,800 rooms to the market. These projects averaged 240 rooms per hotel at a development cost of approximately $130,000 per room.
Through PIDC, the public sector provided a combination of grant and low-interest debt funding to six of the twenty-four projects (25%) that focused on seeding the larger, historic renovation projects first developed around the PCC. These six projects were completed at a total cost of $405 million for more than 2,250 rooms, averaging 375 rooms per hotel and costs of $175,000 per room. Total public investment of $93 million provided an average subsidy of $25,000 per room and was made available in the form of HUD108 or UDAG loans, Tax Increment Financing, and Philadelphia Economic Stimulus grants.
Hotel projects receiving public investment created an estimated 2,026 construction jobs and 1,492 permanent jobs and enabled successful competition for the 2000 National Republican Convention and ongoing efficient booking of the PCC. In addition, renovation of vacant historic office structures facilitated tightening of Philadelphia’s office market and removed significant blighting influences from Center City.
Philadelphia has seen a strong rebound in its hotel development market, driven by boutique hotels serving convention, leisure, business, and health care-related travelers. Since the start of the Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion project, there have been 930 new hotel rooms added to Philadelphia's downtown hotel market. An additional 246 rooms are currently under construction in Center City and University City, bringing the total to 1,175 new rooms completed or underway. In addition, the first-ever hotel at The Navy Yard opened, reflecting the recent growth of that location as a dynamic, urban business campus.
The completed new hotel development projects from 2008 to the present are: