Contact Us

Forecast: Economic Headwinds

Forecast:  Economic Headwinds
More than two-dozen speakers took over the Union League last week for ULI's annual, day-long Marketplace. While they boldly predicted the future of the real estate industry, none of them would predict the future of the Phillies.
Vanguard Group CEO Bill McNabb
Vanguard Group CEO Bill McNabb gave the lunchtime keynote. He says Vanguard is still "cautiously optimistic that we'll stay in recovery mode, and not fall back into recession." Bill suggests keeping an eye on: employment rates, which are still low; the housing market, which may still not have bottomed out; and the over-leveraged American consumer. (Increased savings are good for the long-term, Bill says, but bad for the current economy. Bad piggy bank, bad!)
The Traffic Group's Wes Guckert, Mitch Warren of the Northeast Corridor Commission, PHL International Airport CEO Mark Gale, Steve Goldin of WMATA
One breakout session focused on transit infrastructure. The Northeast Corridor Commission's Mitch Warren (second from left) says the future growth of the region—which is all but guaranteed—is actually being "threatened by the lack of capacity on our transportation systems." Also on the panel: The Traffic Group's Wes Guckert, PHL International Airport CEO Mark Gale, and WMATA's Steve Goldin.
Daniel Biederman of Bryant Park Management Group, John Palmieri of New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Authority, Fameco CEO Brandon Famous
One of the day's best-attended panels discussed the future of leisure and entertainment retail. Moderator Daniel Biederman(left) of Bryant Park Management Group says destination retail is still one of the sector's wisest investments. But as an audience member pointed out, shoppers today want an education as well as an experience. What's more, they often prefer to browse in-person before buying online. Case in point: the ultra-successful and experiential American Girl and Apple retail stores.
Fameco CEO Brandon Famous
Here's Fameco Real Estate CEO Brandon Famous doing the business card shuffle. (Famous people are just like the rest of us!) Along with Nancy DeLucia of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and John Palmieri of New Jersey's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Brandon was on the ULI event's retail panel.
Robert Isom, Executive VP and COO of US Airways
US Airways COO Robert Isom gave the closing keynote. His airline has been a major partner in the ongoing expansion at PHL International, having spent $1.2B in airport improvements since 2001. Robert says there's much more to come, including the $117M expansion of Terminal F, and a $400M expansion and redesign of Terminals B and C.
The Flynn Company's David Ricci, Constructure Management's Susanne Hanson, Justin Martino of JDavis Architects
We snapped The Flynn Co's David Ricci, Constructure Management's Susanne Hanson, and JDavis Architects' Justin Martino during the afternoon happy hour.