Western Powers

Meet the innovators capturing the talent, making the streetscapes, winning the hearts, fixing the bodies and generally making West Philly shine

David Adelman, 38, and Alan Horwitz, 67, owners of Campus Apartments
This duo paired with Penn 14 years ago to transform block after run-down block into a well-kept world of student housing that’s vastly improved the area’s quality of life. (Can a partnership with Drexel be far behind?) Their next big gig, set to open in 2012: a $47 million extended-stay hotel at 41st and Walnut. Plus, eventually, a neighboring office/retail building.

Steven Altschuler, 57, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Altschuler has overseen CHOP’s massive ongoing expansion, presiding over the most progressive years of one of the nation’s leading pediatric hospitals and research facilities. Plus, CHOP, a magnet for medicine’s best and brightest, employs more than 9,000 people.

Gerard H. Sweeney, 54, president and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust
The west’s eastward expansion took off with Sweeney’s Cira Centre. Now he’s finished a $340 million revamp of the old post office at 30th and Market. (The building, leased to the IRS, brought 5,000 jobs across the river.) He’s still planning more office and hotel space on 30th Street, and as board chairman of the Schuylkill River Development Corp. is championing Station Square, a plaza planned for the void around 30th Street Station.

Matt Bergheiser, 40, executive director of the University City District
The UCD brings the schools, businesses and community together to make the area safer and more vibrant — and then markets the hell out of it all. Bergheiser’s been at the job a year and a half, and he’s already had a hand in everything from installing more lights to his pet project, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, which matches local residents with area employers.

Jose Garces, 38, owner of Garces Restaurant Group

The Iron Chef could put a restaurant anywhere, and he’s chosen — twice — to open in West Philly. It spoke volumes about University City’s trajectory when, in 2008, he opened Distrito to wide acclaim. It’s too early to tell if the Cira’s JG Domestic will enjoy similar success, but you can bet where Garces goes, others will follow. (Bobby Flay did.)

Craig Carnaroli, 47, executive vice president at Penn

Carnaroli has majorly fueled University City’s explosion over the past six years. Penn Connects, his 30-year plan for linking campus and community, has garnered national praise, seriously boosted retail, grown the school, and been behind the largest real estate grab in Penn’s history. Come September, 24 acres of that land will become Penn Park, a sprawling public space replacing a parking lot.

Amy Gutmann, 61, president of Penn

The woman who runs the school that is Philly’s largest private employer does the bulk of the fund-raising that allows progressive projects to happen. And she shows no sign of slowing down.

Stephen Tang, 50, president of the University City Science Center

Tang is the face of innovation and ideas in this city, fighting brain drain by connecting scientists with labs and local jobs as well as linking entrepreneurs to the science they need. His goal? To lure more science-based companies here. UCSC is also part of the Market Street Revitalization Project, helping to beautify and connect the landscape from 34th Street to 41st Street.

Mark Mills, 40, resident and owner of the Metropolis Group

Mills has bought and rehabilitated about 10 buildings between Chestnut and Market, and redevelops properties into residential and commercial space. His popular cafe, Lovers and MadMen, transformed its block at 40th Street into a place to be.

Della Clark, 57, president of the Enterprise Center 

Under Clark’s 18-year watch, the Enterprise Center has ballooned from a small Wharton spin-off into a dynamic business that connects small and mid-size companies with advice, capital and contracts. Its massive community outreach programs include a successful high-school entrepreneurship program.

Glen Gaulton, 58, executive vice dean and chief scientific officer for Penn’s School of Medicine 

Gaulton helms Penn Med’s research programs, attracting and fostering talent, helping heal people, and boosting the med school’s (and Philly’s) reputation as a major health-care player — an important role now as Penn opens the Translational Research Center, to help turn science into actual clinical care.

Philip Gerbino, 63, president of the University of the Sciences 

Over 16 years, Gerbino has grown USP from four to 23 buildings. He’s currently training about 3,000 students in life sciences — pharmaceuticals, occupational and physical therapies, pharmacology, health policy, etc. — and thus shaping the future of local health care and jobs.