AVE Navy Yard Groundbreaking Ceremony

20 June 2024 Business AVE

On October 24, 2023, Korman Communities and its partners, Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners, officially broke ground for constructing AVE Navy Yard, the first residential development to be built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  The groundbreaking ceremony for this historic event was recorded by Korman’s videographer Rich Hall.  We are pleased to share with you some of the highlights of that event, including a transcript of the video.

Video Transcript (10 minutes, 54 seconds)

Slideshow of AVE Navy Yard renderings with instrumental music.

(00:00 – 00:41)

Brian Coen
Managing Director
Ensemble Investments

(00:42 – 01:43)

Thanks to everyone for joining us today on what is a momentous occasion as we gather here to celebrate the groundbreaking of AVE Navy Yard. This groundbreaking marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the Navy Yard and our city as it marks the creation of Philadelphia's newest neighborhood. Now, with this first residential development, the Navy Yard will transform into a vibrant neighborhood. Creating a neighborhood and community at the Navy Yard has been two decades in the making. To be a successful project with this type of responsibility and significance does not come together without great partners and partnerships.

Our partners at Korman Communities, Brad and his entire team, it's been great having such professional and experienced residential developers and operators as part of the team here at the Navy Yard.

Gregory Reaves
Founder & CEO
Mosaic Development Partners

(01:43 – 03:09)

The level of diversity and inclusion and commitment that's happening here is unprecedented in Philadelphia. But the most unprecedented thing is our friends, Oxford, first of all, making the decision to invest in this building specifically, who's been amazing, but Basis, making the decision to make a $100 million commitment in equity to this vision.

It was an intentional act by our team to seek out highly qualified and impactful investors, not just construction people, Butch Bennett, you're here, we love Butch, he's a great person, but we are looking at a different place in the capital stack for inclusion and impact, and they brought it. We have the opportunity to do it with great, talented people, I mean, the Korman family goes without saying, but people who have worked with Kormans understand the quality of the people we're involved with here.

Let's carry that forward to all of the work we do. Let's not limit it to this great project here, which obviously I'm happy about, but that's somewhat selfish. I want to extend this as a moment to everybody in this room to think about what you're doing in your spaces, to drive the same level of inclusion and commitment and process forward so Philadelphia becomes the greatest city in this country for inclusion, for impact, for diversity, and for investment.

Brad Korman
Korman Communities

(03:10 – 06:30)

I gotta tell you, Brian, you're right, we are building a brand-new neighborhood here. We are building something that Philadelphia has never seen. We are building a neighborhood for everyone. We're going to have all the conveniences of city living with the open space and the airiness of the suburbs, and it's going to be something really special.

Hi, I'm Brad Korman, Co-CEO of Korman Communities. We are a five-generation, 100-year-old real estate company, and while we have a national footprint, Philadelphia is our home, and this is a landmark project for us, something that is so important, and something that we think will be a defining aspect of who we are. I'm especially excited to be here today as three of our five generations are in the room together. My father, Steven, is here today. My brother, Mark, is here. My sons, Jackson and Sam, who work with us, are here today. But I will tell you, of our 1,050 team members, we're much more than that. Leanne Welsh, president of our AVE brand, is here. Scott Relick, who oversees all of our investments, is here. As is Jeff Brown, who oversees our AVE development. And so many more team members who have spent almost five years now working on this project, and they work on it, and they come to this site. Every time they're here, we hear the same thing. I smile. I smile when I drive into the Navy Yard because of what's here now and what's going to be here in the future. It's that exciting, and it's that perfect for our AVE apartment brand.

Our AVE brand isn't just typical apartments. While we have typical apartments, we also have lease optionality, where you can come and have an apartment that's fully furnished for you. We're going to have apartments for individuals as well as families. We're going to have apartments that are affordable rents for someone just starting out, all the way up to the most luxurious penthouses you can imagine.

And everybody is going to get to share in these incredible amenities that surround the property. I had to write them all down. Resort pool area, fitness center, movie theater, business center, work pods, boardroom, pet spa, music studio, library, and incredible neighborhood retail that will blow people away. This is going to be the most incredible apartment community that Philadelphia has ever seen.

