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Could expanding the convention center be the key to expanding Philadelphia's hotel fortunes? Parkway Corp president Robert Zuritsky thinks so.
Parkway Corp President Robert Zuritsky Bisnow future of center city rittenhouse hotel philadelphia home2suites pennsylvania convention center expansion
Robert Zuritsky (second from right) spoke at our recent Future of Center City event at the Rittenhouse Hotel and said the new $786M expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center is a total game-changer for the hotel industry. He should know: Parkway is building a $60M, 248-room Hilton brand hotel at 12th and Arch streets, not even a stone's throw away. The extended-stay Home2Suites property is expected to cut the ribbon in 2013. (Every artisan of fine oversized scissors just perked up.) San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels group, meanwhile, is converting the 11-story Lafayette Building into the Hotel Monoco Philadelphia at 5th and Chestnut streets. And you can visit its rooftop bar and lounge when it opens this summer.

liberty property trust jon gattuso walkability center city future of bisnow rittenouse hotel
Liberty Property Trust SVP Jon Gattuso (right) sees Philly's immense walkability, especially in the growing Center City region, as just one of the assets to the private sector. "It really has every attribute it needs to thrive: A great location on the Eastern Seaboard. Great interconnectivity in terms of transportation. Great infrastructure in terms of higher-ed. So if we're not experiencing that tremendous economic growth," Jon says, "we have to ask ourselves why." One solution he offered was a revamp of the city's tax structure, which is often criticized as being business-unfriendly.
Dranoff Properties CEO Carl Dranoff rittenhouse hotel symphony house philadelphia future of center city bisnow
Dranoff Properties CEO Carl Dranoff shared with the audience his own fondness for Philly's famous walkability. When Carl proposed the 642k SF Symphony House high-rise project back in 2004, he explained, "many of the pundits in Philadelphia said [South Broad Street] wasn't a residential neighborhood." Of course, the project was ultimately a success. Dranoff Properties has since gone on to develop the 157k SF mid-rise residential and retail building known as 777 South Broad, which sits just a few blocks down the Avenue from Symphony House. "People who used to drive in from the suburbs to work in town are now moving into town," Carl says. "And I just see that trend continuing."
LWC City's John Forth ritenhouse hotel bisnow future of centre city
We also caught up with LWC City's John Forth, who tells us the company has been involved in a number of new construction maintenance projects, including jobs at Temple and Villanova. (They secretly are trying to score basketball tickets for next season.) LWC has also snapped up a handful of impressive new contracts, John says, with clients including The Franklin Institute, The Residences at Ritz-Carlton, and even 2 Penn Center Plaza. Not bad for a company that's only had a Philly base for five years now. (LWC was founded 52 years ago in Willow Grove.)
Albert Miller and Donna Palmer of event sponsor ParenteBeard, accounting today rank
Here's Albert Miller and Donna Palmer of event sponsor ParenteBeard, who shared a bit of happy news: The firm just landed a seriously impressive spot—number 23—on Accounting Today'sannual ranking of the country's top 100 firms. (We're guessing tax season's gonna be a tad bit busy at ParenteBeard this year.)