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New Report Reveals Center City District’s Dilworth Park Starbucks Will Add Only 0.3% to the Park’s Yearly Budget

March 9, 2019

SIGN THE PETITION: Stop Building A Starbucks in Dilworth Park!

Thanks to some new reporting today from WHYY we now have an even clearer idea of how bad Center City District’s Dilworth Starbucks decision is… Here’s what we now know:

1) Nearly the ENTIRE Center City District budget is covered by tax dollars

2) 11% of the Center City District’s budget currently comes from lease agreements, advertising, event sponsorships, and other moneymaking efforts on our public land that they manage, including Dilworth Park

3) The new Dilworth Park Starbucks kiosk that I and hundreds of other Philadelphians are opposed to will add a total 0.3% to the Center City District’s $23,000,000 yearly budget ($60k/year)…

So, to put that in other words, the Center City District is willing to sell off a piece of our most central and accessible public parks to a multinational coffee chain to add 0.3% to their yearly budget. What an AWEFUL decision. Why not just host a couple more pop-up, private events to cover that cost, if they really need that 0.3% budget increase so bad, instead of building a freaking Starbucks on our public land!

WHYY’s report also includes this apt criticism of Center City District from BID consultant Dr. Seth A. Grossman: “The outcry over the new cafe alone showed that there had been a failure to create an open and clear avenue for public involvement during the planning phase of the new cafe.” You can read WHYY’s full article here.

Y’all, I am even more certain than I was before that the building of this Starbucks has got to stop now. As I’ve said from the start of this effort, I’m not specifically opposed to these kinds of public/private partnerships as a temporary fix to fund our parks. But I think we need to be more critical of how these private groups are using our public land to generate revenue/profit for themselves and the companies they lease to. I think it’s a fine line. And while I’m not a huge fan of closing parks for private events, as an example, it seems to have been a price most Philadelphians were/are willing to pay to get these kinds of dynamic public spaces. Building a Starbucks on our public land, however, absolutely crosses the line for me. And I seem to not be alone in that opinion considering the 800+ signatures to our new petition that we’ve been able to gather in less than 48 hours.

Dilworth Park is an incredibly special public space for Philadelphia. Aside from sitting at the foot of City Hall, it’s the only park in the entire city of Philadelphia that’s connected by both the Broad Street Line Subway and Market-Frankford Line El. Dilworth Park connects tens of thousands of Philadelphians and dozens of Philly neighborhoods every day. And frankly, it’s public land that should not be sold off to Starbucks for their private profit! If you agree, please join me in signing our petition.

We can still stop this. This is OUR park!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. †ryu permalink
    March 14, 2019 9:02 pm

    the building on the left looks like a church I see in Paris ?

  2. Jamie permalink
    March 17, 2019 7:55 am

    My dude, you are WAY off base on this one. In addition to being a very giving company to social causes ( they treat their workers great. They pay above average wages, pay tuition and benefits for even part time employees. This is good for the city and good for the people who will work there. You’re a smart guy- I know you understand how Capitalism works. You should be supporting this instead of trying to strengthen your hipster cred. Now off to Starbucks!

    • March 17, 2019 9:32 pm

      I guess you don’t understand the premiss of this petition: I’m not protesting Startbucks being build in Philadelphia, I’m protesting the selling off (excusing me “leasing”) of OUR public land to a multinational retail chain. This is a public park we’re talking about, not an empty shop on Chestnut street… But also, you didn’t even look into this that well, because the product and profit is Starbucks, but the cafe will be managed by Brulee Catering who I doubt “pay tuition and benefits for even part time employees.” So, I’m really struggling to see any upside to this. Let me know if you still disagree.

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