As remote work lingers post-pandemic, Philadelphia grapples with filling its vacant high-rises, a decision poised to shape Center City’s destiny. With a 57% office occupancy in September, the city faces three-and-a-half years of empty expanses. Center City District’s data reveals a historical trend—40 office towers, nearly 10 million square feet, transformed into housing from 1998 to 2022.

The looming question: What fate awaits the remaining towers resisting residential conversion? Center City District’s CEO, Paul Levy, anticipates a transformation, but uncertainty clouds the path. Alterra Property Group’s Leo Addimando admits, “I don’t have an answer,” mirroring the uncertainty of loan-holding banks.

Philadelphia’s skyline hangs in the balance as the city navigates the uncharted territory of repurposing high-rises. Only time holds the key to unraveling the fate of these empty spaces.