Focus on Live-Work-Play: What Does the Future Hold for Wilmington?


Nicknamed the “Corporate Capital of the World”, Wilmington, Delaware is home to a significant number of Fortune 500 companies, and Delaware’s business-friendly laws attract thousands of companies with operations across the globe. As the biggest city in Delaware, Wilmington has long been known as a mecca for the financial, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. However, Wilmington’s downtown was a victim of the urban regression mirrored across the country. Significant shifts have taken place in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in Delaware; mergers of some major firms and downsizing of staff has led to more than 3,000 jobs disappearing from Delaware. 

Still, with all the turbulence, the revival of downtown Wilmington is putting this grand city back on the map. Many of the area’s other economic drivers, including finance, education, and health care are pushing forward. Development on Wilmington’s waterfront and in the downtown is continuing, with more than 200 new housing units and 300 hotel rooms planned for the next several years. Millennials seem to be driving this development forward, and the City is doing all that it can to appeal to them to live, work, and play in Wilmington. New housing, restaurants, retail, and hotel rooms are expected to lead the way towards a continued uptick in development. 

So what does the future hold for Wilmington? Moderated by Brian DiSabatino of EDiS Company, our program’s panelists will let you know what is happening now, and what they see coming for the future of Wilmington. Panelists include: Mike Purzycki, former Executive Director, Riverfront Development Corporation / Democratic Nominee for Mayor of Wilmington; Michael Hare, SVP, The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG); and John Kaczowka, SVP, CBRE, Inc. - Advisory & Transaction Services. 

This event is eligible for 1.5 CPSM Credit; 1.5 AIA CEUs pending.  

Cancellations made by 12:00 a.m. three business days prior to the event will be fully refunded. Due to SMPS Philadelphia's commitment with meeting facilities for food and beverage quantities, all cancellations after that time and no-shows will be ineligible for a refund.






Speaker Bios


Brian DiSabatino
President & CEO
EDiS Company

EDiS Company is a family-owned Wilmington-based construction management and design/build solutions provider, serving the Delaware Valley since 1908. Since joining EDiS in 1987, Mr. DiSabatino has gained experience in estimating, project management, accounting, facility management, pre-engineered building services, and customer relations. As the President and CEO of the firm, Mr. DiSabatino is charged with strategy, operations, and business development. Mr. DiSabatino has spent the better part of his career leading teams through the development and construction processes. Well respected in the community, his expertise is in bringing multiple parties together in order to accomplish a single objective. Mr. DiSabatino also has relationships with multiple regulatory agencies and can provide advice and guidance with respect to navigating those agencies.


Mike Hare
Michael Hare
Senior Vice President
The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG)

Mr. Hare joined BPG in March 2008 as Senior Vice President for Development.  His responsibilities include development management, acquisitions, public investment and government relations.  He currently serves as Project Director for the Chester Waterfront Redevelopment efforts. 
Prior to joining the Buccini/Pollin Group, Mr. Hare served as the Deputy Director of the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware (RDC), a position which he held from 1995-2008.  Mr. Hare was employed by the Delaware Economic Development Office starting in 1989 most recently serving as a Senior Development Specialist prior to being assigned to the RDC by Governor Thomas R. Carper in September 1995.A native of Wilmington, Mr. Hare is a graduate of Archmere Academy and received a B.S. in Public Administration from St. Joseph’s University. He also attended Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Hare serves on the Board of Directors for Archmere Academy, the Latin American Community Center, the Salvation Army, the Delaware Stadium Corporation, Friends of the Woodlawn Library, Riverfront Wilmington Improvement District, and the Rivers Edge Community Development Corporation.  He also serves on the National Alumni Board of Saint Joseph’s. 

John Kaczowka
Senior Vice President
CBRE, Inc. - Advisory & Transaction Services

John Kaczowka joined CBRE in 1998, specializing in commercial office and industrial properties.  Mr. Kaczowka has over 25 years’ experience in the Wilmington and Philadelphia markets.  Prior to joining CBRE, Mr. Kaczowka was employed by LaSalle Partners as a Vice President and Group Manager.  Mr. Kaczowka offers a unique background since he has served as a Tenant Advisor and understands all ownership functions including budgeting, building operations, negotiating business terms and legal terms and construction management.  He understands how to create long-term value through a creative leasing structure and efficient building operations. Mr. Kaczowka assisted with the creation of Downtown Visions, a public-private partnership with responsibilities that include improving the City of Wilmington and attracting new businesses to the city.  He serves on the Board of Directors.

 Mike Purzycki
 Former Executive Director, Riverfront Development Corp.
 Democratic Nominee for Mayor of Wilmington

Mr. Purzycki developed his love for Delaware while playing football for the University of Delaware, where he set every Blue Hen receiving record. After an injury sidelined Mike’s pro football career in the NFL, Mr. Purzycki returned to Delaware and began a long career of public service. Gaining his law degree, he serves as an attorney for the Delaware State Senate, practicing law for more than a decade focused in real estate and commercial transactions. He ran for public office in 1982 and was elected to the New Castle County Council where he served for 9 years as Chairman of the County’s Finance Committee and wrote the legislation that created the state’s first ethics law. Mr. Purzycki is the former Executive Director of the Riverfront Development Corporation, which was tasked with the challenging job of resurrecting the blighted, industrial wasteland that sat fallow, contaminated and unused since the end of World War II. Mr. Purzycki and his team did what many thought was impossible: they reinvented and reinvigorated the area, turning it into the economic, cultural and social hub of the city. Mr. Purzycki was recently the Chairman of the Wilmington Hope Commission and has served on the Boards of the Wilmington Urban League and the Wilmington Housing Partnership.







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