Who We Are

Our Mission

Deliver the healthiest and most sustainable developments

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 health, wellbeing, and green building through striving for WELL® and LEED® Platinum.

UPA ensures each project will support and advance the wellbeing and health of its occupants and minimize the building’s impact on the environment by reducing energy and water consumption. 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.

Core Values

  • 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

Our Team

“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.”

Our Team

Scott Mazo

Founder & CEO

Scott’s real estate and development career began in full force in 1983 when he began investing in multi-family assets in West Philadelphia. 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 throughout West Philadelphia. They gutted, rehabbed and developed over 1000 single and two-family homes in West Philadelphia. 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.

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 will become a world-class transit-oriented development.

Scott’s vast history in University City and West Philly has allowed for some great community, political, and vocal public/private conversations to give better shape to UPA’s development vision. In 2014, Scott was able to open up 2.0 University Place with a prominent long term tenant, Homeland Security- Citizenship and Immigration Services. The building quickly leased up and Scott was able to finalize a strategic deal with Swiss insurer, Zurich Insurance Group to acquire 2.0 University Place for the highest purchase price per square foot in Philadelphia commercial real estate history at that time.

“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”

Anthony Maher

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. During his tenure at Benjamin’s Desk / 1776, Anthony launched 10 strategic campuses throughout the region, which quickly became the largest network of incubators in the northeast corridor with a mission to strengthen the cities and economies by building a thriving community of entrepreneurs. Anthony also was successful in securing a long term partnership deal for his company to operate and manage UPENN’s premier incubator, The Pennovation Center. The focus at the 58,000sf Pennovation Center is Life Sciences and BioTech but also creates an environment for small tech startups and entrepreneurs to grow within the center.

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 outside of incubators and coworking 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.

“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”
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“In my 37-year career as a Commercial Broker, Developer/Renovator and Landlord in University City/West Philadephia, I have witnessed many amazing changes, and I am very excited for what’s to come!”
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Larry M. Starkman, GRI

Partner / COO

Larry’s Real Estate Career started after College in 1982 when he joined the prestigious and well known Philadelphia Real Estate Firm of Louis Starkman Company. It was started by his father, Louis Starkman in 1958 in West Philadelphia at 52nd & Spruce Street.

Larry quickly became the leading commercial, industrial and land broker for the sale and lease of properties from 1982 to 2009 in the majority of University City as well as all of the Western Part of Philadelphia. He was also very involved in property management of around 1,000 apartments, as well as numerous commercial, office and retail properties. Larry was responsible for selling numerous properties to the major drug store chains, supermarkets, medical facilities, numerous retail establishments, eating establishment, etc. He also purchased and renovated approximately 500 single family and 2-4 units properties that were in need of complete renovation in the University City/West Philadelphia Communities.

In 2016, he joined his good friend, and client of 25+ years, Scott Mazo at UPA, which gave Larry a new direction in his career by being involved in the building, development, and leasing of LEED Platinum® Office Buildings in University City.  Scott and Larry cofounded and are partners in Starkman UPA Realtors, LLC, a new Real Estate Company in 2016, located at 2.0 University Place. This Commercial Company is focusing on developing and curating UPA’s Platinum Corridor, on Market Street stretching from 39th – 42nd as well as other areas of University City.

“In my 37-year career as a Commercial Broker, Developer/Renovator and Landlord in University City/West Philadephia, I have witnessed many amazing changes, and I am very excited for what’s to come!”
“After working for over 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”

Marelisa Gibson

LEED AP BD+C
Project Manager & Head of Sustainability

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”

Our Advisors

Our Advisors

“The ability to combine cutting edge technology, beautiful design, and environmentally sustainable real estate, creates a next generation user experience which accelerates and inspires innovation.The vision of 3.0 University Place captures this combination with the future of this city and the future of entrepreneurship in mind. I also can’t wait to see and foster custom AI solutions in the Life Sciences!”

Tom Bell

Formal Advisor + EIR | UPA
CEO | Vertex Laboratories

Tom Bell is the Founder/CEO of Vertex Labs, a custom Artificial Intelligence solutions provider which specializes in Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Automation. Vertex focuses on developing innovative solutions to complex and impactful problems for clients in various industries.

