J. Ross Pilling II
122 W. Highland Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Office: (215) 247-4940
Mobile: (215) 287-9167
Click to email.


Philadelphia, PA. Principal. June 1994 - present.
Founded a conservation based real estate practice providing creative solutions to land asset planning, natural resource investigations, conservation easements and conservation sales.

Assisting an American multinational corporation, to pursue value creation opportunities through conservation land disposition strategies. Projects include:

  • 400 acre river front land preserve with creation of a wetland mitigation bank
  • 600 acre preservation and ecological restoration project linking a Wild and Scenic River to the Great Lakes
  • 4000 acres, planning for coastal habitat preservation and ecological restoration in the Southeast United States
  • 200 acres, evaluation of high quality wetland and headwater stream property linking 3,000 acres of preserved farmland and open space

As a Land Specialist under contract with The Conservation Fund:

  • Syndicated multi-level funding source land acquisition projects resulting in the protection of 1,321 acres in the National Wildlife Refuge System in New Jersey; six projects with fair market value of over $15 million.(see recognition award linked here)
  • Completed first US Forest Service Forest Legacy easement purchase in PA on 1,100-acre Gifford Pinchot Grey Tower property, birthplace of forestry practice in the US
  • Structured purchase of a 130-acre Philadelphia Archdiocese property resulting in an 80-acre addition to Valley Forge National Historical Park connecting the abutting John James Audubon Mill Grove Mansion and the Valley Forge to Philadelphia trail

Conservation Development Partnership Featured Projects:

  • Facilitated formation of a coalition to advocate for preservation of a 100 acre property in Southwest Philadelphia adjacent to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge synthesizing information on flood hazard mitigation and wetland habitat creation
  • Consultation regarding 5,000 hunt club property Atlantic County NJ. Examination of tax advantaged sale opportunities and alternative financing options
  • Land development consulting services supervising wastewater engineering solutions, land survey and marketing for an industrial site in Cary, NC
  • Asset management, 520 acre conservation seller property Lewes DE; conducted site features inventory for web production, provided interpretation of recorded conservation easement, recommended engagement of Sotheby’s International Realty , teamed with Concierge Auctions to produce sale of 300 acre portion
  • Negotiated purchase of seven municipal acquisitions, protecting 305 acres in Montgomery County PA, fair market value of $6.5 million at a cost to the client of $1.0 million through leverage with MONTCO and PA State grant programs
  • Managed settlement of $6.5 million 104-acre estate property resulting in complete protection by easement with Montgomery County Lands Trust and a 60-acre gift to Natural Lands Trust with endowments
  • Secured grants to acquire easements on three signature agricultural preservation properties in Montgomery County PA with a fair market value of $9.4 million

PITCAIRN TRUST COMPANY Jenkintown, PA. Vice President, Director of Land Development; March, 1988 - June, 1994.
Established partnerships for development of conservation-oriented residential development, suburban office and industrial joint ventures. Conducted financial, estate and tax planning for high net worth client real estate holdings resulting in significant conservation outcomes. Reporting to president. Responsibilities included:

  • Asset Planning. 27-acre forest property, Huntingdon Valley, PA. Developed sequential conservation easement gifting plan to meet client financial objectives with reserved building lots
  • Asset Planning and Donation. $7.25 million 33-acre gift to Nantucket Conservation Foundation
  • Ecological site planning and development approvals for 66-unit and 24-unit residential projects adjacent to Pennypack Wilderness with rigorous storm water, waste water, site design and architectural requirements
  • Subdivision and development of four large lot developments with architectural and site development covenants; marketing, negotiation of agreements and sales of high-end lots
  • Retrofit conversion 88,000 sq. ft. single tenant office building to multi-tenancy, including architectural review, construction bidding and leasing
  • Budgeting, scheduling, financing, tax planning, establishing charts of accounts for implementing projects
  • Subdivision approval of 14 lots on 2000 acres, Woodstock, NY. Negotiation of contract for sale of conservation easements on 1300 acres to Trust for Public Lands
  • Formation of 80-acre joint venture industrial and flex development, Raleigh, NC.

ROUSE & ASSOCIATES Malvern, PA. Project Manager. September 1986 - January 1988.

  • Construction management of $10 million, 145,000 sq. ft., research and development flex project, completed on schedule and under budget; coordination of marketing activities resulting in 70% pre-lease rate

PITCAIRN PROPERTIES, INC. Jenkintown, PA. Planner. October 1984 - August 1986.
Responsible for planning and engineering development within six (6) business parks in the Philadelphia suburban market. Activities encompassed:

  • Site selection, master planning and development of commercial and industrial buildings
  • Analysis of project infrastructure requirements including geotechnical, water, sewer and roadway circulation
  • Procurement of community planning and zoning approvals
  • Bidding and negotiation of construction contracts
  • Managed conveyance elements of $55 million office, flex and industrial property portfolio to Bell Atlantic Properties

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Chicago, IL. Illinois State Project Officer. January 1984 - August 1984.
Managed $7 million water pollution grant program.

WAPORA, INC. Chicago, IL. Office Director and Senior Planner. 1978 - 1984.
Project Manager on environmental impact reports on residential and commercial developments and water pollution control plans.

CHESTER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION West Chester, PA. Open Space Planner 1975 - 1976.

DELAWARE VALLEY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION Philadelphia, PA. Technical Assistant. 1974 - 1975.


1978 University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA. Master of Regional Planning. Thesis: Design of A Marsh/Pond Wastewater Treatment System.
1974 University of Denver. Denver, CO. Bachelor of Arts in American Studies. Honors Thesis: Equilibrium: Colorado Land Use Policies, Water Resources and the Formation of the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area
1969 Chestnut Hill Academy. Philadelphia, PA.


Montgomery County Planning Commission Proclamation

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Commendation Award


Chairman, Board of Directors, Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust (1991-2002)
Secretary, Board of Directors, Montgomery County Land Trust (1993-2013)
Board Member, Montgomery County Planning Commission (1996-1999)
Task Force Member, creating Montgomery County $100 million open space program (1993)
Guest lecturer CLE credit Philadelphia, State and several PA County Bar Association seminars
Guest lecturer Montgomery County and Pike County Estate Planning Councils
Successful completion of coursework in Appraisal Principles, Appraisal Procedures, Income Valuation of Real Estate and Residential Case Study