BASED IN KING OF PRUSSIA, PA., JUST OUTSIDE Philadelphia, O'Neill Properties Group has done it all, from commercial office space to residential. Michael T. Trio, senior vice president and director of planning for O'Neill, recently announced that his company has committed to the new urbanism “movement.” Specifically, the company wants to sink its shovels into the many untapped brownfields found all over greater Philadelphia.
“Overall, the goal of new urbanism is to reduce the amount of traffic, pollution, and overall aggravation associated with life in today's suburbs,” Trio says. In other words, if you want to keep building in an antagonistic environment of entrenched NIMBYism, public anger about gridlock, and vanishing green space, you'd better be perceived as part of the solution
And the philosophy is paying off. The 24-year-old company has a $4.4 billion portfolio of brownfield real estate and knows the business of multifamily residential inside out. When other builders in the region were chasing the status quo, O'Neill began making connections with key people needed for brownfield projects: environmental attorneys, urban architects, and city development agencies.
“We think philosophically we've developed into a company known for improving existing infrastructure,” says Trio. “We don't develop areas with shrinking greenfields. Instead, we clean up dilapidated buildings and think intrinsically about our developments.”
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Philadelphia, PA.