Ben Franklin Tech investments secure more than $2 billion in revenue for PA economy

Ben Franklin Technology Partners helped drive Pennsylvania’s economy by generating $2.4 billion in revenue and securing $1.1 billion in post-Ben Franklin financing, according to the 2022 Annual Statewide Impact Report. 

The annual report also shows that Ben Franklin Tech created close to 1,508 jobs, helped retain 10,145 positions, and supported 2,018 companies. 

“The numbers say it all,” Ryan E. Glenn, Ben Franklin’s Director of Statewide Initiatives, said in a release. “Ben Franklin Technology Partners and its clients are powering Pennsylvania’s economy and helping the state maintain its competitive edge in an increasingly high-tech world.” 

Ben Franklin clients developed 130 patents and software copyrights, commercialized 249 new products, and launched 90 new processes. 

Glenn said investments in innovation are the foundation of the new economy. 

“That’s why the competition among states is so intense,” he said. “Investments in early-stage firms, established manufacturers, and entrepreneurial ecosystems can transform our economy and create the types of new jobs and career opportunities that top talent seeks.” 

Ben Franklin serves all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, and has regionally based centers in Bethlehem, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and State College, along with satellite offices across the state. The “2022 Annual Statewide Impact Report” examined the combined impact of Ben Franklin’s regional offices. 

Ben Franklin partners with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to provide funding, business, and technical expertise, in addition to access to resources for both early-stage and established companies. 

Ben Franklin has contributed more than $30 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy in the 40 years since its inception and generated more than 58,000 jobs in client firms along with 101,000 spinoff positions for a total of 159,000 new jobs. According to an independent analysis, each dollar invested by the state into Ben Franklin creates $4 in added state taxes.

Reading, Allentown rank among state’s top cities

Reading, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York rank among the top seven Pennsylvania cities to live in, according to a recent report from U.S. News & World Report. 

Some 150 metro areas in the country were analyzed by U.S. News and ranked on the quality of life, job market, value of residing there, and desire to live there. 

Reading ranks No. 6 in Pennsylvania in Best Places to Live. It’s No. 10 in Best Places to Retire and No. 88 nationally in Best Places to Live. U.S. News rated Reading 6.2 overall. 

Allentown is ranked as the No. 7 Best Place to Live in Pennsylvania and No. 9 in Best Places to Retire in the state. Allentown is rated No. 109 nationally in Best Places to Live and received an overall rating of 6.1 from U.S. News.

Harrisburg heads the list of Pennsylvania cities to live in, the state capital earning a ranking of 6.4 out of 10. U.S. News ranked Harrisburg No. 2 in Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania and No. 38 nationally in Best Places to Live. 

U.S. News cited the capital city’s accessibility to Amish country and to major metro areas in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Hershey and Gettysburg are also cited by U.S. News as popular tourist attractions, and the urban landscape and close proximity of the Appalachian Trail, state parks, and forests are also seen as benefits to living in Harrisburg. 

Lancaster is ranked by U.S. News as the No. 3 Best Place to Live in Pennsylvania, and No. 1 in Best Places to Retire. The Red Rose City is No. 55 in the country in Best Places to Live. Like Harrisburg, Lancaster earned a score of 6.4 out of 10. 

York ranks No. 4 in Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania and No. 5 in Best Places to retire. The White Rose City is No. 78 in places to live. U.S. News gives York an overall ranking of 6.3.

Among other Pennsylvania cities, U.S. News ranks Pittsburgh as the state’s No. 2 city to live in. Scranton is ranked No. 5 and Philadelphia No. 8.

PA Chamber examines Shapiro’s strategy to rebuild workforce

Gov. Josh Shapiro has been touring Pennsylvania speaking of his proposals to restore the state’s flagging workforce. An effort that may not be looking enough at the big picture, according to the PA Chamber of Business and Industry. 

Jon Anzur, vice president of public affairs for the PA Chamber, noted that Pennsylvania businesses of every size and industry are dealing with a workforce shortage that predates the pandemic but was intensified by COVID-19. 

“Even before COVID, businesses were struggling with the worker shortage, but the pandemic really exacerbated this challenge,” said Anzur. “So many workers left Pennsylvania to go to another state to find opportunities or just left the workforce entirely. Employers as a result are struggling to find qualified workers. 

“You’re seeing Pennsylvania largely starting to recover the jobs that were lost during the pandemic. The challenge, though, is that Pennsylvania lagged the rest of the nation by six months to fully recover those jobs and our workforce today is smaller than it was pre-pandemic.” 

