Ken Weinstein

President, Philly Office Retail

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.

Courses Taught

Instructor: Ken Weinstein
Course Section: 025
On-Campus Day(s): Wednesday
On-Campus Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Course Description:

This course introduces students to residential and commercial real estate development and its inherent risks and benefits.  By understanding the development process, students will be better able to enact public policy that promotes the advantages brought by development while slowing gentrification.   Using the successful Jumpstart Germantown model, students will learn the 7 JumpSteps of real estate development:

1.    Create a Development Strategy & Identify Your Team
2.    Source a Property 
3.    Do Your Due Diligence
4.    Find Your Financing 
5.    Develop, Design, and Procure Permits 
6.    Customize Construction 
7.    Lease/Sell Your Property

Jumpstart is a successful alternative to the boom and bust cycle of real estate development by encouraging slow growth, scattered site development, and a mix of price points - all of which act to slow gentrification and encourage healthy development that sustains and attracts real economic diversity.   This course will include presentations by experts in the real estate industry, in-class discussions and projects, and a visit to a local construction site.  Students interested in becoming real estate developers or wanting to learn the ins and outs of the development process will benefit from this course.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829