When you think of Philadelphia, your thoughts may turn to skyscrapers and city blocks. The term “home building” may not immediately come to mind. But that’s where you would be wrong. The Philadelphia City and County areas are booming for our industry and the robust Building Industry Association of Philadelphia has been there every step of the way.
Founded in 1937, the BIA of Philadelphia currently serves 334 members. Builder Members make up 35% of the membership, with Associate Members being the bulk of the remaining roster. The BIA is led by President Leo Addimando, Managing Partner of Alterra Property Group, LLC and the daily operations are run by Executive Director Marianne Scott.
The BIA is very active on behalf of members and the community. There are frequent educational sessions available and – pre-COVID – members would gather often for networking events.
The signature event of the year is the annual Builders Conference held in the fall. This event focuses on issues of particular concern and relevance to the residential real estate development industry. This year, the BIA decided to focus on social issues relating to equitable access to housing and equitable housing development. The Conference was held virtually.
During a typical year, the BIA hosts a Builders Open in the summer. Obviously the 2020 event was not able to happen. Members gather for a walking tour of three to five member projects and end with a networking reception at one of the project sites.
As far as the community goes, the BIA is very active with Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and Big Brothers Big Sisters, holding special fundraising efforts. In addition, this year members responded to a call from the City of Philadelphia to support small businesses impacted by the civil unrest with building supplies and repairs.
In addition, the BIA is currently developing a “Blueprint for Attainable Housing” program which brings together the expertise and capabilities of private sector residential developers to help the City of Philadelphia meet the demand for affordable housing.
A “Diversity and Inclusion Committee” was also started this year to provide opportunities to help all underrepresented groups be more successful in the residential real estate development and building industry. As part of that initiative, the BIA launched the first student chapter with a school that serves some of the most disadvantaged children in Philadelphia. The objective is to introduce them to the possibilities of careers in construction. Overall, the goal is to expand and diversify the workforce so that it reflects the neighborhoods where BIA members build.
While many local builder associations are experiencing a slowdown in bringing on new members, the BIA of Philadelphia has been witness to some great growth in 2020. Advocacy is at the core of the BIA’s mission.
“We offer a solid working relationship with Philadelphia’s Administration, City Council, and City Departments and Agencies,” explained Marianne Scott. “We have a reputation for integrity and fairness that provides us with a seat at the table when development policies are discussed. Those relationships allow us to be a resource for members and a powerful industry advocate at the local level.”
Be sure to check out this video for an insider’s look at the BIA of Philadelphia – https://vimeo.com/461063482/cbcd9e646e
With so much to offer members and the community, it no wonder why the BIA of Philadelphia is thriving even in these trying times. Congratulations on all the great work!
BIA of Philadelphia
1735 Market Street, Suite 432A
Philadelphia, PA 19103
FACEBOOK – @BiaOfPhiladelphia
INSTAGRAM – @biaofphiladelphia
TWITTER – @BIAPhilly