In the two-plus weeks following Shapiro’s first budget address, the governor has crisscrossed the state discussing his budget’s “commonsense” proposals to rebuild Pennsylvania’s workforce.  

Shapiro’s tour has taken him to Lancaster City to speak to local firefighters, to the Pennsylvania Police Academy in Hershey, the George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science in Philadelphia, Lackawanna College Police Academy in Scranton, Gwynedd Mercy University, Colfax K-8 Elementary School in Pittsburgh, and Mercyhurst Municipal Police Academy in Erie. 

A common thread to all the above is Shapiro’s desire to hear firsthand the challenges facing nurses, police, and teachers, three professions that have been hit particularly hard by a decreased workforce. 

Anzur said that while the PA Chamber appreciates the governor focusing on the workforce issue, he thinks the chamber would encourage lawmakers to focus on policies that would improve workforce development across all sectors. 

“From our perspective, job training and investing in proven job training and career and technical job training programs would help individuals develop the skills they need for the jobs that are available,” Anzur stated. “We talk to employers in manufacturing, in technology and innovation, in health care and they have jobs that are available. They just can’t find the workers who have the skills necessary for those careers.” 

“Investing in different educational programs and job training, and re-training of workers for these available jobs would go a long way,” he added. 

Lack of affordable health care is another challenge the chamber sees as exacerbating the worker shortage. 

“This is really a multi-pronged issue,” said Anzur. “We see younger families struggling to afford childcare and it’s leading to one of the adults in the family to leave the workforce to stay home with the kids. This is something we really think the private sector is responsible for driving solutions.” 

To that point, Anzur said the chamber is seeing Pennsylvania’s employers taking up the task of addressing the crucial childcare issue in various ways. Employers are assessing their employee’s needs to determine what working parents need from their employers, what their flexibility is in the business, and if they can provide hybrid work schedules and work from home. 

“Implementing these sorts of strategies and tracking the impact is something we’re seeing from our members and businesses across Pennsylvania, and I think it’s starting to have a positive impact,” said Anzur. “Figuring out that childcare piece will go a long way to getting adults back into the workforce.” 

Viewing the workforce shortage from a macro-economic perspective, Anzur said that as Pennsylvania’s tax and regulatory environment improves, so will investment into the state. That means more economic growth, which would have a positive impact on wages and bring Pennsylvanians back into the workforce and keep them in state. 

“With the pandemic, we saw tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians leaving the state to go other places for opportunities,” said Anzur. “As businesses are able to save on costs as the result of tax and regulatory reform, they will be able to invest more of that money back into the workforce. That’s going to lift wages and lead to more Pennsylvanians seeking employment here.” 

An additional key factor in rebuilding the state’s workforce focuses on continuing the phase down of the corporate net income tax from its current 8.99% to 8.49% later this year and eventually down to 4.99% by 2031. 

Permitting reform is another issue Shapiro has been speaking to, and Anzur noted that Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate have introduced legislation to streamline and speed up the permitting process. 

“That’s a process that costs businesses millions of dollars annually here in Pennsylvania,” said Anzur. “As businesses save on those costs and are able to reinvest that money back into their workforce, I think you’ll see a positive impact of people coming back into the labor force here in Pennsylvania.” 

Workforce shortages rank among the biggest challenges facing Pennsylvania residents, and Shapiro has proposed incentivizing the nursing, police, and teaching professions with a three-year tax credit of up to $2,500 per year for new recruits. 

Anzur said the PA Chamber agrees with the governor’s prioritizing the labor shortage, and at the same time is taking a big picture view of the crisis. 

“From our perspective,” said Anzur, “while we share the governor’s concern and focus on strengthening Pennsylvania’s workforce, we’re looking at a more macro approach to addressing this issue that will impact positively Pennsylvania’s workforce across all sectors – job training, childcare, and improving our tax and reg environment.”

Applications for affordable housing available for key funding program

A $100 million program meant to construct and rehabilitate affordable housing units is now accepting applications. 

Senate Democratic Appropriations Chairman Vincent Hughes (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) announced Tuesday that the Housing Options Grant Program-Multi-family (HOP-MF) Program is now accepting applications. 

Established as part of the 2022-23 Pennsylvania State Budget, the $100 million program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and will be used to construct and rehabilitate affordable housing units. The HOP-MF Program is operated by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). 

The applications follow the historic 22-23 state budget investment in affordable and workforce housing. 

