Sep 23


Chris Strom Talks About Growth in Philly’s Real Estate Sector

Chris Strom, Director of Project Development, recently talked about trends in Philadelphia’s real estate sector and AthenianRazak’s continued growth for the Market News International Reality Check series.

He attributed the broad-based growth to the city’s changing demographics from being a traditionally blue-collar town to a place where jobs in technology and other fields are demanding a more educated work force.

You can read the full article here.

Sep 23


It Takes a Family to Create Energy Efficiency

We don’t just give lip service to the core values that matter to us, we are proud that our whole team subscribes to these principles including our commitment to sustainable development and energy efficiency.

And this culture doesn’t stop at our team members – it extends to their families too!

That’s why we’re extremely proud to congratulate Sheldon Strom – the father of our very own Chris Strom – on his recent award from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy as a Champion of Energy Efficiency. How cool is that? This means that Sheldon is kind of like an energy super hero – tackling the bad guys of wasted energy consumption one at a time.

Sheldon founded the Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE), based in Minneapolis, MN, leading its many successful endeavors over the past 35 years including its contributions to the Next Generation Energy Act and the very practical (of course) “Minnesota Way” for implementing energy efficiency programs and policies. Under Sheldon’s guidance, CEE has served more than 70,000 homes and businesses with energy efficiency programs.

What drives Sheldon to continue to tackle energy efficiency? The principle that everyone benefits from smart energy policies. We couldn’t agree more.

Kudos from the AthenianRazak family for your great work.

Aug 01


Linda Galante is the Most Influential Lawyer in Philadelphia’s Real Estate Scene

Congrats to AthenianRazak partner, Linda Galante on being chosen as one of the most influential lawyers in Philadelphia as part of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2014 Heavy Hitters of Real Estate award.

As the PBJ puts it:

“For more than three decades, Galante, a partner at Stradley Ronon, has been intimately involved in some of the most significant and influential real estate transactions in the area. Her work has touched nearly every facet of the Philadelphia real estate market‚ from Center City high-rises to suburban shopping centers, the Please Touch Museum to the Navy Yard, health-care facilities and universities.”
We’ve had the opportunity to witness Linda’s work first-hand, working together on the Bryn Mawr Film Institute and on many other projects over the years, including Linda’s sage wisdom and guidance as a partner at AthenianRazak.

Way to go Linda…we’re sure the best is yet to come!

Jul 22


Jackie Buhn Speaks at Society of College and University Planning Annual International Conference

Jackie Buhn, our Principal & CEO, recently attended the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) Conference in Pittsburgh, PA to talk about her work on a consulting project for New Mexico State University (NMSU) for the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE).

The SCUP International Conference is held annually, bringing together the industry’s leaders to share best practices about integrated planning for higher education.

Jackie joined Jon Willis, Principal of Global Property Strategies and a fellow CRE member, along with Greg Walke, Campus Planning Officer for NMSU to talk about the work they did together to assist NMSU in creating an attainable vision for the use and management of its real estate, along with the action steps needed to realize that vision.

The panel discussed the CRE study, which provided guidance to NMSU in the use of its land holdings to supplement its academic, civic and economic mandates, concluding with a strategy to begin implementing the study recommendations.

As part of their process, the team conducted a 1-week visit that included site tours; data collection and analysis; stakeholders meetings; and internal discussions and presentations. At the end of the process, the team presented NMSU with strategic recommendations that had both real estate and other considerations such as:

  1. Reinforce and update the master plan
  2. Create gateways and  a consistent university identity through real estate
  3. Engage with city of Las Cruces
  4. Create student-oriented retail and entertainment
  5. Create private sector student housing

This plan caused a shift in attitude on the role of real estate for NMSU, which has made the university examine how it uses its real estate assets to further the university’s goals, how it can plan proactively for its real estate instead of reacting to buyers or donors, and how they can create a more walkable environment that considers mixed-use development, street frontage and campus branding.

