This month, ULI Philadelphia sat down with Jay Appleton, ULI Philadelphia’s new Sponsorship Chair and Project Executive/Program Manager at GREYHAWK. Jay is a licensed Professional Engineer with more than 35 years of experience in design, construction and project management.
How long have you been a ULI member?
I have been a member of ULI and active with the Philadelphia District Council for almost ten years, serving on several different Councils, past co-chair of the Planning, Design and Construction Council, and as a member of the Advisory Board.
What has being a ULI member done for you professionally or personally?
The benefits of membership, and especially active participation in ULI, are extensive. Particularly important to me is the “thought leadership” nature of the organization. The room is always full of very smart people, and I consistently come away from ULI events, regardless of topic, motivated, inspired, and educated. I am significantly better at what I do because of my interactions with ULI people, and the opportunities for participation and leadership afforded me by virtue of my membership. I am especially pleased that many warm, personal friendships have grown from the business relationships that started within ULI.
Tell us a little about your firm?
Founded in 1996. GREYHAWK is an award-winning construction management and consulting firm that provides expertise to stakeholders in a variety of industries including education, healthcare, hospitality, residential, transportation, infrastructure, environmental, industrial, commercial, cultural, and correctional. The firm has successfully managed more than $3 billion worth of construction projects, and, serving as a claims consultant, has resolved disputes on more than 1,000 assignments with a construction value in excess of $10 billion. GREYHAWK has been ranked as one of the fastest growing firms in the country by Inc. magazine, and has been included multiple times on Zweig White’s “Hot Firm” AEC Top 100 list.
What is the most exciting project you have worked on in your career?
I had the great privilege to serve as the Project Manager for the revitalization of the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY. My involvement in the project spanned six years, and gave me the opportunity to collaborate with world-class designers and an incredible client, and to develop an appreciation for the art and technology that is inherent in glass through its development for more than five millennia.
What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in real estate?
My first choice would be engagement with an NPO focused on addressing the basic needs of the underserved folks in our local communities. And… I would probably find time to indulge one or more of my other passions as a keyboard player in a jazz or rock band, or as a cabinetmaker.
What do you see as Philadelphia’s biggest land use challenge?
I think that there are multiple challenges to effective and productive development and redevelopment of Philadelphia’s real estate. Leading the pack, in my opinion, is the constraining influence of combined “special interest” control and bureaucratic inertia. It is important to note, though, that the regulatory/policy landscape in our City has improved markedly over the past several years, and it feels like we’re gaining momentum on the path to world-class status. I love this place!