“My Democratic colleagues and I were able to work across party lines to deliver major investments in housing in the last budget,” Hughes said in a statement. “We are thankful for the leadership from our former governor, Tom Wolf, President Biden, and our leaders in Congress who helped make this possible.” 

Hughes added that investing in affordable housing is a crucial way to restore and rebuild Pennsylvania’s neighborhoods and brighten the future of the state’s communities. 

“All families deserve a safe and healthy place to call home,” said Hughes. “Eligible parties should apply now!” 

The HOP-MF program is made up of three subprograms – the Emergency Grant Initiative, Preservation Initiative, and New Construction Initiative. 

The Emergency Grant Initiative is designed to provide funding for emergency repairs to existing deed-restricted affordable housing throughout the state so existing tenants are not displaced. 

The aim of the Preservation Initiative is to provide funding to rehabilitate properties on a non-emergency basis with the goal of creating/extending the affordability period and making certain sufficient repairs to the property to ensure the stability of the building through the affordability period. 

The New Construction Initiative/Construction Conversion Initiative is designed to provide financing for the construction of affordable rental properties. 

HOP-MF applications are open through 4 p.m. EST on May 23. The application is available online at Housing Options Grant Program-Multi-family Application – HOPMF (hopmfphfa.org). 

Grants will be awarded no later than Dec. 31, 2024, and the entire funding must be spent by Dec. 31, 2026.

Pa. Senate elects first female Democratic Whip in state history

Sen. Christine Tartaglione, D-Philadelphia, was elected by her Senate Democratic colleagues on Wednesday to be the first female Democratic Whip in Pennsylvania Senate history. 

Tartaglione is also the first person with a disability to serve as the Whip of any caucus in Pennsylvania’s 235-year history.  

Per reports from The Philadelphia Inquirer and WHTM ABC 27 News, Tartaglione needed a wheelchair after suffering a spinal cord injury in a boating accident on Labor Day weekend in 2003. She underwent several surgeries and physical therapy and in October 2010 walked to her senate seat for the first time in seven years. 

Per her Pennsylvania Senate bio, she is regarded as the Senate’s top advocate for working families, fair wages, and people with disabilities. In 2006 Tartaglione authored the state’s landmark minimum wage increase and was instrumental in the establishment of the state Office for People with Disabilities. She is the primary sponsor of bills seeking to establish a state civil service hiring preference for people with disabilities and provide real estate tax relief for disabled veterans. 

Tartaglione will bring more than 28 years of experience and relationships to the Whip position when the Senate returns in the 2023-24 legislative session. 

“For nearly three decades, I have had the honor to serve the people of the 2nd District of Pennsylvania,” she said in a statement. “I have seen my fair share of bad bills pass and great bills squandered away into the abyss of parliamentary procedure. 

“Being able to pull upon seven terms’ worth of experience and bi-partisan relationships will help our caucus move forward our progressive priorities.” 

Tartaglione has been representing the 2nd District since 1995. The district is in lower Northeast Philadelphia. Her committee assignments include Labor & Industry, in which she serves as Minority Chair, Banking & Insurance, Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure, and Law & Justice. 

Along with Tartaglione, the following Senate Democrats have been elected to leadership positions by the caucus’s new and returning members: 

  • Leader – Jay Costa, Jr. (Allegheny County) 
  • Appropriations Committee Chair – Vincent Hughes (Montgomery/Philadelphia counties) 
  • Appropriations Vice Chair – Tim Kearney (Chester/Delaware counties) 
  • Caucus Chair – Wayne D. Fontana (Allegheny County) 
  • Caucus Secretary – Maria Collett (Bucks/Montgomery counties) 
  • Administrator – Judy Schwank (Berks County)

Competition for homes keeps falling

Fewer and fewer houses listed for sale are receiving multiple offers, real estate brokerage company Redfin reported, confirming what local agents are seeing as well.

Nationwide, 44.3% of home offers written by Redfin agents in July faced competition on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared with a revised rate of 50.9% in June and 63.8% in July 2021.

That’s the lowest share on record, with the exception of April 2020, when the market practically shut down because of COVID-19. It’s also the sixth straight monthly decline.

According to data submitted by Redfin’s agents, the typical home in a bidding war received 3.5 offers in July, down from 4.1 the previous month and 5.3 a year earlier.

Higher mortgage rates – now back over 5% for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan – and inflation are pricing some potential homebuyers out of the market, slowing activity.

As a result, while properties are often still selling quickly, 8% of listings each week experience a price cut, the highest share on record, Redfin said.

