Urban Land Institute to Advise Virgin Islands Housing Authority on Affordable Housing, Economic Development, and Improving Resilience in Havensight, St. Thomas

Renowned Panel of Land Use, Planning Experts to Visit Area August 25-30

For more information, contact: Justin Arnold, justin.arnold@uli.org, 202-448-8717

WASHINGTON (August 21, 2019) – A group of nationally renowned land use, urban planning and resilience experts representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will be making recommendations next week to the Virgin Islands Housing Authority on how to increase affordable housing, boost economic development and improve resilience in the community of Havensight on St. Thomas. ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by more than 45,000 members dedicated to responsible land use and building thriving, sustainable communities.

The ULI representatives, convened through ULI’s renowned Advisory Services Program, will be visiting the area from August 25-30. The Advisory Services panelists will consider and provide strategic recommendations on:

  • Integrating the existing affordable housing stock into the neighborhood;
  • Creating an equitable economic development vision for the next five, 10, and 15 years;
  • Helping new communities become more resilient and reduce consumption of natural resources; and
  • Creating a cultural theme and design principles to tie the area together and brand it as a unique location.

The panel’s work will build on the work of an earlier ULI advisory panel conducted in 2018 in St. Croix, which provided recommendations on the island’s economic development, creating affordable housing, improving transporation links and resiliency strategies. The forthcoming panel will be chaired by leading ULI member Adam Weers, principal at the Trammel Crow Company in Washington. D.C. “ULI is eager to return to the U.S. Virgin Islands and continue the work we started with last year’s panel,” said Weers. “We look forward to assisting Havensight with its efforts to improve recovery and resilience.”

Weers will be joined on the panel by Neal Albert, president and executive director, Downtown BID, Washington, D.C.; Dan Anderton, senior planner/landscape architect, Dewberry, Germantown, Maryland; Allison Anolik, senior transporation planner, AECOM, Raleigh, North Carolina; Catherine Buell, vice president of policy and programs, Greater Washington Partnership, Washington, D.C.; R. David Gibbs, renewable energy consultant, Brooklyn, New York; Marion Mollegen McFaden, senior vice president, public policy, senior advisor, resilience, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., Washington, D.C.; Kimberley Player, director of research, Equilibrium, Portland, Oregon; and Tyrone Rachal, president, Red Rock Global Capital Partners, Atlanta, Georgia.

Following tours of neighborhoods in Havensight and stakeholder interviews, the panel will prepare initial recommendations that will be presented at the conclusion of the visit. The Advisory Services panelists’ work is an initial step in a long-range process to create an integrated approach to recovery and reconstruction efforts, and to reach community consensus on how the district – in particular Havensight — should evolve over the next several years.

Now in its 72nd year, the ULI advisory services program assembles experts in the fields of real estate and land use planning 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 waterfront properties to inner-city retail.

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 service 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.

NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS: Members of the public and media are invited to a public reception on Monday, August 26, from 5 – 6 p.m. at Victor’s New Hideout, 103 Subbase Road, Charlotte Amalie West, St. Thomas; to the stakeholder interviews at 1110 Beltjen Road, St. Thomas, and to the presentation of the panel’s recommendations on Friday, August 30th, from 9 a.m – 11 a.m. at the Sugar Estates Senior Residence Community Center, Charlotte Amalie East, St. Thomas.

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