In addition to his role at Vertex, Tom is a board member and advisor to several start-ups in Philadelphia and New York City as well as non-profit organizations including Dream2Career and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

He holds a BS in Business Administration from Drexel University and has been an active member of the Philadelphia startup community since 2007. He has founded, funded, and consulted for several companies over the past 12 years.

“The ability to combine cutting edge technology, beautiful design, and environmentally sustainable real estate, creates a next generation user experience which accelerates and inspires innovation. The vision of 3.0 University Place captures this combination with the future of this city and the future of entrepreneurship in mind.  I also can’t wait to see and foster custom AI solutions in the Life Sciences!”
“Many years ago, the noted science fiction writer Arthur Clarke noted that “The future isn’t what it used to be.” That is even more true today than in the 20th Century when he made the statement. UPA, because of its geographic location, represents the nexus of the needed collaborations in the Delaware Valley Life Sciences ecosystem as it plans both tactically and strategically to build that platform for the future.”

Dennis Gross, MS, PhD

Formal Advisor | UPA
CEO & Treasurer | Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute

Dennis M. Gross, MS,PhD is the CEO and Treasurer of the non-profit Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute [PDDI] based at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. He is also teaching faculty in the Jefferson College of Life Sciences and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. In addition, he is adjunct Professor of Basic Sciences at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Corporate Faculty at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Gross spent 29 years at the Merck Research Labs in various roles starting at the bench in drug discovery and moving into roles in computer resources, divisional strategic planning, M&A, research administration and operations oversight at both domestic and overseas lab sites. Before moving to the PDDI, he served for 9 years as the Associate Dean for the Professional Master’s Degree programs at Thomas Jefferson University. In addition to his consulting practice, he is the national co-chair for the Biotechnology Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp held each year in conjunction with the International BIO convention.

“Many years ago, the noted science fiction writer Arthur Clarke noted that “The future isn’t what it used to be.” That is even more true today than in the 20th Century when he made the statement. UPA, because of its geographic location, represents the nexus of the needed collaborations in the Delaware Valley Life Sciences ecosystem as it plans both tactically and strategically to build that platform for the future.”
Sherryl

Sherryl Kuhlman

Formal Advisor | UPA
Former Managing Director | Wharton Social Impact Initiative

Sherryl Kuhlman, WG’01, is the former Managing Director for the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, where she worked to integrate the Wharton community into a local and global network of social enterprises and impact organizations.

Previously, she held leadership roles coordinating corporate and foundation grant support, partnership development, and strategic initiatives and marketing at the national and local agencies of Big Brothers Big Sisters, in addition to teaching in the Philosophy department at Franklin & Marshall College.

Ms. Kuhlman received her MBA from Wharton in 2001. After years of motivating her students to make a real impact on social causes, she was inspired to create an impact on such causes herself. As an alumna, Ms. Kuhlman has seen the broad development of social impact at Wharton over the last decade and finds inspiration in the work of the Wharton network within the world.

“I’m excited to join such a distinguished group of local leaders in serving as a resource to the UPA team. It’s an exciting time for Philadelphia, and I’m eager to see and contribute to more developments like what UPA is proposing, which will create economic opportunities for local residents and businesses, serve as a draw for human capital and financial capital from all around the globe, and solidify University City as one of the world’s truly great concentrations of innovation activity and urban amenities.”

Lee Huang

Formal Advisor | UPA
President | Econsult Solutions, Inc.

Lee Huang has over 20 years of experience in economic development in public, private, institutional, and not-for-profit sectors. From 1995 to 2005 he managed The Enterprise Center, an entrepreneurial center in West Philadelphia. He currently serves as one of the nine Philadelphia Board of Education members appointed by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

Lee holds an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School and a master’s degree from the Fels School of Government of the University of Pennsylvania.

