ULI to Advise Charlotte on Transforming Southpark Suburb into Walkable Destination, Magnet for Investment


Nationally Renowned Land Use and Urban Planning Experts to Present Future Vision on March 18

WASHINGTON, DC – March 22, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — Next week, a panel of nationally renowned land use, real estate development, design and urban planning experts will visit Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood to evaluate how to improve the area’s livability and economic development potential. The advisory services panel, convened by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), will provide recommendations on how Charlotte can continue to transform the business and retail hub from an auto-oriented suburban place into a pedestrian-oriented destination that strengthens the surrounding neighborhoods, increases the supply of affordable housing, and has strong appeal as a magnet for business development and investment.

The panel – assembled through ULI’s advisory services program and sponsored by the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and private sector community partners — is tasked with creating a vision for how SouthPark will continue to evolve into a mixed-use activity center and lay out the next steps for its implementation.

This panel is the most recent of a series of ULI advisory panels brought in by Charlotte since the 1990s. Over the past 25 years, 10 advisory panels have been convened to evaluate issues related to transportation, sustainable development, housing, redeveloping the convention center, and expanding cultural facilities and new office space. During this time, many ULI panel recommendations have been implemented, aiding in Charlotte’s evolution into a thriving, sustainable city.

Next week, the panelists will spend five days touring the SouthPark area as well as meeting with stakeholders and members of the local community. After carefully analyzing the area and interviewing up to 100 individuals, the panel will then spend two days framing their recommendations and drafting a report that will be presented to the public.

The advisory panel is being chaired by Edward McMahon, ULI’s senior resident fellow and chair for sustainable development. “We’re excited to bring ULI’s expertise to Charlotte,” McMahon said. “We are aiming to demonstrate how reviving SouthPark can contribute to the city’s overall economic prosperity, livability, investment appeal, and competitiveness.”

McMahon will be joined by Alia Anderson, director of planning for the mid-Atlantic, Toole Design Group, Washington, D.C.; Jonathan Bartlett, senior consultant, Jacobs, Atlanta; Jordan Block, urban designer and planner, RNL Design, Denver; Peter Cavaluzzi, design principal and board director, Perkins Eastman, New York City; Michelle Delk, partner, Snøhetta, New York City; Mary Konsoulis, Consulting for Creative Community, Alexandria, Virginia; Laurence Lewis, associate transportation planner, Kittelson and Associates, Inc., Oakland, California; John Macomber, senior lecturer in finance, Harvard Business School, Boston; and Kim Morque, president, Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, LLC, Norwalk, Connecticut.

Now in its 69th year, the ULI advisory services panel 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 600 studies for a broad range of land uses, ranging from waterfront properties to inner-city retail.

According to Thomas Eitler, 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 37,000-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 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.

NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS: The ULI panel’s recommendations will be presented at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 18 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center’s Council Chambers, located at 600 East 4th Street in Charlotte. The event is open to the public.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 37,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

Contact: Robert Krueger at 202-624-7051

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