Fourth generation

1986-1994

Synergy: The Fourth Generation Joins the Family Business

Steven’s oldest son, Larry, joined the company in operations in 1986, and his second son, Brad, in finance in 1987. His youngest son, Mark, joined later in 1994 as head of the commercial division. Larry made his first mark on The Korman Company by introducing the idea of synergy, the whole being more valuable and effective than the individual parts. Until then, all 23 Korman apartment communities operated independently of each other, each with their own operation standards and marketing identity. In 1987, all 23 properties became one brand, Korman Suites.

1986-1994
Larry, Brad, Steve, and Mark Korman
1995-2003
Korman Communities Malvern, a foundation property for the AVE brand

1995-2003

A New Direction: Korman Communities

Steve Korman and his sons, Larry and Brad, formed Korman Communities in 1995. KCI was founded with the goal to expand and grow outside the local Philadelphia market, to encourage nonfamily members to take on leadership roles within the company, and to seek outside investors interested in innovation in the residential marketplace.

The new company started creating a new concept beginning in the mid to late 90s with properties like Malvern, Blue Bell, and a property in Delaware called Brandywine Woods. They were spacious, modern, had great amenities and were located in suburban areas where people had business travel needs. KCI also bought a few similar properties in the south in Atlanta and Raleigh-Durham. Over the next few years, Korman Communities expanded in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with new styles of suburban apartment buildings, a mix of garden-style and mid-rise properties near corporate centers, with a central courtyard and pool and resort- like amenities. These buildings were operated 50% traditional apartments and 50% furnished suites. With these newer acquisitions located in strategic corporate centers, the furnished suite concept was expanded even more. In 1997, a historic building at 222 W. Rittenhouse Square was purchased in downtown Philadelphia. Once renovated and named Rittenhouse 222, a new concept was born, the first building that KCI operates as 100% furnished suites. This building would be the birth of the company’s next brand, later to be named AKA.

2004-2007

Design and Innovation

In 2004, Korman Communities expanded to New York City and started a luxury extended-stay residence with 95 fully furnished one-bedroom suites, ideally located in Midtown Manhattan near the United Nations. KCI engaged upcoming architect/designer Joan Pierpoline, whose flair for sophistication and insight into how design influences lifestyle, to create a new and refreshing contemporary space. United Nations represented a new approach to design, and a whole new look for Korman Communities. Soon thereafter Korman Communities acquired similar properties in prestigious locations: Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia; Sutton Place, Times Square and Central Park in New York; and the White House district in Washington, DC. With an emphasis on creating tranquil public spaces, like the Zen garden and café at the United Nations, and elegantly appointed living spaces with exquisite contemporary furnishings, Korman Communities began to attract discerning international travelers and a celebrity clientele that appreciated privacy, unobtrusive service, and quality of the urban oasis.

2004-2007
2008
Properties from AKA, AVE and ARK

2008

The Birth of Three Brands: AKA, AVE, and ARK

Larry Korman, now co-CEO with his brother Brad, invited Korman Communities leadership to his home for a big announcement.

It was a total surprise when he named three women to oversee the company’s three exciting new brands and the future of Korman Communities.

AKA, a portfolio of luxury serviced residences offering exceptional business, wellness, and lifestyle amenities in iconic, metro locations.

AVE, a collection of sophisticated garden-style and mid-rise apartment communities offering flexible-stay furnished apartments, luxury unfurnished apartments, and unparalleled amenity spaces in dynamic suburban cities.

ARK, the original portfolio of garden-style apartment communities nestled in key Philadelphia suburbs.

2009-2010

AKA: Focused on Amenities

The challenging economy did not stop the Korman pioneering spirit. Instead, the innovators focused their attention to enhancing their amenities programs, raising a bar they already set so high. Korman Communities Investment team partnered with well-respected architects and designers like Joan Pierpoline, Meyer Davis Studio and Edward Asfour and created four special spaces for its residents: a.lounge, a.cafe, a.fitness, and a.kitchen. These unparalleled amenities to enhance the resident experience were a direct result of the Korman family tradition of listening to its residents’ needs and wants; and Larry Korman’s passion for design.

a.lounge at Sutton Place, designed by Meyer Davis Studio, artfully complements the property’s traditional warmth with numerous cozy seating areas, an open fireplace and a marble bar serving coffee in the morning and a curated selection of wine and cocktails in the evening.

a.fitness at AKA Central Park is the largest hotel workout facility per suite in New York City. It features state-ofthe-art Precor elliptical cross trainers, treadmills, cycles and climbers with Cardio Theater, as well as weighttraining equipment and a vertical Pilates machine. A panoramic video installation of flowing water and nature scenes by artist Monika Bravo, is projected across a 60-foot wall.

a.kitchen is a 48-seat restaurant designed by the award-winning NYC architect Edward Asfour at AKA Rittenhouse Square, serving European-style cuisine focusing on boldflavored, medium-sized plates designed for sharing.

a.café at AKA Central Park, designed by Joan Pierpoline and developed by David Fields in the fall of 2009, is a sophisticated and modernized take on a European-style café. The design is conceived around the idea of sculpted light – a changing program of colored light marks the different times of day and the shifting moods associated with time.

a.lounge at Central Park was also designed by Joan Pierpoline. The warmly lit and intimate space features relaxed seating areas, quiet nooks and two fireplaces. Experienced mixologists serve contemporary cocktails, and a carefully curated selection of natural wines, mico-brews and artisan spirits.

a.lounge at White House, also designed by Meyer Davis Studio, is inspired by a residential living room and is the ideal spot for coffee in the morning or a cocktail at the end of the day. 

