Urban Land Institute to Advise the Jacksonville Transportation Authority on Connectivity and Downtown Revitalization


Nationally Renowned Real Estate and Urban Development Experts to Visit City June 17-22

WASHINGTON (June 18, 2018) — A group of nationally renowned land use and urban planning experts representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will be making recommendations next week to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) regarding creating a more connected downtown by the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U²C) and supporting economic development.


ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by 40,000-plus 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 community June 17-22. The Advisory Services panelists will be considering creative approaches to design a transit system that is viewed as an economic advantage that provides greater accessibility, is sustainable, and is supportive of economic development. Panelists will conduct a thorough review of all aspects of development, including:

  • Envision the revitalization of Downtown Jacksonville and the surrounding neighborhoods with the U²C at the center of development;
  • Establish goals and expectations for future public investment (infrastructure) and private investment (development) around station areas;
  • Identify and implement best practices in fostering strong public support for the project
  • Identifying tools and next steps for implementation;
  • Explore strategies for redeveloping the Rosa Parks Station and the Shipyards Station that are representative of areas throughout downtown.

ULI Leader Ladd Keith, Chair of Sustainable Built Environments at The University of Arizona, will serve as the panel’s chairman. “We’re excited to bring ULI’s expertise to Jacksonville,” Keith said. “We’ll be considering a broad range of opportunities to better connect downtown Jacksonville and will make recommendations that best address the needs of the greater community to increase economic growth, livability, and resilience.”

Keith will be joined by: Marcel Acosta, executive director, National Capital Planning Commission, Washington, D.C.; Amitabh Barthakur, partner, HR&A, Los Angeles, California; Neal Payton, principal, Torti Gallas + Partners, Los Angeles, California; Jamie Simchik, principal, Simchat Planning & Development, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Julie Underdahl, president and CEO, Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District, Denver, Colorado; and, Cassie Wright, owner, Cassie Wright Consulting, Amarillo, Texas.

During the week, the panel will tour the site and surroundings neighborhoods, and interview a variety of stakeholders in the community before developing a set of recommendations that will be presented at the conclusion of the panel’s visit.

Now in its 71st 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 40,000-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: The media are invited to the presentation of the panel’s recommendations on Friday, June 22, at 9 a.m. in the Omni Ballroom at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel, 245 Water Street in Jacksonville.

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 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information, please visit 
uli.org  or follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

contact: Trisha Riggs at 202-624-7086;

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