Ken Weinstein, President
Ken is an active entrepreneur and real estate developer in the Philadelphia area. He serves as President of Philly Office Retail, LLC, which has renovated and restored more than 200 vacant and deteriorated commercial and residential units in the Philadelphia region during the past 25 years. Philly Office Retail currently owns and manages more than 600,000 square feet of commercial space in the Philadelphia region.
Ken founded and operated Cresheim Cottage Cafe from 1996 until 2004 and now owns Trolley Car Diner, Deli and Ice Cream Shoppe in Mt. Airy since 2000 and Trolley Car Cafe in East Falls since 2010. Along with Stan Smith, Ken has been invited to speak annually to a group of 35 NFL players at Wharton’s Sports Business Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania about investing in real estate and the restaurant business.
Previously, Ken served as Chief of Staff for Philadelphia City Councilwoman Happy Fernandez from 1991-1995 and currently serves as a 9th Ward Democratic Committee Person and Chair of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District. Ken is Founder of the Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill Teacher’s Fund and Trolley Car Table Tennis Club and Organizer/Board Member of Valley Green Bank.
In 2007-2008, Ken headed Mayor Michael Nutter’s economic development transition team and was appointed by the Mayor as President of the Board of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation and by the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners to the Montgomery County Economic Development Task Force.
In 2004, Ken was awarded the Business Leader of the Year Award by West Mt. Airy Neighbors, in 2005 was given the Community Service Award by the Center City Proprietors Association, in 2006 was named one of Philadelphia’s 101 Connectors by Leadership Philadelphia, in 2009 received the Distinguished Leadership Award by Community College of Philadelphia, in 2010 received the My Block, My Business Award by the Empowerment Group, in 2011 was awarded the Edgar Baker Community Service Award by East Mt. Airy Neighbors, the 2012 Retailer of the Year Award by the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, in 2013 was honored by the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, and was awarded the 2015 Philadelphia Business Journal’s Heavy Hitters of Real Estate Award in the Do-Gooder category.
Ken’s mission is to revitalize neighborhoods by renovating vacant, deteriorated properties in Philadelphia’s commercial corridors. He believes that you can do well by doing good.
Stan Smith has been an active real estate community developer for the past twenty five years, concentrating in the neighborhoods of Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, Germantown and in the northwest section of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, finishing high school at Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia. Stan went on to graduate with a B.S. degree from The University of Massachusetts, and continued his education at Temple University’s Real Estate Institute.
Stan, in his beginning years of his real estate development, specialized in the 1st time home buyer and in the residential market. During that time, he purchased, renovated, and sold more than 150 homes in Philadelphia. In the following years he has evolved onto multi-family, garden style apartment buildings, ranging in size from 11 to 42 units. During this time he accumulated and managed up to 200+ units. All his real estate development has been with local conventional banking relationships, with the emphasis of keeping things local and community focused. More recently, Stan’s has moved forward to focus on the development, renovation, construction, and management of more than 250,000 square feet of professional office and retail space throughout Philadelphia.
Stan is a community developer with social responsibility. He has specialized in the commercial development of low income neighborhoods with an emphasis on the nonprofit client. He offers customized office spaces, knowing, accepting, and working with the challenges of their funding requirements. This also includes their needs of the many other services which include, charter schools, partial treatment schools, day cares and housing. His best service to the client is the capability of managing all phases needed in the process of the real estate development, leasing, construction and management. He is a one stop shop, and all decisions are made quickly and under one umbrella.
Smith Houston Inc. is his operating company that offers dependable, reliable and places much emphasis on superior real estate management. His current project at 5534 Pulaski Avenue also known as the Flying Horse Center is a 54,000 sq. ft. parking garage building built in 1926 that has been converted into multi use dwelling that has now become a premier, building in Germantown. This property is recognized as a leading example of industrial reuse in Philadelphia. It highlights the important role of design in making new and positive parts of urban neighborhoods. This property pays homage to the industrial past and provides a vision for a forward thinking, new industrial and urban renaissance. It currently is in its final renovation of a 7,000 sq. ft. development of an Executive Suite. In addition, he is operating and managing a 7,000 sq. ft. banquet hall space, called the Pegasus Room, also housed in this premier center. All renovations and or construction have been performed by his MBE and minority owned company, Smith Houston Inc. Stan focuses on customizing and fitting out professional office space for non-profit organizations.
Over the years, Stan is best known for his expertise in sheriff sale purchases and the creation of value through investment in distressed real estate and added value. Stan has shared his knowledge of the sheriff sale process by leading several sheriff sale seminars for real estate educational groups. Along with Ken Weinstein, Stan has been invited to speak annually to a group of 35 NFL players at Wharton’s Sports Business Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania about investing in real estate. Stan recognizes the importance of community development through responsible real estate investment and has made this an important goal for his company.
Throughout his real estate career, Stan’s focus has been the same, creating value while strengthening blighted neighborhoods.
Bob Kaufman is a real estate developer and consultant specializing in projects that deliver community development impact. As partner in Brinton Housing Partners, LP and 401 DeKalb Associates, LLC since 1997, Bob has utilized private capital to renovate more than 35 residential units and 15 commercial buildings. These commercial projects range from small, historically-significant SEPTA train stations and Fairmount Park properties, to retail storefronts in his own neighborhood of Mount Airy, to adaptive reuse of a vacant 4-story Bell Telephone building. These projects combine to house 25 tenants in 80,000 square feet of space.
At the same time, Bob has provided consulting services to a wide variety of non-profit organizations interested in developing real estate. By working closely with both Executive Directors and Boards of Directors, Bob has helped organizations to focus on real estate tasks and understand their options–identifying properties, estimating capital costs, obtaining financing, managing construction, monitoring budgets, reporting to lenders, and managing lease-up.
From 1987-1997, Bob was President of the Octavia Hill Association, a citywide for-profit housing organization with a long history of housing reform and property management. Under his guidance, OHA modernized its property management systems, reallocated its assets and sold off gentrified properties in order to reinvest proceeds in the development of affordable rental housing, and became active developers in several neighborhoods around the city where it already owned properties and had a vital stake in stabilizing the real estate market. By pairing its own capital with public dollars (below-market loans from the Redevelopment Authority and Federal Home Loan Bank, foundation grants, and equity from Low Income Housing Tax Credit syndications), Bob led Octavia Hill into 6 projects, producing 166 units of both rehabilitated and new housing, totaling $13,800,000 in total investment. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and a master’s degree in City Planning. His initial interest in community organizing turned into positions directing community development-first at Southwest Germantown CDC and then as Executive Director of the Neighborhood Development Alliance in West Oak Lane.
Bob sits on the board of Awbury Arboretum Association, was past President of Henry Home and School Association and Mount Airy Business Association, and has served on the boards of East Mount Airy Neighbors, Mount Airy Community Computer Center, and Mount Airy Schools Committee.