University Place Associates [UPA] is dedicated to creating the finest quality, state-of-the-art, healthiest commercial developments in a socially conscious and environmentally responsible way. By designing and constructing all its developments to achieve the highest level of the green building program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of high-performance green buildings, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED® –an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™.
UPA ensures each project will minimize its impact on the environment by reducing energy and water use and efficiently incorporating renewable and innovative materials. The result of these efforts is an integrated development that contributes to the health and productivity (according to a study on Cognitive Function led by Harvard University) of the employees working within, and also reduces the tenant’s utility costs dramatically.
- Act according to the highest principles, standards, and best practices
- Achieve environmental excellence through LEED Platinum® certification
- Encourage creative and collaborative working environments
- Promote beautiful, innovative design
- Preserve the history and the culture of the neighborhoods we work in
Founder & CEO
Scott’s real estate development career began in full force in 1990, 27 years ago. With his partner Jim Levin, they founded Neighborhood Restorations, an affordable housing development company, and set out on a mission of restoring abandoned and blighted single-family homes in West Philadelphia. They gutted, rehabbed and developed over 1000 houses including nearly 1200 units for low-income families with a total investment of nearly $200 million while employing more than 50% local minority contractors over their entire history.
Additionally, Neighborhood Restorations moved their offices into the heart of West Philadelphia at the former Oliver Wendell Homes Middle School, the first middle school in the United States. There, they completed a historic restoration and preservation of the entire building, including 42 units for senior citizens and a magnificent auditorium used for both seniors and community activities.
In 2009, Scott established University Place Associates with a firm commitment to social responsibility and environmental sustainability. His hope in contributing to and developing a world-class ‘Platinum Corridor®’ on Market Street, centered at the 40th Street transit hub, is that this effort, including bringing new jobs and new energy, will become a place for all to enjoy!
“Philadelphia has quickly become one of the greenest cities in the US, and we are excited to participate in a significant way towards it becoming ‘THE’ greenest city in the U.S.”
“As the former CEO of Benjamin’s Desk and 1776, I understand the importance of strategically curating this building with the Philadelphia’s Life Sciences and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in mind. We are committed to bringing a world-class building together with world-class innovators, partners, and companies to help reinvent the future”
Partner / President
Anthony is well known for his entrepreneurial ecosystem engagement throughout the city of Philadelphia. He is Co-founder and former CEO of Benjamin’s Desk (now 1776), serving as a champion and growth strategist for entrepreneurs.
Anthony Maher joins Scott Mazo as Partner and President of UPA in January 2019. He is a strong advocate for public/private partnerships and will strategically curate every UPA building with the Philadelphia innovation ecosystem in mind. Anthony’s experience curating coworking space as Chief Growth Officer of 1776 is expansive. He looks forward to applying the same knowledge, experience, and zeal throughout the square footage of The Platinum Corridor®.
Anthony was also Partner of Philadelphia’s First Base Commercial Office Brokerage for several years, a brokerage that was created to help high growth tech startups secure their first traditional office space. Anthony was a First-Team College All-American and 10-year professional soccer player and brings the same focus and discipline that build effective teams to help create long term partnerships and impact. He can usually be found exploring the local playgrounds or community soccer fields with his wife and three young sons.
“I believe the work we’re going to do with 3.0 University Place and The Platinum Corridor will exemplify ‘best in class’ development with meaningful social impact. I can’t wait to get started”
LEED AP BD+C
Sustainable Development Manager
Marelisa was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She began her studies in architecture at the Central University of Venezuela, which allowed her to uncover a passion for improving the built environment and, efficiently utilizing resources. Two years in, Marelisa decided to pause her career when she won the Miss Venezuela beauty pageant in 2009. It was an amazing opportunity for self-improvement; it taught her discipline, dedication, diplomacy, and how to work in a high-pressure and high-stress environment around the clock.
She moved to Philadelphia in 2011 and decided to pursue a B.S. in Interior Design at The Art Institute of Philadelphia where she graduated with high honors as class Valedictorian. After working in a small architecture firm for almost a year, her passion for improving the built environment kept growing and she decided to go back to school in order to learn and eventually apply sustainable practices.
In 2016, Marelisa graduated from the award-winning Master of Science in Sustainable Design at Jefferson University (former Philadelphia University) where she realized that some of the most impactful decisions for a project are made by the real estate developer, therefore, UPA was the perfect fit.
“After working for two years in a LEED Platinum office building, I can attest to the benefits of great Indoor Air Quality and its effects in higher productivity and overall wellness”
According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
“Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that
we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly
or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability
is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and
nature can exist in productive harmony to support present
and future generations.”
LEED Platinum® certification is the highest standard for sustainable design and construction under the prestigious LEED® green building rating system. By incorporating sustainability at all stages of design, construction, and operation, the consumption of energy, water and natural resources are significantly reduced.
To achieve any level of LEED certification, the project must meet 12 prerequisite/mandatory requirements. Additionally, credit points under each category are optional and contribute to an overall point score. Different levels of certification are awarded based on the total number of points.
Sustain + Ability
LEED® Credit Categories
Location & Linkages
An important part of a building it’s the location. Proximity to public transportation, bicycle networks and walkable destinations for the employees and customers reduce environmental impacts from vehicles use and contribute to the community from a social and economic perspective.
This category is about the connection of the building to the site and its surrounding ecosystems. For example, biodiversity preservation and stormwater management, that can be achieved through a vegetated roof, which infiltrates stormwater volumes while removing contaminants and additionally creating habitat for plants and insects, alike.
Reducing potable water consumption conserves natural resources and ensures healthy drinking water supplies for surrounding communities. The City of Philadelphia has a combined sewer and stormwater treatment system, so large storm events can cause Combined Sewer Overflows, or release of untreated sewage into local waterways. Managing stormwater runoff improves water quality of local rivers and streams.
Energy and Atmosphere
After reducing the overall energy needs of the building, the team proceeds to choosing the most energy efficient and technologically advanced systems to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Enhanced commissioning is also pursued to ensure that energy-related building systems are operating at optimal performance. The schematic energy model for 3.0 University Place predicted 25-30% energy cost savings, compared to conventional office buildings. For LEED® the minimum required savings is 2%.
Materials and Resources
Extracting, manufacturing, and transporting of building materials consumes large amounts of energy. During the design phase, building materials are carefully selected to minimize environmental and health impacts.
Indoor Environmental Quality
This category refers to the human comfort inside the building, as it relates to air quality, temperature, humidity, lighting and daylighting, and the connection to the outdoors. According to this Harvard study on Cognitive Function, occupant’s cognitive performance was 101% higher in buildings with higher ventilation rates compared to ventilation rates found in conventional buildings (20 CFM). Which translates to an approximate $6,500 equivalent in improved productivity per person per year.
Innovation & Design
This category recognizes sustainable and innovative strategies and practices in building design and construction, including surpassing the performance required in specific existing LEED® credits.
Optional points are allocated to specific environmental, social or public health issues where there is regional concern, to incentivize teams to focus on those areas.