Of the metro areas analyzed by Redfin, however, Philadelphia had one of the busiest markets, with a 60.4% bidding-war rate in July, about the same as a year ago.

The cities with the lowest rates of homebuyer competition were Phoenix, 26.6%; Riverside, California, 31%; Seattle, 31.5%; Austin, Texas, 31.7; and Nashville, 33.3%.

In addition to Philadelphia, metros with the highest bidding-war rates were Raleigh, North Carolina, 63.8; Honolulu, 63%; Providence, Rhode Island, 60.5%; and Worcester, Massachusetts, 54.8%.

The city with the largest drop from July 2021 to July 2022 was Orlando, where listings with multiple offers fell from 81.4% to 37.4%.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Tower Health to sell Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill Hospital

Three health entities have formed an alliance to buy Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia from Reading-based Tower Health, it was announced Monday.

Temple Health, Redeemer Health and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine have signed a definitive agreement as an alliance to acquire the 148-bed teaching hospital, pending review and approval by regulators and Tower Health’s bond holders.

“Tower Health is pleased and grateful that Chestnut Hill Hospital will continue to serve the community as part of an alliance of highly respected and locally based nonprofit health care institutions,” Tower Health President and CEO P. Sue Perrotty said in a release.

The newly named Temple Health-Chestnut Hill Hospital will be managed by Temple Health.

“Together, our organizations bring the expertise, resources, operational excellence and skilled clinical care to ensure that Chestnut Hill Hospital remains a durable and sustainable resource for the eastern Montgomery County and northwest Philadelphia communities,” added Michael A. Young, president and CEO of Temple Health.

Chestnut Hill Hospital has served those areas for more than 100 years. Tower Health also recently closed Jennersville Hospital and Brandywine Hospital, both in Chester County, after a sales agreement fell through.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Central Pa., Lehigh Valley named top spots for telecommuting  

Earning high marks in housing affordability and access to green space, Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley were well-represented in Ownerly.com’s recent list of top U.S. cities for remote workers. 

In fact, Lancaster was No. 1 overall, while Bethlehem and Allentown came in 10th and 11th in the Northeast region rankings. Lebanon was 15th in the Northeast. 

Analyzing 445 American cities for its 2022 “Best Zoom Towns List,” Ownerly examined rent and housing prices; cost of living; safety data; level of broadband and free Wi-Fi coverage; cost and availability of child care; restaurants; and coworking spaces. 

Lancaster headed the list with a score of 72.8. Bethlehem, Allentown and Lebanon posted scores of 69.17, 68.96 and 67.51, respectively. Along with New York and Ohio, Pennsylvania is among the three best states for remote workers, the study said. 

“It may surprise some that our top pick for remote workers is at the heart of one of the largest Amish populations in the U.S.,” Ownerly explained, “but Lancaster offers plenty of free Wi-Fi locations, an assortment of broadband providers and several options for coworking spaces. 

“Moreover, the city is among the safest we surveyed, and median home prices are lower than average among Northeastern states. Green space access is high, with 96% of residents having access to nearby parks.” 

In addition, Ownerly noted, residents of Lancaster have proximity to big city amenities as Philadelphia is about a 90-minute drive, and New York and Washington are under three hours. 

Scott Haverstick, an agent with Puffer Morris Real Estate Inc. in Lancaster, also emphasized that the cost of living in Lancaster is fractional compared with major metro areas. 

That’s pretty appealing for someone able to work remotely, he said. Plus, for example, if you go into New York City occasionally for work, it’s an easy train ride away. 

As a smaller city, Lancaster is “urbane enough,” yet within a matter of minutes “you can be in the countryside,” Haverstick said. 

People are able to enjoy the benefits of living here while not having to cut themselves off from the big metropolis, he said. That makes Lancaster “really ideal.” 

The one downside for someone used to public transportation, however, is “you’re going to have to buy a car,” Haverstick said. 

Anne Williams, director of communications for the Lancaster City Alliance, wrote in an email: 

“More people are finding out what we already know, that Lancaster city is a great place to live and work. Here you will find restaurants that offer a global feast, an exciting array of independent retailers, and a thriving art and culture scene.” 

She said that “people from larger, neighboring cities like New York or Philadelphia find our community to be affordable, yet they still have access to a lively urban center that values the cultural, ethnic and diverse lifestyles of our residents, businesses and guests.” 

Loren Keim, owner of Century 21 Keim Realtors, Allentown, and the author of several books on real estate, said that some remote workers are shifting even farther away from the office. 