“I’m excited to join such a distinguished group of local leaders in serving as a resource to the UPA team. It’s an exciting time for Philadelphia, and I’m eager to see and contribute to more developments like what UPA is proposing, which will create economic opportunities for local residents and businesses, serve as a draw for human capital and financial capital from all around the globe, and solidify University City as one of the world’s truly great concentrations of innovation activity and urban amenities.”
“The biotech ecosystem in the Philadelphia region requires innovative laboratory solutions to cultivate emerging life science companies. The 3.0 University Place will incorporate many different resources under one roof so as to help these companies cost-effectively develop their innovative new technologies. I’m pleased to help UPA in their efforts to support entrepreneurs and provide realistic office/laboratory solutions.”

Andy Luber, PharmD

Formal Advisor + EIR | UPA
President & COO | Virion Therapeutics

Virion Therapeutics is committed to developing treatments for cancer and chronic infections using targeted novel T-cell based immunotherapies that couple a checkpoint blockade with disease-specific antigenic stimulation. Our platform technologies, ChiVax and ChiVax-gD induce potent and sustained T cell-mediated immune responses against transformed or infected cells and have shown efficacy in a wide range of preclinical animal models including: animal models of fast and slow growing tumors, with viral or human cancer antigens, in young and older animals, and when inserted failing adenovirus vaccine candidates.

Founded in early 2018 to advance technology licensed from The Wistar Institute, an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in vaccine, cancer and infectious disease research, Virion has built an experienced biotechnology management team, augmented by its advisory board that has extensive domain knowledge in antiviral, vaccine and oncology therapeutic arenas. Virion’s initial development programs are targeted for treatment of human papillomavirus-induced cancers and chronic hepatitis B virus infections.

“The biotech ecosystem in the Philadelphia region requires innovative laboratory solutions to cultivate emerging life science companies. The 3.0 University Place will incorporate many different resources under one roof so as to help these companies cost-effectively develop their innovative new technologies. I’m pleased to help UPA in their efforts to support entrepreneurs and provide realistic office/laboratory solutions.”

Shelton Mercer, III

Formal Advisor  | UPA
CIO & Principal, 1776 | CoFounder, TwitCHANGE | CoFounder, AuDigent

A certified leadership and life coach, Shelton follows his “Live on Purpose” mantra through his work as a global impact investor and philanthropist. Shelton is a frequent speaker and media contributor. He has received numerous honors, including, Top 50 Social Good Leaders You Must Follow on Social Media by The Huffington Post, Hero, and Humanitarian Award award from the Pennsylvania Senate and Champion for Haiti from the Haitian Professionals of America.
Shelton’s innovative spirit is an integral part of his work at 1776, where he focuses on strategic partnerships, public, and media relations, and thought leadership. He’s got a rich career history, having consulted for companies like Disney, GE, NBCUniversal, and KPMG.

“The biotech ecosystem in the Philadelphia region requires innovative laboratory solutions to cultivate emerging life science companies. The 3.0 University Place will incorporate many different resources under one roof so as to help these companies cost-effectively develop their innovative new technologies. I’m pleased to help UPA in their efforts to support entrepreneurs and provide realistic office/laboratory solutions.”

Ray Milora

Formal Advisor  | UPA
Director, Workplace Experience | Cisco

Before joining Cisco, Ray was the Head of Workplace Design & Change Management at GSK overseeing the roll-out of a new, industry-leading, activity-based lab initiative (called SMART Lab), driving evolution via engagement led change management. He was personally accountable and responsible for the design, construction, and change management of nearly 950,000 sq ft of activity-based offices and labs in the US and UK, now hosting more than 7000 employees.

Ray has a formal background in Graphic Design and over twenty-five years of focused, and passionate experience in applying the principles of User-Centered Design to the creation, development, and management of software, Services, and Workplace Experiences.

In addition, he is the founder of up-cycled home goods company Salvage & Craft.

Experiences.

