What Philly has that NYC doesn’t

Almost every song about New York City inevitably hails the bright lights and big opportunities.
But a new study suggests more New Yorkers are trading in the glitz and glamor of the Big Apple for Philadelphia’s affordability. The Pew Research study reveals that migration from New York to Philadelphia more than doubled from 1,332 people in 1993 to 3,100 in 2008, according to IRS data. In 2006, at the peak of the trend, 3,635 New Yorkers migrated to Philadelphia.

Sonia Duprez and her husband, Mike, are among those who moved down the New Jersey Turnpike. The high cost of living in Manhattan — $1,650 per month for a studio apartment — along with debt from graduate school for the couple had begun to take its toll.

“There’s no way we would have ever gotten out of debt if we still lived in New York,” said Duprez, an elementary school teacher in East Falls. The Duprez’, who now have a 15-month-old daughter, recently bought a three-bedroom house in Fairmount.

John Mollenkopf, director of the Center for Urban Research at CUNY, said finances definitely factor into the trend.

“I would … guess that the Philadelphia economy did well in the second half of the decade, so that would attract people to move in,” he explained.

Making it … in Philly

Former New Yorker Ali McCloud chose Philadelphia to start a business because New York City was too crowded of a market.

“I felt like Philadelphia was a better place as a first-time business owner and there was sort of this new, emerging fashion community,” said McCloud, 34, who runs Arcadia, a Northern Liberties boutique.

She bought a four-bedroom house in Narberth for the same price it cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

“Since then we’ve met several other couples who have moved from Manhattan or Brooklyn to Narberth or to Northern Liberties where my shop is,” McCloud said.

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