However, the majority of employees who telecommute “want to be within a reasonable driving distance of the city,” Keim wrote via email. “A high percentage of them do have to report for some in-person meetings or make appearances at the office,” and not all have the income or ability to fly in from halfway across the country. 

The inclusion of Bethlehem and Allentown on Ownerly’s list of top cities for remote work is no surprise. Keim, who teaches in the Goodman Center for Real Estate at Lehigh University, said the Lehigh Valley offers “ease of commute, quite a few options for high-speed internet, lots of shopping, various entertainment venues, parks and recreation, and a reasonable cost of living.” 

“Depending on the time of day, Manhattan can be reached in as little as 90 minutes, and Philadelphia in just over an hour,” he noted. 

Eastern Pennsylvania is popular for telecommuters “because the cost of living is lower than New Jersey and New York, including taxes and insurance, and provides both a comfortable lifestyle with easy access to the mountains (hiking, boating, camping, fishing and skiing) and a similar drive to the shore.” 

Another advantage of the Lehigh Valley, Keim said, over areas to the north and west in the region is its variety of employment opportunities. 


Montgomery County retail center sells for $161 million

A Bethesda-based real estate firm and its partner have bought a 760,000-square-foot retail center in the Greater Philadelphia region for $161.75 million, the companies announced Friday.

Finmarc Management, Inc. partnered with New York-based investment and operating firm KPR Centers on the acquisition.

Providence Town Center, which is in Collegeville, a town northwest of Philadelphia, first opened in 2009 and features 11 anchor tenants, led by a Wegmans Food Markets. The center has 70 tenants, including retail, dining, medical and more. The center is on 82 acres of land at 100 Town Center.

“The new ownership team has plans for improvements to the center to drive a higher velocity of customer traffic to the already busy Town Center,” Finmarc Principal and Co-Founder David Fink said in a news release. “This strategy and preliminary activity have already garnered interest from additional national and regional tenants looking to establish a presence at Providence Town Center.”

The shopping center is well-positioned for future success, the companies said, with the surrounding communities having a growing population of just under 125,000. Nearby residential communities have expanded by more than 42% in the past two decades, and a 700-unit apartment project is planned.

The shopping center is also adjacent to Route 422, which almost 65,000 vehicles travel daily, and Route 29, which about 20,000 vehicles travel daily.

“Providence Town Center in an institutional-quality regional shopping center and, with more than a dozen high-performing anchor tenants including Wegmans Food Markets, is among the dominant retail venues in the greater Philadelphia trade area,” Fink said. “The surrounding demographics led by an ever-growing residential population, together with the presence of major employers and employment centers, provide us with tremendous confidence about the asset’s long-term performance.”

This follows another Philadelphia-area transition by the two companies; late last year, Finmarc and KPR sold Red Lion Plaza, a shopping center at 9950 Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia for $56.45 million that had been owned by a joint venture of the two companies since 2013. The identity of the buyers was not disclosed.

The firm has also recently broken into the North Carolina market through the $58 million acquisition of a 383,000-square-foot retail center in Raleigh.

Ciocca Dealerships expands south into Philadelphia

Quakertown-based Ciocca Dealerships has expanded again. 

The dealership has opened Ciocca Subaru of Philadelphia in the Gray’s Ferry neighborhood of the city. 

The 175,000-square-foot, five-story dealership will hold more than 600 vehicles and will have 90 service bays, a 40-car showroom and three lanes that will hold 18 vehicles. 

This latest dealership brings Ciocca’s total number to 25 stores carrying 17 brands, including the recently acquired Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick GMC and Corvette dealerships in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

“We are very excited to announce the company’s expansion into the Philadelphia market,” said dealership owner, Gregg Ciocca. “Everyone is excited to become involved in the community and meet our new customers and team members in the city of Philadelphia. The energy and growth in this area made this an exciting opportunity to add to our family of dealerships.” 

Giant opens e-commerce fulfillment center in Philadelphia  


The Giant Company’s new Giant Direct E-commerce Fulfillment Center opened in Philadelphia this week. PHOTO/PROVIDED

The Giant Company’s new Giant Direct E-commerce Fulfillment Center opened in Philadelphia this week, allowing the super market chain to serve more customers in Philadelphia and begin serving customers for the first time in southern New Jersey. 

The 124,000-square-foot facility works hand-in-hand with Giant Direct, the company’s online grocery store. The facility stocks more than 22,000 products that can be ordered online, bagged by a team of Giant employees and robots and shipped to homes. 

