ULI PHL’s 5th Annual Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence finalists represent superior development projects in the greater Philadelphia region that embody the ULI mission of pushing the standard of excellence in real estate and land use and creating sustainable, thriving communities.
Jeff Allegretti, President of Redevelopment at Innova Redevelopment joins us for this week’s “Five Minutes with a Finalist”. Innova Redevelopment has been recognized as a finalist for South Point. Here’s what he had to say:
Who has had the greatest influence on your career and what was the best advice he or she gave you?
John Rosenthal, the founder of Pennrose Properties and a pioneer of affordable housing development. John’s best advice to me was that one’s “spiritual” attitude toward one’s endeavors counts for infinitely more than one’s expertise or financial capacity in the odds of success. In fact, the odds of success are exactly zero without the right-spirited approach to the enterprise.
John offered me these words, as I struggled to find the key that would unlock the power of my talent and creativity and allow me to transform the business he handed to me into something worthy of a well-lived life. “Life,” he said, “is about being turned on. If you are, even challenges become sources of strength from which you can grow …if you are turned on, everything is doable. If you’re not, then nothing seems possible and everything is a problem. My friend, you need to get turned on!” And in a flash, I saw the transcendent wisdom of this I needed to get turned-on!
What are you most excited about in the Philadelphia area and region?
Livability is what drew me from my small city in NJ to this big city in the early 1970s, and despite rampant development and too few protections for Philadelphia’s historic character, that central characteristic remains. This is place to settle, have a family and a career, and find, in the smorgasbord of cultural, culinary, civic and community offerings, a complete, uncompromising and, in many ways, unparalleled metropolitan existence.
As a ULI PHL Awards nominee, what makes you most proud of your project?
The intersection of innovative community redevelopment policy using vacant city land to produce a unique affordable product in a very expensive marketplace that incorporates cutting edge building performance characteristics and a smartly understated new urban aesthetic.