Accountability and Results
ULI Urban Innovation Grant Partners are developing a toolkit for high impact redevelopment in historically underserved areas.
More important than these easily quantifiable outputs:
- 550+ volunteer professional service hours
- 15 Grant Partners donating $63,750 cash and $57,750 in-kind
- 4 months of research and grant coordination by a graduate real estate program intern
- 125 residents and stakeholders from the area participating
- 3 community meetings
- 250 community and business leaders attending a ULI program on the Urban Innovation Toolkit for the Third Ward
- “The Pittsburgh Experience” presentation by Stanley Lowe, former Pittsburgh Housing Director
- “Best Practices in Community Redevelopment” presentation by Tony Salazar, President, McCormack Baron Salazar
- SOAR session facilitated by Tina Council
- ULI Technical Assistance Panel of 7 leading experts
This grant enabled ULI + Urban Innovation Grant Partners to demonstrate their unique effectiveness in fostering collaboration between City of Houston departments, the Federal Housing Authority, private sector real estate experts, and community leaders ALL sharing a common goal: to encourage redevelopment of Third Ward that is high quality, sustainable and enjoyed by residents at all income levels.
The community redevelopment plan for Houston’s Third Ward had been established in 1995. A dozen other studies and plans have followed, but there had been minimal movement toward feasibility and implementation. Tony Salazar, President of McCormack Baron Salazar told 250 guests gathered at a ULI program on the Third Ward, “If the private sector could have done it acting alone, it would have happened by now. It will take a collaboration between the public and private sectors to implement the vision for the Third Ward.”
ULI occupies a unique position enabling it to bring together leaders sharing common interests and values. As one of the community partners said, “Focusing ULI’s attention on a community sends a message: ‘This is worth paying attention to. Something important is happening here.’”
A final, written report of findings and recommendations will be posted on this site, and ongoing engagement will be encourged through the ULI Houston Housing & Community Development Council.
These implementation recommendations were reported at the conclusion of the Technical Assistance Panel in April, 2012:
- Focus on opportunity areas within the Third Ward.
- Concentrate where there are the greatest drivers of economic development: University of Houston, Texas Southern University, METRO, Houston Independent School District, Houston Housing Authority.
- Assemble and control land at a reasonable cost.
- Identify natural partnerships that exist between these economic and development drivers.
- Raise awareness of these opportunities within the development community.
- Identify catalyst projects with these partners and developers.
- Identify the remaining gaps where expertise, resources or responsible parties are missing.
- Identify and access tools for redevelopment: (tax credits, historic credits, choice neighborhood grant, etc.).
- Establish funding sources and market guarantees.
- Design the project to include market-rate housing, workforce housing, student housing, and retail within the historical context of the neighborhood.
- Manage connectivity to other value drivers in the Third Ward, such as Dowling Street redevelopment zones, bikeway, urban garden zones. Include neighborhood-specific redevelopment strategies to make declining areas of the Third Ward vibrant again.
- Identify a champion who can navigate between various interest groups and form coalitions to make sure the result is “better together.”