Can you please give a short introduction to Barandywine Realty Trust?

Brandywine Realty Trust is a prominent real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on creating premier office and mixed-use environments across the United States. With a portfolio spanning major urban markets like Philadelphia, Austin, and Washington D.C., we specialize in developing, owning, and managing a diverse range of properties. Our emphasis on sustainability and innovation is evident through LEED-certified developments, prioritizing eco-friendly and energy-efficient spaces. Our commitment to community enhancement and tenant satisfaction is a cornerstone of our approach, providing top-notch amenities and fostering vibrant, dynamic spaces for businesses and residents alike. Through strategic partnerships and a forward-thinking vision, Brandywine Realty Trust continues to redefine modern workplaces, offering innovative solutions that cater to the evolving needs of today’s businesses and communities.

How did your firm’s 2020 strategy play out?

Anyone who had a 2020 business plan laid out in 2019 had to pivot hard. Real estate is cyclical, and we’re accustomed to handling systemic shocks. COVID-19 was a significant shock, but we’ve always viewed these situations as both a danger and an opportunity. Initially, we focused on identifying the real danger points. From a business perspective, we closed our office in mid-March 2020 for remote work while essential employees continued on-site operations, keeping our buildings accessible for tenants. As the situation unfolded, we prioritized ensuring good rent collection, addressing tenants’ financial needs, and understanding the impact on our parking and hotel business. Once we had mitigated the danger side, we turned our attention to opportunities. We accelerated our life sciences business’s growth and streamlined our development projects’ approvals.

How has the Philadelphia mixed-use and office real estate market evolved?

Every physical space felt an impact. Technology’s rapid growth has already altered the office landscape over the past decade, especially in terms of mobility. Recognizing this, we’ve approached physical spaces more creatively, understanding their role in defining a company’s culture and brand. A well-positioned brand attracts and retains talented employees, enhancing productivity. Our physical platform is a vessel for companies to achieve their goals. Post-COVID-19, our focus has been on our high-quality portfolio product. We’ve upgraded building systems with UV or MERV-quality filtration systems, surpassing our competition. Additionally, every development project underwent reevaluation to accommodate post-COVID needs, such as increased ventilation, larger elevators, or touchless environments.

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