Live Like a Local at AKA 

In 2009, AKA launches its “Live It!” program so residents can experience iconic destinations like a local. The brainchild of co-CEO Larry Korman, “Live It! by AKA” was designed to offer residents an opportunity to pursue their ambitions and dreams through curated experiences including aerial arts instruction at the Trapeze School of New York, private surfing lessons on the shores of Santa Monica, and dance workshops with world-class instructors at the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School.

2009-2010
a.lounge at AKA White House
2011
Korman Communities restored the exquisite lobby of the Franklin Residences in 2012

2011

Korman Acquires an Iconic Philly High Rise

In 2011, Korman Communities acquired and restored The Ben Franklin House, one of Philadelphia’s most historically significant buildings. It sits on the footprint of what was once the world’s most sensational hotel – The Continental Hotel. Opened in 1860, it was then the largest hotel in the United States, attracting prominent guests like Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Charles Dickens, King Edward VII, and most notable, president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who shouted his pre-inaugural speech from the balcony overlooking Chestnut Street in 1861. Towering over Washington Square, the six-story, 700-room hotel was designed by architect John McArthur Jr. (known for Philadelphia City Hall) and featured one of the nation’s first elevators and a grand stairway crafted of polished Italian marble. It was known to accommodate 1,200 guests on a busy evening. In the 1920s, it was demolished and replaced with The Ben Franklin Hotel, an 18-story, high-rise designed by Horace Trumbauer, architect of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The Ben,” as Philadelphians affectionately call it, was the last great hotel built in Philadelphia before the Great Depression and the go-to choice for visiting dignitaries and upperclassmen. The Benjamin Franklin House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Today, The Franklin Residences boasts 412 luxury apartments and penthouses, state-of-the-art business and fitness spaces for its residents, a dramatic lobby and terrace, and Philly institutions The Ballroom at The Ben, Di Bruno Bros., Passero’s Coffee Roasters, and more.

2012

AKA Goes Global

In 2012, AKA became both a national and international brand with the opening of AKA Beverly Hills and AKA Marylebone in London. Only a few blocks from Rodeo Drive, AKA Beverly Hills caters to celebrities and affluent international travelers who desire a contemporary pied-à-terre in the Golden Triangle. Korman Communities partnered with LA-based Koning Eizenberg alongside Asfour Guzy Architects, to transform the former rental building into 88 stylish and fully furnished one- and two-bedroom suites and townhouses, a first for AKA.

Nestled between Hyde Park and Regents Park within London's vibrant West End, AKA Marylebone is ideal for astute business travelers, affluent international travelers, and entertainment industry insiders who are traveling for extended periods. Korman Communities transformed the historic 1920s property into nine contemporary AKA residences that embrace the integrity of the original architecture and the spirit of the neighborhood.

2012
AKA Marylebone entrance in London, UK
2015
AKA Wall Street renovated suite

2015

AKA Enters NYC's Financial District

When Korman Communities opened their first downtown Manhattan property, AKA Wall Street, in 2015, they introduced the first luxury, all-residential hotel to New York City’s Financial District. AKA Wall Street’s 132 spacious suites and penthouses met the needs of a niche – NYC travelers in search of space and home conveniences, regardless of length of stay. Korman Communities commissioned Edward Asfour of Asfour Guzy Architects to create an urban oasis of modern design and efficiency within the Classic, English Baroque architecture of the 17-story, pre-existing building. Asfour preserved Howells & Stokes’ sculptured, 1907 façade of rusticated white marble, terra cotta, and brick while reconfiguring the interiors to accommodate expansive suites. Amenities include a spectacular rooftop with gracious outdoor space and terrace, a chic, glass-enclosed, four-season lounge, an outdoor cinema with magical views of 1 World Trade Center and the city as a backdrop, Technogym-equipped fitness center, and high-tech conference room.

2016

AKA Grows Vertically in Philadelphia

AKA celebrates the Grand Opening of AKA University City in 2016 – 268 brand new luxury hotel and apartment residences located on the top 18 floors of Brandywine Realty Trusts’ groundbreaking FMC Tower at Cira Centre South – Philadelphia’s First Vertical Neighborhood.
 