We're also so proud to be partners with people we're partners with. My father used to say, you're judged often by the quality of the character of the company you keep. And I have to tell you: Ensemble, Mosaic, PIDC, Basis, MetLife, the Philadelphia trades, M&T Bank and Ullico have stuck with these projects through a lot of hard times. It is not easy to do a deal these days. And this group came together, understanding how important it is and make this happen.

So, we are so excited. We thank all of you for coming out today, helping us break ground on AVE Navy Yard, a neighborhood for everybody.

Dale Burnett
Co-Founder & Head of Investments
Basis Investment Group

(06:31 – -07:26 )

So when you come to Philadelphia, you meet the Mosaic team and you meet the Ensemble team, you meet Korman team, and they tell you about all the things that they're doing and the plans that they have and that they want to extend diversity and inclusion, not just to the project in some amorphous way that can't be measured, but in the capital stack, in how they procure goods and services, in how they design the building, all the way down to how the retail will be tenanted. We found our match.

We found someone that shared our ethos and someone that deeply believes and are committed to the same things that we deeply believe and are committed to. And that is the notion that diversity and inclusion in real estate makes for more competitive projects and it will create better returns for our investors. And so I speak those things because I intend for those things to be, and that's why we invested. And as I intend, so shall it be. What say you?

Brian Coen

(07:27 – 08:38)

In closing, today's groundbreaking ceremony is more than just a start of a construction project, right? It's a symbol of our city's resilience, our vitality, our commitment to progress. It represents the blending of history and innovation, and it's a testament to our past and a bridge to our future. As we break ground here today, we also break ground in the lives of countless individuals and families who will soon call this place home. Promise of a new beginning is a powerful thing.

And AVE Navy Yard will be the backdrop for countless stories, memories, and moments shared among neighbors. To the future residents, I say this: The Navy Yard welcomes you with open arms. May this new home be a place of comfort, security, and belonging. May you find in your neighbors and your community a source of friendship and support, and may the memories you create be cherished for generations to come.

Lea Anne Welsh
COO, Korman Communities
President, AVE brand

(08:39 – 09:10)

I'm here at the Navy Yard. Today we had the groundbreaking for our residential development, AVE Navy Yard, which is going to transform Philadelphia. We have such a responsibility because we are creating a new neighborhood in Philadelphia for all, for all people to come live. The Navy Yard has such history, and we take this responsibility so seriously and are looking forward to collaborating with the city of Philadelphia and our partners at Ensemble to truly bring best-in-class living to the Navy Yard.

Jeff Brown
Director of Development
Korman Communities

(09:11 – 09:43)

I'm Jeff Brown, the Director of Development for Korman Communities. We're so excited to be here at the Navy Yard groundbreaking. For the first time in a generation or more, we're creating a new neighborhood in Philadelphia. This will be the best place for everyone to live, work, and play in Philadelphia, and the first opportunity for people to live in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. With over 15,000 people coming here to work every day, for the first time, we're gonna have somewhere for people to live where they're working. We're gonna have 614 units with the best amenities, really bringing the best of everything AVE is all to one location here in Philadelphia.

Brad Korman

(09:44 – 10:40)

Hi, this is Brad Korman, Co-CEO of Korman Communities, and we are so proud to announce groundbreaking for AVE Navy Yard. 614 wonderful apartments, ground floor retail, all the amenities, and really one of the most unique settings you'll ever find. Navy Yard here in Philadelphia is the same size as all of Center City, and yet no residential has ever been built here before. There are 16,000 people who work here every day, some of the most exciting companies in our area. And now they're gonna have a chance to live here in two quick years.
We're gonna be building state-of-the-art properties, great amenities, the best of all worlds with conveniences of city living, with space and airiness of the suburbs. So we're just so excited to be breaking ground with our partners, Ensemble-Mosaic, and excited for our residents to see the future of living here, waterfront living in Philadelphia, AVE Navy Yard.
Very excited, thank you.


(10:41 – 10:54)

Korman Communities says, Thank you to our partners in the AVE Navy Yard Project, Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners.

For more information about investments and partnerships with AVE and Korman Communities, please email inquiries to [email protected]. Visit us at korman.com.