Mar 18


Shakespeare and Urban Development? What Say Thee?

In 2013, I was appointed Chairman of the Board of The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre.  I love great Shakespeare, and I’ve been a devotee of the Theatre for a couple of decades, because it produces some of the best.   I firmly believe that the arts can have a huge impact in the development of great cities. Where the arts and artists go, urban development will follow.  This has played out in cities around the world, and we are certainly seeing this now in Philadelphia: in 2012 the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, reported that the arts and culture sector contributed a $3.3 billion impact to the region’s economy.  Continue reading “Shakespeare and Urban Development? What Say Thee?” »

Mar 18


Chris Strom Leads Panel on Emergency Preparedness and Resilience

Chris Strom wants to know what keeps you up at night – and no, he isn’t  talking about the Boogie Monster.  Chris, our Director of Project Development, recently moderated a panel on Emergency Preparedness and Resilience at the 2014 DataCenterDynamics Converged Conference in New York, addressing what really does keep those in the mission critical real estate industry awake during the wee hours of the night.

His panel of experts on this topic included Greg Caronia, Senior Advisor of VCORE Solutions, LLC; Peter Curtis, President & CEO of Power Management Concepts LLC; Shaun Mooney, Director of Infrastructure of Colliers; and Dan Jasper, Vice President of National Accounts & Southern Region Operations Manager of ORR Protection Systems.  Continue reading “Chris Strom Leads Panel on Emergency Preparedness and Resilience” »

Mar 05


Alan Razak and Christopher Strom to Lead ULI Session on Data Centers

In February, Principal, Alan Razak and Director of Project Development, Christopher Strom, led an urban Land Institute (ULI) session entitled Data Centers:  A Foundational Primer. These two leaders shared their expertise on one of the most complex areas of real estate, exploring the history, infrastructure, economics, and building technology that make up the modern Data Center.  

Alan and Chris are uniquely positioned to present on this topic, with backgrounds that bridge the sophisticated worlds of IT and real estate, from the perspective of both tactical and strategic real estate planning. 

The AthenianRazak team brings decades of experience specializing in complex technical buildings, working with clients such as the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Digital Realty Trust, Citadel Investment Group, Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Highmark, Susquehanna Investment Group, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, JP Morgan, AmSouth Bank, First Union, Inter-Digital, Genuity, Global Switch, ClearBlue Technologies and The Vanguard Group of Mutual Funds.


Click here to learn more about our Data Center work.



Feb 27


Now Showing “The Tale of an Owner’s Rep” at The Bryn Mawr Film Insitute

“A Tale of an Owner’s Rep” follows a decade-long epic journey, it tells the tale of neighborhood revival, a successful community art house, and showcases how perseverance to follow a dream pays off.

With the premiere this month, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI) debuted two new theaters as part of their final phase of construction that began more than a decade ago.  This production crew was led by the stellar cast at AthenianRazak, serving as Owner’s Representative for multiple phases of the construction process. Continue reading “Now Showing “The Tale of an Owner’s Rep” at The Bryn Mawr Film Insitute” »

Feb 12


Jackie Buhn Lends Her Expertise in CRE Consulting Corps Engagement at New Mexico State University

In July 2013, AthenianRazak’s Principal & CEO, Jackie Buhn, a longtime member of the Counselors of Real Estate and their Consulting Corps group, served as the group leader of a team of experts for an engagement in New Mexico. Together the team offered their expertise on effective management of New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) extensive land holdings. NMSU owns numerous parcels of land within the University boundaries, in or near the city of Las Cruces, and throughout the state. NMSU has sufficient land within the core of its Las Cruces campus to accommodate expansion requirements for many years.

Continue reading “Jackie Buhn Lends Her Expertise in CRE Consulting Corps Engagement at New Mexico State University” »

Jan 20


Chicago, Big Servers, and AthenianRazak

In a recent article Chicago:  The City of Big Servers, by Urban Land, the author discusses how Chicago is re-purposing buildings from its industrial past to use as data centers.  This conversion trend and the city’s location have helped Chicago become the fifth-largest data center market in North America.  A main player in this trend is the Lakeside Technology Center at 350 East Cermak, a location often cited as the world’s largest data center. This 1.1 million sq ft multi-tenant data center hub is owned by Digital Realty Trust, who partnered with AthenianRazak to quickly build out five data centers in this historic building in five months. Not only did we help to complete the job on time, we also brought it in 8% under an aggressive budget.