The fulfillment center has more than 125 employees, which is expected to double during the holiday season, according to a company statement Monday. It is part of a growth strategy for Giant that has seen it go from one Philadelphia location in 2018 to 10 by the end of 2023. 

“Starting with the introduction of our GIANT Heirloom Market format in 2019 followed by the opening of our Philadelphia flagship Riverwalk GIANT in March and three more new stores across the city still to come this year, The GIANT Company has been laser-focused on how we can best serve Philadelphia families,” said Nicholas Bertram, Giant Company president. 

Along with expanding its Giant Direct services throughout Philadelphia, the new facility allows Giant Direct to service a number of New Jersey towns including Camden, Cherry Hill, Gibbsboro and Haddonfield. 

Giant introduced its Giant Direct brand in Feb. 2019 with the opening of its first e-commerce hub in Lancaster. The grocer now has over 150 pickup locations with 90% of customers across its footprint having access to online grocery ordering. 

Rite Aid focuses on remote work in upcoming headquarters change 

Rite Aid’s headquarters in Cumberland County. PHOTO/Markell DeLoatch –

Rite Aid, headquartered in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County, plans to relocate its headquarters to Philadelphia as part of a new focus on remote work. 

The national drugstore chain said this month that it will be reimagining its workplace model to do away with office spaces and instead focus on “in-person collaboration and company gatherings” at a new headquarters in Philadelphia. 

As part of the move, Rite Aid plans to open “regional collaboration centers” across the country that will allow its teams to work together when needed. Rite Aid hasn’t announced where these hubs will be located but has confirmed that one will be in the midstate. 

The move to this remote work focus was spurred by an internal survey among Rite Aid’s corporate associates, which found that a vast majority preferred working from home, according to a Rite Aid press release. 

“We’re changing our business from the inside out, and our reimagined workplace is the latest exciting step toward the future of this company,” said Heyward Donigan, CEO of Rite Aid. “We believe in remote work, and as we lean into it for the long term, we are investing in a physical footprint that will facilitate its best version. We’ve heard directly from our associates that teams want and need to meet in-person, and we think we’ve found the right balance between the flexibility of remote work and the power of on-site collaboration.” 

The pharmacy chain currently plans to locate its new headquarters to Philadelphia’s Navy Yard district. The new location would feature space for teams across Rite Aid’s various businesses, including Rite Aid retail, Elixir, Health Dialog and Bartell Drugs. 

“This is about building a reimagined workplace, where our associates have the flexibility they prefer and also have innovative, modern and new spaces that demonstrates a new Rite Aid,” said Brad Ducey, senior manager of external communications at Rite Aid. 

Rite Aid doesn’t expect to see any layoffs as part of the move to Philadelphia and instead is actively hiring and looking to grow its corporate team of 700, according to Ducey. 

The move will allow Rite Aid to occupy a smaller headquarters while still encouraging face to face communication with its associates through the collaboration centers. The remote-work-first attitude will also allow the company to more easily recruit talent no matter their location, said Jim Peters, COO at Rite Aid.  

“This transformation of our workforce brings Rite Aid into the modern era of work. We can recruit the best talent regardless of their location, and we can give our corporate associates the freedom and flexibility that today’s workers crave,” said Peters. “Our new headquarters and collaboration centers will have a unifying effect on our enterprise and serve as an important space for our teams to be together when needed.” 

Rite Aid operates 2,500 retail pharmacy locations across 17 states. It was founded in Scranton in 1962. 

Rite Aid has yet to announce a timeline for its move out of its current headquarters at 30 Hunter Lane, East Pennsboro Township, or what it intends to do with the space. 

If the pharmacy chain does plan to sell the property, any potential buyer would find a modern, well-kept workplace with easy access to downtown Harrisburg, said George Tyson, president of East Pennsboro Township’s Board of Commissioners. 

It’s a great facility, strategically located and surrounded by areas in the midst of development or in the cusp of development,” said Tyson. “Those properties have been snatched up because of the proximity. People that know the area know how strategic it is.” 

Tyson said that Rite Aid has been a great neighbor to the region during its decades in Cumberland County but given the number of significant changes that the business has undergone in recent years, such as its selling of 1,932 Rite Aid stores and three distribution centers to Walgreens in 2017, it was not surprising that the company had plans for a change in headquarters. 

There has always been some awareness that the changes with Rite Aid were probably not finished,” he said. “Given the landscape of the business they are in and previous transactions, we knew that continued changes were going to take place we just didn’t know what they were.”