On Thursday, March 29, 2018, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia hosted Region on the Rise, an event that examined trends and opportunities in Philadelphia’s commercial real estate, as well as issues in building urban infrastructure.
Jerry Sweeney, President, CEO & Trustee of Brandywine Realty Trust gave a keynote address that got participants thinking about some major drivers of economic growth. Sweeney discussed the critical elements of Greater Philadelphia’s competitiveness and highlighted this region as truly on the rise with world class higher education, ever-improving transportation connectivity, and attractive development potential.
For Sweeney, growth comes from creating something new: “We create physical spaces. Physical spaces define culture. Culture defines brand … and brand drives growth.” Sweeney noted that this included more than just buildings: green spaces for people to use were also important to creating urban culture. The keynote Q&A was moderated by Christophe P. Terlizzi, Senior Vice President, KeyBank Real Estate Capital.
Later, a panel of experts spoke about commercial property development and the role of transportation infrastructure. Discussion ranged from physical planning of transportation between economic centers of Center City, University City, and King of Prussia, to using new technologies to ease travel, such as using license plates or cell phones to pay for road tolls.
The panel was moderated by GBCA President Ben Connors, and featured Mark Compton–Chief Executive Officer of PA Turnpike Commission, Eric Goldstein–Executive Director of King of Prussia District, Lee Huang–Senior Vice President at Econsult Solutions, and Kris Kolluri–President & CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership.
Speakers noted how stronger development comes from connecting communities, not creating economically segregated ones. The business community has the opportunity to lead and facilitate growth.
Click below to see more photos from the event!