Designing meaningful places for life to occur

The Living City design philosophy looks to identify the spirit of place, or as the romans referred to it, the genius loci.

Living City Architecture and Lee Elsey, esq, AIA

Creating thriving and healthy urban centers is a passion that has led Lee to an atypical pairing of professions. Lee sees affordable, dense, and diverse cities as a critical component of sustainability and our stewardship of the land, as well as a market rich for innovative business and a wealth of opportunity.

Lee is an architect and attorney who focuses on real estate acquisition and development in urban locations. He helps businesses and landowners identify, investigate, design, permit, and build projects that will create the most value for both them and the wider community. Successful projects create wealth for investors, developers, and the community as a whole.

Building and owning properties in urban environments involves layers of regulations and oversight, as well as other challenges and complexities that can delay or eliminate business opportunities. Lee likes to work with businesses and investors from the earliest possible stage to identify regulatory and practical issues and streamline solutions. From there, he advises businesses and investors on negotiating acquisition and structuring financing. As projects materialize Lee can provide full design and permitting services as well as representation at administrative hearings and throughout transactional. Once projects are financed and permitted, Lee continues to advise businesses and investors during the bidding and construction processes.

As a designer and member of the development team, Lee brings experience leveraging innovative processes based on the most current technologies to maximize efficiency and collaboration among investors, partners, consultants, project managers, and contractors. Working with urban real estate, every project brings a unique set of obstacles and challenges. Lee’s experience and skillset allows him to identify issues early and build a team capable of removing obstacles and providing a reliable path to a successful project.

In all these roles, Lee remained centered on respect for urban centers and the communities that prosper in them. His clients and teammates think of him as a problem solver and a creative designer who is responsive to the specific requirements and unique nature of each project.

Lee is a cum laude graduate of the Temple University Beasley School of Law where he was an editor on the Temple Law Review and earned the Arthur and Min. Berns Award for Excellence in Real Estate Law. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame with a second major in Art Studio and a supplemental major in Philosophy.

Lee is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is licensed to practice architecture in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan.

Lee regularly provides pro bono services for individuals in need and nonprofit groups through Philadelphia VIP. He lives with his wife, two sons, mother-in-law, and two very small dogs in a house that is constantly under renovation and travels to places that are dense and urban or unpopulated and wild whenever possible.