The only constant of the Commercial Real Estate field seems to be change. One thing that hasn’t changed as the PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter led its fourth annual Developer’s Forum was that it was, again, deftly moderated by Natalie Kostelni, reporter for the Philadelphia Business Journal. She was a fantastic panel moderator as she was able to tease out the items and trends that make modern mixed-use developments work. She led the discussion among a panel consisting of innovative mixed-use developers, consisting of: Paul Commito, Senior Vice President of Development at Brandywine Realty Trust; Mark Fitzgerald, President & Chief Operating Officer of High Associates, Ltd.; Michael Hankin, Chief Operating Officer of Hankin Group and Michael Markman, President of BET Investments.
A mixed-use development is different from the multi-use development of 20 to 40 years ago. Historically, multi-use projects segregated uses and was more about efficient use of land and grouping similar uses together. With mixed-use in the present day, the interplay of the uses is at the heart of the development. The mixed use developments that work are not contrived or forced by government, rather they are created to be part of the community and bring the community together. The developers discussed the various challenges of developing vertical and horizontal mixed-use projects in diverse locations from urban to suburban to exurban. Each developer designed their respective developments to each create a sense of “place”.
Another observation was that amenities are a key differentiator in creating that place-making experience. It was noted that all demographics are interested in the amenities, but that they are used most often by the baby boomer generation as the millennials cite that they don’t have the time to take advantage of having them.
Special thanks to Natalie Kostelni, and to our developers to make tonight’s event a success. Additionally, thanks to the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate at Villanova University for to continue to host our developer’s forum. What great night!