Robert MonserCity Grill

Robert Monser
CMAA Mid-Atlantic Chapter President, Vice President at Heery International

Walking through the streets of Philadelphia makes it evident that the city is adopting a “live, work and play” mentality to real estate development, Monser says. “The increase in mixed-use developments is involving higher proportions of residential and hotel components, ensuring that primary occupiers of these developments will activate the streets and adjacent businesses beyond typical working hours.” 

Monser says residential activity, driven largely by millennials, will contribute to future construction activity—directly and indirectly.

He also notes an uptick in energy efficiency renovations that are “proving to be valuable investments in reducing operations costs across the city.” For example, Monser points to the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation’s adaptive reuse of an abandoned recreation center at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The renovation involved complex mechanical systems.

Monser also says state-funded college and university building programs have gotten a boost from a stronger economy and a rebound in university endowments from prerecession levels. “As a result, we can expect to see more capital improvements across Philadelphia’s higher-education campuses,” he says.

Firm in Focus

ECS Mid-Atlantic LLC
2 Executive Dr., Ste. 11, Moorestown, N.J.
Phila. Business Unit Leaders: Sal Fiorentino, Jason Joines
Founded: 1988
Special Teams: ECS is providing special inspection services for the Hanover North Broad project in Center City Philadelphia.

The mixed-use development includes two six-story buildings that have 340 luxury residential units, 18,000 sq ft of street-level retail and a 380-space garage. The firm’s certified special inspection team is observing structural concrete and reinforcing steel, masonry wall construction, wood framing and structural steel. ECS is also providing quality-assurance observation services documenting MEP rough-ins, fire caulking and draft stopping as well as building envelope construction.

ECS has 50 offices nationwide, including 17 in the MidAtlantic region.