Jul 16


CRE Releases Annual List of 10 Top Issues Affecting Real Estate

Energy, jobs, and the far-reaching influence of the millennial generation are the issues that will have the most significant impact on real estate both near-and long-term, according to The Counselors of Real Estate® (CRE).  This list provides an interesting perspective on the macroeconomic trends that might affect the commercial real estate market in the coming year.

The CRE Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate, developed annually by The Counselors of Real Estate External Affairs Committee, considers independent research, qualitative interactive feedback from members via polling at the association’s spring conference and a member survey.  Continue reading “CRE Releases Annual List of 10 Top Issues Affecting Real Estate” »

Jul 03


The Tale of an Award, a Rouse-tafarian and a World-class Music Institution

Today is a great today to be a former Rouse-tafarian. A what? Does that have something to do with Bob Marley? I’m confused. OK, let’s take a step back then.

Last week, we were delighted to win an inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Award for Excellence from the Urban Land Institute Philadelphia for our role as Development Manager of Lenfest Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music. This award was particularly meaningful for our Principal, Alan Razak, who was once a partner at Rouse & Associates – a Rouse-tafarian – noting that Bill was an influential mentor in his early career. Continue reading “The Tale of an Award, a Rouse-tafarian and a World-class Music Institution” »

Jun 24


AthenianRazak Featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Click here to read How the Sixers Picked Camden from The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jun 12


Team AthenianRazak Shows Off Our Development Management Game

If you live in the Philadelphia region (and don’t live under a rock), you’ve probably heard that the Philadelphia 76ers are building a new state-of-the-art Training Center along the Camden Waterfront in New Jersey. Included in the Sixers announcement was the news that AthenianRazak has been named as the Development Manager for the new facility. We’ve actually been working quietly in that role with the Sixers for months, assembling a crackerjack team of designers and construction experts, working first on a Philadelphia-based site, and then playing a key role in identifying, evaluating and negotiating the Camden Waterfront location and tax credits package after the Grow NJ legislation was passed last Fall. Continue reading “Team AthenianRazak Shows Off Our Development Management Game” »

Jun 10


DoCoMoMo Advocates to Save Public Federal Savings Bank in Wynnewood

If you haven’t gotten this from us yet, we are big fans of historic preservation. The reasons for this are many, including the impact on culture, the community, and smart re-use of existing real estate.

That’s why we are supportive of our team getting involved in causes that are close to their own hearts, including Janet Kimbleton Grace’s involvement with DoCoMoMo, a national group that is focused on preserving buildings of the modernist movement. Janet helped found the Philadelphia chapter.

Janet was recently involved in one such endeavor, a campaign to preserve a modernist building in Wynnewood (Montgomery County), advocating for the preservation and re-use of the Public Federal Savings Bank. Built around 1951, it is a good example of mid-century modern architecture in Lower Merion Township. This style was applied to many bank buildings and they are being lost at an alarming rate.

While this specific effort did not succeed, it was a partial success given that the local Board of Commissioners directed the Historical Commission to conduct a survey of all of the mid-century modern buildings in the area.

Sometimes, it is just as important to fight for causes you believe in to continue to raise awareness, even if you don’t win a specific battle. Now, due to this campaign, there is a greater awareness of the importance of modernist buildings and of adaptive re-use in this suburban area of Philadelphia.


May 19


AthenianRazak Named as Finalist in ULI Philadelphia’s Inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence

AthenianRazak is excited that we are on the list of finalists for ULI Philadelphia’s inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence for our role as Development Manager for Lenfest Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music.

We are among 28 finalists from a pool of 57 applicants across the Greater Philadelphia region. We were considered as a finalist for leading an exceptional institutional infill project that addressed community concerns with a creative setback, lovely street facade, and robust supporting uses.

Winners will be announced at a cocktail reception on June 18th at The Ballroom at The Ben, located at 9th and Chestnut Street – hmm, this is right next to our offices, is that a clue? You can sign up to be there to support team AthenianRazak and wish us well as we compete with a fabulous group of regional projects for this prestigious new award.