Press release

Center City District Names New VP for Parks & Public Realm

JoAnn Loviglio
T 215.440.5546


Prema Katari Gupta brings to CCD her wide-ranging experience in parks, real estate development, property management, site stewardship

PHILADELPHIA (February 7, 2020) – Center City District (CCD) is pleased to announce that Prema Katari Gupta will assume the role of Vice President for Parks and Public Realm, effective February 24.

Prior to joining CCD, Gupta most recently served as Senior Vice President of Navy Yard Planning and Real Estate Development. In that role, she led a 16-person team managing all aspects of strategic partnerships, planning, leasing, real estate development, marketing, communications, capital projects, site stewardship, public transportation, and property management at the Navy Yard on behalf of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC).

“Prema brings to us a broad range of experience with parks, real estate development and partnerships with city government, which will help CCD continue to improve and enhance our parks and public spaces,” CCD President and CEO Paul R. Levy said.

In her new role, Gupta will direct and supervise the operations of the four parks currently owned by or leased to CCD: Dilworth Park adjacent to City Hall, which hosted more than 10 million visitors in 2019; Sister Cities Park, a multigenerational park with a focus on engaging families with young children; Cret Park on the 1600 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway; and John F. Collins Park on the 1700 block of Chestnut Street. Details on CCD parks can be found at

Gupta will oversee the day-to-day management and continuous improvement of these parks, as well as the extensive streetscape enhancements that the CCD has made during the last two decades and continues to maintain. These include pedestrian scale and building facade lighting, planters, street trees, directional signs, pedestrian counting technology and other streetscape improvements across the entire downtown. An overview can be found at She will also oversee any new capital projects that CCD undertakes.

Gupta replaces Steven Bussey, who retired from the position in mid-2019. Prior to her work at the Navy Yard, she was the Director of Planning and Economic Development at University City District, where she was responsible for the execution of several prominent civic real estate projects, including The Porch at 30th Street Station. She previously worked for PIDC in the Real Estate Services group, where she managed a variety of real estate transactions and planning efforts in PIDC’s Center City real estate office. Additionally, she has worked at Yale University and at the Urban Land Institute, where she wrote a book about placemaking and mixed-use development.

Raised in Connecticut, Gupta is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and the Wharton School. She lives in the West Mount Airy neighborhood with her husband and two children.


Center City District, a private-sector organization dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is committed to maintaining Center City’s competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions. Find us at and on Facebook and Twitter.