In Philly, business booms where battleships born

In this Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 photo, shown is the Urban Outfitters building at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. The city's Navy Yard is celebrating a milestone that skeptics might not have believed 15 years ago. Nearly all naval operations are long gone from the sprawling former shipyard but 10,000 people now work there in an eclectic mix of businesses from fashion to pharmacies. That number is expected to triple in 20 years. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

February 11, 2013 4:22:18 AM PST
Philadelphia's Navy Yard, a massive military powerhouse where battleships were born until the Cold War put it on ice, is celebrating a milestone that seemed a stretch 15 years ago.

Less than two decades after the Navy shipped out, the sprawling property is home to 130 companies and 10,000 employees in a mix as varied as fashion, pharmaceuticals, colleges and cupcakes. A 170-room hotel is under construction and development is expanding right to the Delaware River.

John Grady of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. says there was a lot of uncertainty when the private-public nonprofit took ownership of the land in 2000.

Last week, The Navy Yard celebrated its 10,000th employee milestone. That's more than the number of people working there when the Navy left in 1996.