July 2023
News + Updates
Congratulations to 2023 RAISE Grant Recipients!
ESI is proud to announce that four of our clients have been awarded Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) during the 2023 round. We wish to congratulate them and all RAISE discretionary grant recipients!

The RAISE Discretionary Discretionary Grant program, provides a unique opportunity for the USDOT to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives.

Congratulations to Camden County, NJ, the City of Philadelphia, PA, New Castle County, DE, and SEPTA.

Click here for the full list of awarded projects.
The Anticipated Economic Impact of New Jersey Health + Life Exchange
The New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco) engaged ESI to analyze the potential economic impacts and conduct a Net Benefit Test for the proposed New Brunswick Health + Life Sciences Exchange Development. The 12-story building will be the home to the new Rutgers University Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, a comprehensive translational research facility for Rutgers University and the New Jersey Innovation Hub.

The project was the first awardee of the NJ Aspire tax credit program, providing substantial support to making this project a reality. ESI's analysis included evaluating the economic and fiscal impacts of the project over a 10-year period, including impacts resulting from operation of the facility, growth in licensing revenues from academic research, and the spinoff of new businesses started within the innovation hub.

Click here to read the executive summary.
A Delaware Canal for the 21st Century
Delaware Canal 21, a regional non-profit organization with a mission to ensure an enduring solution to address flooding along the corridor adjacent to the Delaware River turned to a team led by ESI to evaluate the possible options for establishing a new, multi-jurisdictional entity tasked with advancing plans to restructure the canal infrastructure, enabling it to provide sustainable flood attenuation, while enhancing a community asset that also benefits regional economic development.

The ESI-led team conducted a series of analyses that illustrate the shared economic, environmental, and public safety benefits generated from the investment in this infrastructure improvement.

Click here to learn more.
Learn more about ESI's Economic Development Practice
Economic Development sits at the intersection of government, business, and institution as community leaders manage revitalization and growth. ESI brings a depth of knowledge from a breadth of experience and a data-driven toolbox that enables our clients to plan and implement successful programs, policies, and projects.

Click here for a digital copy of our Economic Development brochure and to learn more about our capabilities.
In July, ESI is hosting the webinar series: Equity and Inclusion across the United States: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness through a New Lens, examining topics like reimagining national anniversaries, food systems, and the construction industry.

All sessions will be moderated by Frank Robinson, Vice President at ESI. 

Register here.
In our first of three events in the series, Danielle DiLeo Kim, Philadelphia250, discussed the reimagining of national anniversaries: Designing A People-Powered 250th Commemoration in 2026.

Equity and inclusion has an important role in different areas of life across the country and in different industries like food systems, construction and development, and tourism. We explored Danielle DiLeo Kim’s career journey and how equity and inclusion will be celebrated during the 250th anniversary of our nation’s birth.

Watch the recording of this webinar here.
In our second of three events in the series, Paula Daniels, Center for Good Food Purchasing, discussed the reimagining of good food systems.

The webinar is focused on why equity and inclusion matters in the growth and distribution within our food systems.

Watch the recording of this webinar here.
Staff and Senior Advisor Updates
ESI would like to welcome Chris Gerghty to the firm as Senior Analyst. As an educator in Philadelphia’s Catholic schools, he gained formative experience working directly with the city’s youth and families.
ESI would like to welcome Cameron Miller to the firm as an Associate Director. He has a history of working across the public sector, having held positions in city government, higher education, and nonprofit organizations.
ESI would like to welcome Cassandra Brown to the firm as a Director. She has a background in higher education, working in alumni, faculty, and the external business and governance community at Drexel University.
ESI wishes Janet Gleason the best of luck as she moves on from the firm to pursue a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning at Rutgers University.
Senior Analyst, Elizabeth Dobbins, was recently featured in an article by The Philadelphia Inquirer. The article is about the Riverwalk Dinosaur.

Read more here.
Frank Robinson will be speaking at the 2023 SEC| LMDJ Annual Justice Conference in Atlanta, GA. This conference is focused on embodying justice through a faith-rooted lens of political engagement.
Lehigh University has named Stephen Tang, Senior Advisor at ESI, to the Board of Trustees. Effective July, Stephen and three other new members will serve four-year terms on the board.

Read more here.
Senior Advisor, Sylvie Gallier Howard, co-authored a report for C40 on how city leaders can invest in climate solutions.

Read more here.
ESI congratulates Senior Advisor, Curtis Gregory, on being promoted to Associate Professor of Management at Temple University.
ESI would like to congratulate Senior Advisor, Michael Pearson, on being named Chief Executive Officer at Public Health Management Corporation.
Congratulations to former Director Melissa Wright on being named as one of this year's Philadelphia Forty Under 40 by City & State. Ms. Wright currently serves as Senior Director, Data and Policy for the City of Philadelphia.

Read more here.
As we head into summer, ESI welcomes two new teammates who will serve as ESI Center for the Future of Cities fellows. Samriddhi Khare currently attends the University of Pennsylvania and will be graduating in 2024. Samriddhi will receive her Master’s in City Planning and concentrations in smart cities and Technology. Patrick Darcy is a recent graduate from Temple University where he graduated with a BBA in Economics, and is currently working towards his MS in Financial Analysis with an anticipated graduation date of 2024. Read more here.

U.S. - China Research
The Unfolding of Defaults in China's State-Owned Real Estate Enterprises

The Chinese authorities have implemented a set of financing policies, commonly referred to as the "three arrows" (credit, bonds, and equity), to support the real estate industry. However, the overall market sales in the first half of this year have fallen short of expectations. Particularly since the second quarter, there has been a trend of declining sales following an initial rebound in the first quarter.

Read more here.
Present Value
Understanding the Historic and Future Impact of the Delaware Canal
by Frank Robinson
In a post pandemic world, lifestyle changes are evidently clear. One of the most notable is a renewed appreciation for our natural resources. This attention has helped to spark interest in assets like the Delaware Canal.

African American Legacy: The Ongoing Quest
by Rosalyn J. McPherson
ESI Senior Advisor Rosalyn McPherson highlights upcoming and expanding centers of African American history and culture. She looks at how the legacy that comes from African American history is taught, celebrated, and preserved.

Client Spotlight
SEPTA has announced that historic trolleys will return to Girard Avenue in September of 2023. The cars from 1947 are expected to be up and running by the end of the summer. The trolley runs on Route 15 from Port Richmond to West Philadelphia!
AARP Ohio has awarded a grant to Chillicothe as a part of a nationwide program. This grant is for a Community Challenge that goes across all 50 states, but only 310 grantees are selected out of the 3,600+ applications.
New Jersey Institute of Technology has been awarded $10 million by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of a $315 million initiative from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites across the country.
Research done by Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives found that improved diversification offered by including alternative assets in the portfolios of 401(k)s and similar defined-contribution retirement plans could deliver greater returns and improved retirement income for millions of U.S. workers.
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