KOP Insiders delves into the stories of the people who make King of Prussia one of Pennsylvania’s most dynamic live-work-play-stay destinations.
In depth interviews provide insight into the companies that make up our diverse business community and put a face to the individuals behind the business. In this edition, we are joined by Jeffrey Willner of Willner Properties.
Can you tell us a little about your background and what you do?
First of all, thank you, Rachel, for thinking of me for this interview. It’s a privilege and I appreciate you taking the time.
My background has mostly been themed around business and real estate. At a young age, I started working in restaurants, really learning how to stand on my own two feet, understand the value of earning a dollar and begin growing my communication skills. I’d be lying if I said I was a straight-A student, but I have always had a passion for learning and self-development.
Years later, today, in my professional career, many of the skills and attributes learned as a young man, I carry with me. Today, I am a commercial real estate professional with a long-term, analytical and optimistic view on investing.
Our firm, Willner Properties, is a private opportunistic real estate leasing, development, and management company based in King of Prussia, PA. I wear many hats here, from retail leasing and property acquisitions to ground-up construction. Before joining forces with Willner Properties, I was fortunate enough to spend roughly four years at other real estate-related companies in both investment sales and commercial leasing across the county.
What motivated Willner to establish their HQ in KOP specifically?
Opportunity. 40 years ago. Willner Properties saw opportunity.
What trends are you seeing in the market right now both for residential and commercial properties in KOP?
A few things in KOP. I think strong, well-positioned retail is here for good and for a variety of reasons. Our mall is one of the nation’s best. Notwithstanding the cost of construction, multi-family development continues to flourish – and truth be told, I think we still need more of it here. What we’re seeing in office, medical and adaptive re-use projects is interesting as well. Ultimately, I believe that strategically designed mixed-use projects continue to fuel our market growth.
We shall see.
What makes KOP a good fit for your team and company culture?
Location is a big factor; just twenty miles northwest of downtown Philly. KOP has become the region’s largest employment hub outside of Center City. King of Prussia offers a variety of food options and amenities for our team. As we know, company culture is more important than ever. It’s critical to us that members of our team can be themselves and continue to learn and develop. I think culture is a collaborative way of doing our work with a shared passion.
What are your thoughts on the KOP Rail project? What will it do for the region?
The Rail project puts King of Prussia in a different caliber. It’s exciting, and I fundamentally believe in responsibly creating more means of public transportation and critical infrastructure.
I think the Rail project will create a positive regional impact.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about moving their company to KOP?
King of Prussia is a supportive community. Notwithstanding challenges that any market may face, KOP is forward-thinking and encouraging. Between the township officials, staff and what the KOP District is doing, I feel that new business is welcomed and our township creates an environment for such.
About Willner Properties
Willner Properties is a private real estate development, management, and leasing company based in King of Prussia, PA. For over 40 years, Willner Properties has embraced its core values of integrity, vision, and entrepreneurship to advance the company’s achievements.
150 Allendale Rd., Suite 300, King of Prussia, PA 19406 | www.willnerproperties.com