What is the project?

ULI Urban Innovation Grant Partners are developing a toolkit for high impact redevelopment in historically underserved areas.

To date, the following resources have been provided by ULI Urban Innovation Grant Partners to advance this effort in the Third Ward:

  • 450 volunteer hours of professional services (and counting)
  • 105 residents and community stakeholders giving direct input
  • 15 Grant Partners working in public + private collaboration
  • 9 Experts contributing their professional expertise and real-life experience, traveling from Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Dallas as well as those from Houston to provide Technical Assistance and facilitation services
  • 4 months of research by a University of Houston Bauer College graduate real estate intern
  • 3 Community Meetings
  • $63,750 in financial contributions and $57,750 in in-kind services

What is the process?

By building collaboration with visionary leaders who have deep community roots and a demonstrated willingness to embrace change, tools developed in Houston’s Third Ward can be used to protect historic assets and appropriate housing choices for a broad spectrum of citizens.

The process includes:

1) Community Input

a) The Third Ward has been studied extensively and multiple plans exist for redevelopment/revitalization. Rather than duplicate the work that has been done, this process will leverage existing studies.

b) Community Opportunity Definition Session, Feb. 27, 2012—which included a presentation from Stanley Lowe, former Housing Director, City of Pittsburgh, and a facilitated session lead by Tina Council. Participants were asked to give a one-word answer to the question: “What do you want to happen in Third Ward?”

c) SOAR Session, March 19, 2012—a facilitated outreach meeting for community members to define the Strengths Opportunities Assets and Results the process can capitalize upon as key Tools in the Tool Kit.

2) Independent Research

City of Houston Department of Planning & Development has prepared a presentation including:
Historical Change
List of Previous Studies and Ordinances for the Area
Existing Conditions
Land Use
Additional Information Resources

3) Expert TAP panel
Conducted April 25-27, 2012, an independent and objective expert panel provided findings of the most likely areas where transformation redevelopment can take place, and recommendations for implementation.

4) Report of Expert Technical Assistance Panel Findings and Recommendations
A written report summarizes the community input, TAP panel recommendations, and provides step-by-step guidance to move forward.

5)  Public Official Briefings will present results of community input sessions and ULI TAP Panel Report to focus on shifting from conceptual discussions, to feasibility and project implementation.

What is the TAP Panel Assignment?

Based upon community input to these questions:

  • What do you want to happen in the Third Ward?
  • What community Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results can this process maximize?

The TAP Panel is asked for its expert findings and recommendations in response to the following questions:

  • Who are our key partners to make it happen?
  • Where is positive change / beneficial redevelopment most likely to occur?
  • How do we implement the vision—step-by-step implementation plan?

Who are the Panelists?

Richie L. Butler, Senior Vice President, Investor Services, CityView, focuses on capital raising and investor services focused on the South and Southwest. His extensive development and finance experience includes single-family, multi-family and mixed-use developments.

John Cochran, of counsel, Wilson, Cribbs & Goren, PC, was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1967, and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law and Residential Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is past president of Houston Habitat for Humanity and board chair of Covenant Community Capital Corporation.

Marlene Gafrick, City of Houston Director of Planning & Development, brings more than 30 years of experience in land development that includes ordinance development, implementation and enforcement, permitting and coordination with public agencies and special districts.

Will Reed, Managing Director, Public/Private Development, Concord Eastridge, Inc., has structured public/private partnerships for development projects valued at $6.63 billion since 2001. His leadership experience includes visioning, market analysis, design, finance, and negotiation of complex developments including Downtown Redevelopment, New Town Centers and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects.

Tony Salazar, West Coast President, McCormack, Baron, Salazar, has dedicated his entire professional career to rebuilding inner-city communities.  As a Principal at McCormack Baron Salazar, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company and its affiliates, including real estate development projects, real estate management, asset management, and the solar and renewable energy venture, Sunwheel Energy Partners.

Ceri Warnie, PE, PTOE, PTP, Walter P Moore, an expert in public infrastructure and engineering, is a Traffic Engineer at Walter P Moore with over 17 years of experience in diversified aspects of traffic planning, engineering analysis, design, and management.

Jeff Weatherford, P.E., PTOE, Deputy Director, City of Houston Public Works Traffic & Transportation Division, with 200 employees responsible for infrastructure that spans Houston’s 640 square miles and 6,000 center lane miles of streets, including installation, operation, & maintenance of 1,100,000 traffic signs, 2,450 signalized intersections, 1,600 school zone signals, as well as 180,000 streetlights & 1,800 freeway lights.

Who are the Grant Partners?

The following public agencies, private developers, non-profit community and faith-based organizations who are interested in attracting private investment and development are supporting this grant:

South East Houston CDC  / Holman St. Baptist Church / University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture/ University of Houston MBA Graduate Real Estate Program / Houston Housing Authority / City of Houston Dept. of Housing & Community Development(HCDD)  / Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris Co (METRO)/ LISC-Houston / Capital One Bank / UCR MoodyRambin /       ULI Houston District Council/ Morris Architects/ Walter P Moore / Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs
In addition to these grant partners, the process is open to all who are interested in participating.

Additional Background on the study area in Houston’s historic Third Ward:

The project area is at the nexus of two new rail lines and flanked by two anchor institutions of higher learning, University of Houston and Texas Southern University. Developing and applying a set of tools to attract and reward high-quality, sensitive and sustainable redevelopment to this high-visibility area will give this new toolkit the best chance for applicability to Houston’s diverse neighborhoods.

ULI Priorities Addressed:

  1. Promoting Intelligent Densification and Urbanization
  2. Creating Resilient Communities
  3. Understanding Demand and Market Forces

Additional Background on ULI Advisory Services

Established in 1947, the ULI fee-based program of advisory services has completed over 600 panels, in 47 states, 12 countries, and four continents. Sponsors praise panels for their comprehensive, pragmatic approach to solving land use challenges. ULI members volunteer their time and professional expertise to assist with a land use, development or policy challenge. As part of the 75th Anniversary ULI Foundation Urban Innovation Grant Program, a two-day Technical Assistance Program Panel (TAP) panel was provided at no cost  (typical cost: $25,000).