“The biotech ecosystem in the Philadelphia region requires innovative laboratory solutions to cultivate emerging life science companies. The 3.0 University Place will incorporate many different resources under one roof so as to help these companies cost-effectively develop their innovative new technologies. I’m pleased to help UPA in their efforts to support entrepreneurs and provide realistic office/laboratory solutions.”
“In order for Philadelphia to continue to grow, and standout, in the biotech, life sciences, and R&D industries, we need to ensure new real estate development invests back into the young entrepreneur, scientists, and researchers to impact innovation.  I can’t wait to get started”

Brianna Wronko

Formal Advisor + EIR | UPA
Founder & CEO | Group K Diagnostics

Brianna Wronko is the Founder & CEO of Group K Diagnostics (GKD), a biotechnology innovator aiming to overhaul the diagnostic process for both patient and caregiver, where she is responsible for the technological development and vision of the company. A bioengineer by training, Wronko has more than six years of experience in microfluidics and immunology research, startups, and the FDA approval process.

Wronko sits on the Philadelphia Startup Leaders Board, was named a 2018 Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction and received recognition as the 2018 Spring PACT TiE Top Pitch Event Winner and the 2018 Stellar Startup Awards technology category winner. Wronko has spoken at the National Institute of Health, and is the recipient of other various grants and recognitions. She holds a BSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

“In order for Philadelphia to continue to grow, and standout, in the biotech, life sciences, and R&D industries, we need to ensure new real estate development invests back into the young entrepreneur, scientists, and researchers to impact innovation.  I can’t wait to get started”

Our Design & Construction Team

Our Design & Construction Team

Dale Corporation

At DALE, our mission is to continue to make DALE the company that thrives on retaining and growing every client relationship by creating a durable foundation. Our company’s sustainability is based on innovation, integrity, accountability, quality, performance, safety and commitment: the principle by which Dale Sr. founded our company in 1959.

CRB

CRB is a global consulting, design and construction services firm that relentlessly pursues and delivers success for our clients in advanced technology industries. CRB’s serves every client with an unrivaled passion for seeking out the right solution on every project; deep technical expertise to tackle the toughest challenges; a network of team members who thrive on collaboratively performing work of the highest caliber; thought leaders who dedicate their expertise to advance our industry and make the world a better place… and individuals committed to developing trusted, longstanding partnerships with our clients.

 

 

 

The Sheward Partnership

As a service-oriented firm, The Sheward Partnership strives to provide design solutions attuned to the specific needs of clients and their projects. Throughout all stages of design, documentation, and construction, our team draws upon their collective expertise to realize their clients’ goals. The firm’s design staff boasts a number of uniquely long-lived, collaborative relationships.

 

Mark Ulrick Engineers, Inc.

In 1987, Mark Washington and Ulrick Joseph founded Mark Ulrick Engineers Incorporated (MUEI), with the intention of becoming the premier full-service minority consulting engineering firm on the east coast. MUEI’s goal is to design facilities that are safe, energy efficient, environmentally friendly and comfortable. MUEI, a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE), provides mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection, engineering and design for many companies in the Mid-Atlantic region.

MacIntosh Engineering

MacIntosh Engineering is powered by the quality, integrity, and creativity of our people. MacIntosh delivers exceptional structural design solutions to our partners in the architectural and construction industry. We balance a supportive and growth-oriented environment for our employees with personal, responsive relationships with our clients and a desire to make a difference in the communities in which we live and work.

Roofmeadow

Roofmeadow is a full-service landscape architectural design firm with a unique expertise in landscapes on structure and constrained sites. Roofmeadow integrates designs for site-wide landscapes and rooftops alike, providing in-house specialty civil engineering to support your vision.

Bruce E. Brooks & Associates

BBA designs mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and life safety systems to integrate seamlessly into the buildings that they serve. Combining best practices with technical know-how and building information modeling software tools, we engineer systems that support such universal client goals as functionality, cost, aesthetics, context and sustainability. Responsiveness, collaboration and clear communication are the hallmarks of our approach to the design process.

Stantec

Stantec provides professional consulting services in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics for infrastructure and facilities projects. Stantec provides services on projects around the world through over 22,000 employees operating out of more than 410 locations in North America and across offices in 6 continents internationally

Sustainability

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®

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.

Happier + Healthier People = More Productive

The Case for a Healthier Work Environment

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.

Sustainable Sites

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.

Water Efficiency

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.

Regional Priority

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.