Maintenance and Promotion of the Mall

This information was adapted from a report prepared by Phillippos J. Loukissas and Stuart H. Mann, Community Studies Program, The Pennsylvania State University. The report was prepared for the Office of Management, Research, and Transit services, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Washington, D.C. Please view the full

In addition to overseeing construction and completion of the mall, the Church Street Marketplace District Commission was given the full private responsibility of operations, maintenance, and promotion of the street. The budget of the Marketplace Commission is provided primarily by common area fees charged to property owners on the Marketplace. Additional revenue comes from the licensing of 'vendors and sidewalk cafes as well as sponsorships and donations. In 1994, with a total budget of nearly $500,000, one hundred eighty thousand dollars ($180,000) was spent for advertising and promotions, and the remainder spent on maintenance and operating expenses.

Operations include the collection of common area fees, planning for additions, and licensing of street vendors. Currently, merchants along the mail pay $380,000 per year in Marketplace charges. The Commission also controls the amount of street space allowed for store front extensions, such as sidewalk eating and drinking areas. The spaces are leased by the square foot and on a temporary basis. Street vendors are licensed by the Commission; an upper limit on the number of street vendors allowed has been established. Street vendors pay an annual fee which is adjusted based on location. The fees range from $212 to $1500. Snow removal on the mail is contracted out by the Commission, while litter removal, routine maintenance and repairs are performed by Marketplace personnel. Snow removal extends right to store fronts.

One form of promotion of the Marketplace is the validation of parking and bus ridership. The Marketplace Commission and merchants, in cooperation with the Transit Authority and the parking facilities operators, make tickets available to downtown customers for each purchase. Each ticket is redeemable either for a 25 cent discount on parking or bus fare. The combined system of subsidy for buses and parking validation was unique in the US when the program was implemented in the early 80's.

Since completion of the Marketplace, retail occupancy on the ground floor has remained at or near 100%. Rents have increased from 25 to over 100 percent along the Marketplace and have held steady in spite of the recession which engulfed the Northeast in recent years.