AKA’s signature sleek, contemporary design and robust lifestyle offerings are elevated to new heights – 730 feet to be exact, introducing unparalleled luxury accommodations to the city of Philadelphia. The hotel and furnished residences feature design elements imagined and executed by internationally renowned Italian architecture and design firm Lissoni Associati, evoking a streamlined sensibility of timeless elegance and sophistication united by the finest materials in the world.
 
In another first for Philadelphia, AKA University City boasts a 25,000 square-foot luxury lifestyle club also designed by Lissoni Associati and lead designer Nicoletta Canesi. Level 28 provides residents with exclusive, complimentary access to a mix of high-tech, high-touch offerings including a 72-foot, stainless steel aerial “pool in the sky,” a private lounge that opens onto a 5,000-square-foot terrace, a Technogym fitness center with yoga studio designed by Antonio Citterio, a 3-D, indoor golf simulator featuring some of the world’s most renowned courses, and private dining and conference spaces.

2016
AKA University City a.terrace
2017
AVE Florham Park courtyard and pool

2017

AVE Redefines the Rental Industry

AVE Becomes Bicoastal

In 2017, the AVE brand enters the East Bay Area of San Francisco, taking over management of two vibrant rental communities in Emeryville and Walnut Creek, California. This is exciting growth for AVE, as it is now able to provide its furnished apartment offering to clients on the West Coast, who are craving the flexibility and inventory. Both locations are in dynamic downtown locations, within walking distance to restaurants, retail, and transit to San Francisco.

AVE Redefines the Rental Industry

AVE partners with the Rockefeller Group on a ground-up construction in Florham Park, New Jersey. In 2017, the duo opens the doors to a brand new, rental community that is unprecedented in the industry. The state-of-the-art, mid-rise property boasts 256 furnished and luxury apartments featuring premium finishes and fixtures, over 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor resort and business amenity space, and a dedicated service team on site 24/7. The delivery serves a market’s decades of pent-up demand for comfortable, flexible housing for area corporations and luxury apartments for local discerning renters and downsizers.

2017

AKA Legendary Living

AKA announces the opening of AKA West Hollywood in 2017, bringing its fully furnished and exquisitely designed suite living to the legendary Sunset Strip. The property offers 110 beautifully appointed, furnished serviced residences in the heart of West Hollywood’s vibrant culture scene, catering to entertainment industry insiders and a discerning clientele. The eight-story tower was co-designed by the Los Angeles-based studios of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects. The sophisticated accommodations are comprised of spacious one- and two-bedroom suites, in addition to luxurious penthouse residences on the 8th floor featuring endless views from Downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean. Residents are immersed in quintessential California living through its open-air retail plaza featuring flagships from Segal and KITH. Tesse Restaurant, led by acclaimed chefs Raphael Francois and Sally Camacho, offers a European-inspired menu to residents via an exclusive in-suite dining menu. Residents can also order from Boutellier’s curated selection of hard-to-find wines through the wine shop’s exclusive, on-demand “Suite Sommelier.” Fitness enthusiasts can head to Rumble Boxing, the latest evolution of group-inspired boxing classes, where residents receive exclusive perks on classes.

2017
AKA West Hollywood Bedroom
2018
AVE King of Prussia

2018

AVE King of Prussia

AVE opens the doors to a mid-rise, ground-up construction in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania boasting 274 furnished and luxury apartments, nearly 50,000 square feet of innovative business and resort amenity space, and a 24/7 service team. Its spectacular elevation at the corner of South Goddard and North Gulph roads is within walking distance of Suburban Philadelphia’s, award-winning, lifestyle center King of Prussia Town Center and down the street from the largest mall in America, King of Prussia Mall. This prime location at the junction of the region’s four main highways, just 20 miles from Philadelphia, provides flexible housing options for the area’s professionals and extended-stay visitors.

2019

AKA's Expansion

Meet the Makers 

In 2019, AKA launches “The Makers” to highlight the people behind the products and experiences that set the legendary hospitality brand apart from the most luxurious accommodations around the world. Meet the compelling chefs and restaurateurs at the helm of AKA's authentic dining establishments, the artisans behind its made-to-order furniture, the award-winning, craft distillers behind a.vod vodka, the local, vintners who produce a.vin, and the widely acclaimed filmmakers who produce the stories of a.film.

AKA Acquires its First Hotel
 
In 2019, AKA debuts its first pure hotel and sixth New York City property, AKA Tribeca. Korman Communities acquires the Smyth Hotel at 85 Broadway, transforming it from a traditional hotel into a luxurious, residential-inspired, daily-stay hotel boasting 100 spacious guest rooms, state-of-the-art fitness center, brand-new, street-level lobby, and bar lounge. To achieve the right balance of relaxed elegance and grace to embrace the spirit of Tribeca and AKA, the Kormans commissioned famed residential interior designer Jennifer Post. 

2019
AKA Tribeca's renovated lounge by Jennifer Post