NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS: Members of the media and public are invited to a virtual presentation of the panel’s findings on Thursday, March 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET. Click here to join.
WASHINGTON (February 28, 2022) – A group of renowned urban planning and real estate experts convened by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will make recommendations this week to the City of Charlotte, North Carolina, on proposed routes for the LYNX Silver Line light rail. Specifically, the panel will explore the potential for economic benefits and equitable access to public transit for Charlotte residents provided by routes along 11th Street, 7th Street, Trade Street, or other placements.
The ULI representatives will be conducting the exercise for the City of Charlotte between February 26 and March 3 through ULI’s Advisory Services panel (ASP) offering. The panel is a multiday program that is tailored to meet a community’s specific needs, bringing together real estate experts in different areas such as land use, urban renewal, and community growth. The panel will spend time interviewing local stakeholders, understanding the community’s needs, and delivering advice on how best to tackle the issue at hand.
Sponsored by the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Area Transit System, the panel will provide strategic recommendations on the following:
- What opportunities for station area development and economic potential exist along the 11th Street route;
- Whether a different route, along 7th Street or Trade Street, would provide better opportunities for economic development and equity in mobility and transportation access;
- How to optimize equitable access with regards to the 11th Street route;
- How to optimize the connection between the Blue Line and Silver Line rails;
- Whether an additional Silver Line station in First Ward along the 11th Street route enhances the opportunity for station area development; and,
- How the city can bring key landholders and partners to the table to optimize the connection of the Blue Line and Silver Line rails.
The panel will be chaired by Marilee Utter, president, Citiventure LLC, in Denver, Colo. “The Silver Line light rail has the potential to be a transformative influence on Charlotte’s economy and community,” said Marilee. “It’s critical to keep transit accessibility and equity for Charlotte residents top of mind as this project progresses. We look forward to connecting with local leaders to envision a path forward with positive outcomes for local businesses, residents, and the community as a whole.”
Marilee will be joined on the panel by Dr. David Abraham, assistant director, strategic planning at the Harris County Toll Road Authority in Harris County, Texas; Guillermo Aguilar, principal at Aguilar Architects in Dana Point, Calif.; Christopher Forinash, principal at Nelson/Nygaard in DC; Lucia E. Garsys, senior advisor for community partnerships at the Hillsborough County Government in Tampa, Fla.; Jim Hecht, transit engineering business class director at HDR in San Diego, Calif,; Darryl Jones, senior vice president at Coventry Development Corporation in Lone Tree, Colo,; and Jack Wierzenski, director, economic development and planning at Dallas Area Rapid Transit in Dallas, Texas.
In addition to interviewing stakeholders, the panel will tour the area before developing recommendations that will be presented at the conclusion of the panel’s visit.
Now in its 75th year, the ULI Advisory Services program assembles experts in the fields of real estate and land use to participate on panels worldwide, offering recommendations for complex planning and development projects, programs, and policies. Panels have developed more than 700 studies for a broad range of land uses, ranging from economic revival to climate change adaptation.
According to Thomas Eitler, senior vice president of ULI’s Advisory Services program, the strength of the program lies in ULI’s unique ability to draw on the substantial knowledge of its 45,000-plus members, including land developers, engineers, public officials, academics, lenders, architects, planners, and urban designers. “The independent views of the panelists bring a fresh perspective to the land use challenge,” Eitler said. “The Advisory Services program is all about offering creative, innovative approaches to community building.”
Past sponsors of ULI Advisory Services panels include federal, state, and local government agencies; regional councils of government; chambers of commerce; redevelopment authorities; private developers and property owners; community development corporations; lenders; historic preservation groups; non-profit community groups; environmental organizations; and economic development agencies.
For more information, email [email protected]
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 45,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information on ULI, please visit uli.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.