PIDC Announces a Navy Yard Leadership Transition

by Navy Yard
February 7, 2020

This week, PIDC President Anne Bovaird Nevins announced a Navy Yard leadership transition. Senior Vice President Prema Katari Gupta has accepted a new position at the Center City District and will leave PIDC after nearly five years of leading the Navy Yard team, and Kate McNamara, PIDC’s Vice President of Real Estate Services, has been promoted to lead the Navy Yard as Senior Vice President, Navy Yard.

Under Gupta’s leadership, the Navy Yard achieved numerous accomplishments and milestones, including:

  • Attracted over $300 million dollars in investment across 650,000 SF of new development and infrastructure, including Adaptimmune, Axalta, Rhoads Industries, 1200 Intrepid Avenue, Iovance Biotherapeutics, a 4th building for WuXi AppTec, and the expansion of the Courtyard by Marriott.
  • Added 3,000 new jobs, surpassing 15,000 total employees.
  • Led the development of a new Navy Yard brand identity, including targeted business development messaging and a new visual identity.
  • Negotiated the release of a deed restriction precluding residential development at the Navy Yard.
  • Managed an RFQ for a new development partner for future phases of Navy Yard growth that attracted a robust response from the national and regional marketplace.
  • Completed the construction of Langley Avenue and securing all funding for the reconstruction of the Broad Street quay wall.
  • Devised and implemented a site activation strategy to drive visitors to the Navy Yard. Navy Yard Sea Monster yielded 60,000 visitors in six weeks and recognition on the second page of the Wall Street Journal.

Gupta will join the Center City District (CCD) in the role of Vice President, Parks and Public Realm, where she will be responsible for the planning, development, and stewardship of parks under management of CCD, including Dilworth Park and future projects. 

Kate McNamara, PIDC

Following Gupta’s departure, McNamara will assume the role of Senior Vice President, Navy Yard, on February 24, 2020. McNamara is an attorney specializing in complex project management, public sector real estate, and capital projects. She joined PIDC in 2011 to lead a long-term revitalization initiative for 3,700 acres of historically industrial land along the east and west banks of the lower Schuylkill River. Key highlights of her tenure at PIDC include:

  • Lower Schuylkill Master Plan:  Released in 2013, this collaborative plan established a 25-year framework for transitioning an underutilized industrial corridor into an integrated set of modern business campuses. To date, the initiative has attracted over $145 million in public and private investment and yielded 70 new companies and 370 new jobs. The next phase of development is expected to support 600,000 to 1 million square feet of new development, up to $1 billion in new investment, and up to 3,000 new jobs, as well as new community assets including an extended riverfront recreation trail, a nature-based Pre-K, and a public boating facility and welcome center operated by Bartram’s Garden. Early action projects included assembly and remediation of development sites, land acquisition to facilitate extension of the Schuylkill Banks trail, infrastructure planning, and capital access planning to support small businesses in Southwest and advance inclusive growth. Key partners include the City of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences, Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Bartram’s Garden, Philadelphia Housing Authority, Southwest CDC, ACANA, Empowered CDC, and SEPTA.  
  • Advanced Life Sciences Infrastructure: Collaborating with the City’s Commerce Department, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and key stakeholders to complete two 2019 studies that assess and address critical real estate and facilities gaps facing Philadelphia’s life science and biotech companies, including deficits in life science lab space and manufacturing space for cell and gene therapies.  
  • Growth & Expansion of University City Medical Complex: Collaborating with key partners (including the City of Philadelphia, a non-profit health care provider, Penn Health, and CHOP) on a redevelopment initiative that will support continued expansion of University City’s medical complex, as well as quality treatment options for substance abuse disorder.  

“Kate has been leading key real estate initiatives and managing complex transactions at PIDC for the past nine years, with an unparalleled combination of professionalism, diplomacy, and strategy,” said Anne Bovaird Nevins, PIDC President. “She has the skills and dedication to advance PIDC’s vision for growth at the Navy Yard, while building new relationships with partners, clients, and stakeholders. Kate’s extensive experience both within and outside of PIDC has prepared her to successfully take on the leadership role at the Navy Yard at this critical moment. We are excited to continue to build on the momentum of job and business growth at the Navy Yard under Kate’s leadership.”

In her new leadership role at PIDC, McNamara will continue to build on current momentum and implement the next phase of growth and development at the Navy Yard. McNamara will focus executing on the vision of the Navy Yard as a top regional destination through key initiatives, including enhancing Navy Yard accessibility with infrastructure improvements on Broad Street and an expanded transit program; attracting new and expanding employers in research and development, life sciences, corporate and financial services, and manufacturing and industry, enhanced by a robust program of retail, hospitality and residential development; and building a community where companies and their employees thrive through workforce development partnerships, special events and programming, and public art. 

“I am thrilled to take on this new and exciting role at PIDC and to lead the talented team at the Navy Yard to sustain and accelerate its momentum,” said Kate McNamara. “I look forward to engaging and collaborating with our partners, stakeholders, and the Navy Yard business community to build upon the successes to date, and to execute on key projects and initiatives that will drive employment, innovation, and production to this area of Philadelphia.”

Prior to joining PIDC, McNamara served as Special Assistant to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, managing the Commonwealth’s $450 million port expansion initiative and strategic planning for the $786 million expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. She also represented the Commonwealth on the boards of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority. McNamara also held positions at the Delaware River Port Authority as Assistant General Counsel, followed by Director, Port of Philadelphia and Camden to manage the $18 million Philadelphia Cruise Terminal and $10 million Riverlink Ferry System. McNamara holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the State University of New York. McNamara resides with her family in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia and serves on the Board of Governors for the Germantown Cricket Club, Philadelphia Planning and Land Use Policy Committee for the Urban Land Institute, and steering committee for the Philadelphia Trail Master Plan Committee.