Second Dealmakers Forum in Philadelphia: Local Developers, Significant Projects
EisnerAmper’s Real Estate Group recently held their second Real Estate Dealmakers Forum in the Philadelphia office for clients and local real estate leaders. The interactive panel discussion, titled “Local Developers, Significant Projects,” featured Philadelphia real estate leaders Richard S. Gottlieb, president and chief operating officer at Keystone Property Group; Michael Markman, president of BET Investments and Eric Schiela, managing principal and chief operating officer at Rubenstein Partners.
Each panelist gave a brief presentation on some of the key projects they have in progress in the Philadelphia area and highlighted some interesting anecdotes about their challenges and opportunities. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion moderated by EisnerAmper’s Ed Opall, who asked each about their views on their companies’ strategy, the repositioning strategies of the key projects discussed, and their views on what is going on in this dynamic marketplace.
The panelists discussed common issues such as traffic and parking concerns. Parking plans in the development process are being approached differently these days, taking into account factors such as public transit and the use of ride services such as Uber. Traffic simulations are important in municipal meetings, and projects can be an opportunity for townships to have road improvements completed.
They also discussed the technological innovations now being used in industry. Many companies use virtual reality goggles to help potential tenants see build-out details. Additionally, sustainability is taken into consideration now in many new developments as tenants want it and the changes make sense for efficiency. Not to mention that now many materials are made more efficiently with the environment in mind, so these one-time special amenities are now becoming standard features.
In terms of the future of the market, the panelists agreed that while caution is warranted in these rapidly changing times, an imminent market threat hasn't made itself apparent.