In 2013, staff compiled information about 71 suburban downtown retail districts in an effort to learn what elements were common among successful older suburban retail districts. The information about each downtown's retail mix was collected between January and April 2013. Retail elements included in this analysis were: sidewalk width, Walk Score®, vacancy rate, parking options, streetscape, street width, National Register of Historic Places, household income, transit accessibility, residential population, use and retail type mix, and blocks included for analysis.
An update to DVRPC’s 2013 inventory of use and retail type mix was conducted from January through December 2020. As part of this effort, one retail district was added from each of the region’s four Core Cities: Camden, Chester, Philadelphia, and Trenton. Additionally, nine different district typologies were identified, with many downtowns having several typologies:
The information provided through this web application is the culmination of field work and research done by DVRPC staff. For more information on how this analysis was used to support and develop strategies for these retail districts, please visit our Community Resilience webpage.
This web page is a public resource of general information. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee as to the content, sequence, accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of any of the spatial data or database information provided herein. DVRPC and partner state, local, and other agencies shall assume no liability for errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information provided regardless of how caused; or any decision made or action taken or not taken by any person relying on any information or data furnished within.
Land use categories found within the region’s retail districts.
Civic: Includes municipal buildings, firehouses, police stations, libraries, post offices, or any other government office.
Cultural: Includes entertainment activities, such as art galleries, performing arts centers, historic theaters, as well as religious institutions.
Construction: Active construction sites, even where the intended end use was known.
Institutional: Includes institutions of higher or continuing education.
Office: Includes professional office space from both the public and non-profit sectors. Offices above ground floor retail may not have been captured if the use could not be verified.
Residential: Includes single-family and multifamily housing units. Residential units above ground-floor retail may not have been captured if the use could not be verified.
Vacant: Unoccupied buildings or storefronts.
Experiential (EXP): Experiential retail is a relatively new trend within the retail industry that includes uses such as axe throwing, pottery making, and painting with wine. Given the relatively recent rise in experiential retail, this type was not contained in the 2013 inventory.
Food and Beverage (F&B): Includes sit-down restaurants, take-away food, cafes, bars, coffee shops, sandwich shops, ice cream shops, fast food restaurants, and similar types of tenants.
General Merchandise, Apparel, Furnishings, and Other (GAFO): Includes clothing stores, furniture stores, discount stores, bookstores, jewelry stores, gift shops, pet supply stores, home decor stores, music stores, sporting goods stores, craft stores, mattress stores, electronics stores, auto parts stores, hardware stores, and similar types of tenants.
Hospitality (HOSP): Includes bed and breakfasts, hotels, inns, motels, and other similar types of lodging. Restaurants and bars associated with a hospitality use would have been captured separately in the F&B retail type. Hospitality uses were not treated as a separate retail type in the 2013 inventory.
Neighborhood Goods and Services (NG&S): Includes grocery stores, convenience stores, drugstores, florists, gyms, bakeries, delicatessens, butchers, dry cleaners, yoga studios, salons, tailors, laundromats, spas, liquor stores, shoe repair, and similar types of tenants.