Free Library of Philadelphia: An Economic Impact and Activity Analysis of the Central Branch Expansion and Renovation (2004)

This study was prepared by the Pennsylvania Economy League – Eastern Division, in April 2004.


Economic impact is a useful tool for measuring the one-time “hit” of a major capital project on the local economy. This report quantifies the economic impact and activity generated by the FLP’s expansion and renovation of its Central Branch facility, specifically:
The economic impact generated by the FLP’s spending on construction of the Central Branch, as well as spending on anticipated ancillary construction activities adjacent to the expanded Central Branch. For the purposes of this analysis, anticipated ancillary construction is assumed to be a 300-car parking facility and 25,000 square feet of street-level retail space.
The economic activity generated by visitor spending on new services resulting from an expanded/renovated Central Branch. For the purposes of this analysis, these anticipated new services are assumed to be an on-site café/restaurant and gift shop, as well as off-site activities associated with ancillary development of retail space.
Lastly, this report describes (in qualitative terms) anticipated economic value generated by the expanded/renovated Central Branch, particularly its increased value as a regional asset for tourism and business development.