Dec 19


Janet Kimbleton Grace Reflects on a Record-Setting Year as CREW Philadelphia President

As 2013 comes to an end, it is a time to reflect on the past year, one in which I have had the pleasure of serving as President of a fabulous organization for women in real estate – CREW Philadelphia.  During this time, the many dedicated women that are part of the network helped to set four new records, including the number of members, the amount of chapter sponsorship, event attendance, and the number of Board Members (100%, yes all of them!) contributing to the CREW Network Foundation, the organization’s philanthropic arm that helps to advance women in commercial real estate.

Perhaps most importantly, during my year as President, the chapter rolled out our CREW Philadelphia Community Partner Scholarship, inviting community partners to participate in the CREW Philadelphia scholarship program by sponsoring one of our annual $2,500 scholarships awarded to a woman who is studying one of the 32 fields related to commercial real estate.  The Community Partner commits to funding three scholarships ($7,500) over a period of three years.  Many thanks to the inaugural Community Partner sponsor Herman Miller and congratulations to the Community Partner Scholarship Recipient Katelin Kutchko, M. Arch candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thanks for a great year at CREW Philadelphia, it has truly been my pleasure to serve as your President.

Nov 20


Green is the New Black at AthenianRazak – Why We Are Excited for Greenbuild 2013

Greenbuild is coming to Philadelphia from November 20th to 22nd and we couldn’t be more excited.  Not only is Greenbuild the world’s largest conference on green building, but it is here in our hometown. This will give Philadelphia the opportunity to show the world all we have done so far in sustainable building, and even better, what our vision is for the future.

Here at AthenianRazak, we are proud to say that our blood runs green (and not just for the Philadelphia Eagles), as stewardship of the environment is our true passion – both in terms of our business ethos – promoting viable and exciting urban density, reusing existing buildings, and providing attractive cityscapes – and our personal practices, like biking, walking, or taking public transportation to work.

A few members of our team will be attending Greenbuild, Michael Brookshier has been serving on the Community Engagement Committee, and some others will be volunteering.  And, Lenfest Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music, where we served as Development Manager, will be featured in the conference’s half-day tours in a session called Liberty and Justice for All: Innovative Multifamily Housing on Monday, November 18th from 1 pm – 6 pm.

Welcome to Philadelphia Greenbuild Nation.  We hope to see you around town.

Nov 01


Tenant Satisfaction as a Business Driver

Tenant satisfaction and high levels of service delivery are key factors to success in the property management industry.   Tenant satisfaction contributes to multiple aspects of the industry including increased retention rates, decreased expenses, and better overall positioning of the physical asset.  As property and construction managers of 833 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, PA, AthenianRazak was among the highest tenant satisfaction ratings of all 122 buildings in the Owner’s global portfolio for 2012. You can read more about this distinction here. This is especially significant as within that timeframe, there were renovations to occupied clinical spaces, where the work was completed off hours and operations were continued uninterrupted.   The renovations were coordinated with, among other factors, environmental abatement and infection control.  All clinics continued to see patients throughout the construction process.

Oct 23


Unfinished Center City

A few months ago, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission released its Central District Plan, which, among other things, identifies a number of ‘areas with development potential in the City.  With Philadelphia’s recent  trend reversing decades of population decline, it is not surprising that many of the indicated areas are located at the edges of Center City, as development activity begins to creep outward in search of new opportunities.

However, while it is certainly true that many of these peripheral areas, like North Broad Street or the Delaware Waterfront, have development potential, and that the City would benefit greatly from their revitalization, it is important to remember that the development of Center City itself is not yet complete.

This is not to say that the plan ignores more central locations, quite the contrary, East Market St. / Chestnut St. and Franklin Square are both specifically listed.  Rather, the point is that these locations might deserve special consideration.  At some level, North Broad simply has to wait for development to catch up with it, at least that’s the impression one could get from grand proposals like the renovation of Divine Lorraine or The Provence casino and entertainment complex.  By contrast, something seems to be actively holding places like East Market and Old City back.

The challenges of these areas have been noted by local commentators repeatedly.  Vacant storefronts abound in spite of heavy foot traffic and many structures are either in a state of disrepair or present an uninviting façade, contributing to an aura of blight.  East Chestnut Street in particular practically screams with unmet potential and Old City never completed its supposed renaissance that began more than a decade ago.  In a City that still struggles to attract jobs, but has nonetheless managed to establish itself as a great place to live, knitting together the remaining stragglers in its otherwise excellent downtown amounts to a solid economic development strategy.

There is hope, as 229 Arch recently opened in Old City, big things could be afoot on the 1100 block of Chestnut, and the Market8 casino could be a game changer.  Hopefully the momentum will continue, and Philadelphia can go from having a good downtown to a world-class one.