GREATER PHILADELPHIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTS ANNUAL REGION ON THE RISE EVENT

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GPCClogoOn April 3rd the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce held its annual Region on the Rise event at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel. The event featured newly appointed Chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Bill Shuster. The Congressman provided insight into his goals for 2013 which included his focus on economic development and transportation infrastructure and stressed the importance of investing in infrastructure and rebuilding and expanding the region’s current transportation capacity.

The event also included a discussion moderated by Rob Fenza, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Liberty Property Trust and panelists Tom Caramanico, President, McCormick Taylor; Tim Carden, Managing Director, Public Financial Management; Mark Gale, Chief Executive Officer, Philadelphia International Airport; and Kate McNamara, Senior Real Estate Manager, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. The panel discussed plans for future developments of the Lower Schuylkill River District, the Philadelphia International Airport and upcoming P3 opportunities (public-private partnerships) for the region.

Mark Gale of the The Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) expressed a positive outlook that the merger of US Airways and American Airlines would provide more opportunity for Philadelphia to compete in the global marketplace.  At the same time, PHL is embarking on a multi-billion dollar Capacity Enhancement Program which will be funded and implemented over the next 13 years.  In the immediate term, Gale also noted that the Airport recently received $5.1 million from the State of Pennsylvania as part of a State investment in safety enhancements and improvements at 10 airports across Pennsylvania. The funds allocated to PHL will be used to upgrade the Airport’s mechanical facilities and undertake Phase 1 of a major airfield taxiway project.

Another highlight of the event was a preview of the Master Plan for Lower Schuylkill River District, a 3,700 acre site located adjacent to four major nodes of economic activity in Philadelphia – University City, Center City, the Airport, and The Navy Yard.  The Master Plan for this area is a collaborative effort undertaken by PIDC and the City of Philadelphia, in partnership with many stakeholders and property owners in the District, to create a blueprint for high-quality sustainable redevelopment of the historically industrial corridor along the east and west banks of the Lower Schuylkill River. The plan includes development of three distinct areas:  the Innovation District, focusing on research and development; the Energy Corridor, which will be home to energy companies and heavy industry; and the Logistics District, leveraging the proximity of PHL to spur additional logistics and transportation activity.  The City and PIDC will release the Master Plan next month.

Attendees took away the message that both the public and private sectors are investing substantially in the continued growth and development of the Greater Philadelphia region.  These investments, including partnerships between the public and private sectors, will create jobs and opportunities for our region for many years to come.

For more information on upcoming events with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce or to find out how you can become a member, please visit www.greaterphilachamber.com.  For more information about the Lower Schuylkill River District master plan, please contact Kate McNamara of PIDC at kmcnamara@pidc-pa.org.

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