BIA Voice is the official newsletter of the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia. Jonathan Weiss, President of Equinox Management & Construction was recently featured in the Member Spotlight on page 11/15 of BIA Voice, Spring 2012 issue.
Below is the full text of the article that appeared:
Jonathan Weiss has always been fascinated by a built environment and the many way that buildings and cities shape our world. He studied architecture and worked as a carpenter and also worked in the energy conservation field. Real estate development combined all of those interests in an entrepreneurial way.
Weiss is the founder and president of Equinox Management & Construction, LLC and The TempleTown Realty companies. For the past 15 years, TempleTown Realty has been the leading provider of off-campus housing for Temple University. Its affiliate, Equinox Management & Construction, is a Philadelphia-based, fully integrated real estate development, property management, general contracting and property maintenance company with a focus on urban infill development.
In its 15 years of operation, Equinox has developed over 280,000 square feet of residential rental property. The company specializes in urban infill development and has provided management services for over 850 beds of student housing at University campuses around the greater Philadelphia. They additionally manage over 20 commercial tenants in over 120,000 square feet of retail space. Equinox is committed to sustainability in the built environment and recently completed the largest LEED-certified modular structure in the country.
Equinox has recently developed The Modules, a LEED-Gold 72 unit apartment building near Temple University, which features a 20,000 square foot green roof, cutting-edge construction techniques and distinctive architecture which garnered a 2010 AIA Pennsylvania design award.
“I am very proud of this project. It is a very innovative building in many ways,” Weiss added. “First, the architecture is modern and striking. It received an AIA Pennsylvania award. Second, it is the first green building in the Temple area and has many sustainability features, including high efficiency systems and equipment, a tight building envelope, strong bicycle accommodations and a green roof. The building recently received LEED Gold certification. Lastly, we incorporated modular construction and we believe that it is the larges modular structure in Philadelphia.”
Equinox’s core portfolio has been in the redevelopment of North Philadelphia. They are committed to a ‘holistic’ approach to neighborhood work. In addition to rehabilitating over 70 previously vacant Victorian Brownstones dating from the 1880s, they have hired extensively from the neighborhood and created new retail spaces. They also helped create Tree House Books, which has become a cultural center in North Philadelphia.
Equinox also provides professional and thorough property maintenance services, with both in-house staff and a wide network of local vendors. In addition to scheduled maintenance and custodial staff, our construction division offers cost-effective expertise for more complex building repairs and improvements.
“We are developers, general contractors, and property managers. We act as our own general contractor for most of our projects,” said Weiss. “We also perform general contracting and construction management fore other developers and property owners. Our property management division managers over 500 apartments and over 150,000 square feet of retail space. Some of our areas of particular expertise are historic renovation and student housing.
Weiss finds buildings and architecture endlessly fascinating. He also finds it very rewarding to be a part of a neighborhood change. Lastly, because of the range of activities he is involved in, every day is different.
Weiss has found the BIA to be a great source of information and education. Even more importantly, the BIA is the often the best (and sometimes only) advocate for the interests of builders and developers in Philadelphia. “City government is prone to seeing developers as ‘the bad guys’, and the BIA does an excellent job of educating others as to the important role of development in our built environment and in our economy,” he commented.
A graduate of Amherst College and the University of Pennsylvania, Weiss serves on the boards of Friends School Haverford, Tree House Books, and Project HOME. He resides in Haverford and has two teenage sons. His biggest hobby is spending time with family, but he also is an avid reader, plays ultimate Frisbee, and in the summer, races sailboats.
The above article appeared in BIA Voice, Spring 2012, page 11/15.