What is a ULI TAP?


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).

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?

ULI Houston’s Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs) are one way for our members to give back to our region. Our prior TAPs have helped influence our community’s use of land. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Re-imagining the Richmond Corridor – TAP report on redeveloping Richmond Avenue spurred changes within the applicable Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone and other developments to lay the groundwork for improving the area’s infrastructure and public services.
  • The Discovery District – TAP report on encouraging more residential development in downtown helped provide the basis for the Downtown Living Initiatives 380 program. This program has stimulated construction of more residential housing in downtown.

TAPs provide objective, multidisciplinary advice on land use and real estate issues facing public sector organizations, non-profit organizations and private landowners in the greater Houston metropolitan area. Each TAP has the following characteristics:

  • The sponsor defines a scope to meet its needs.
  • Panel formats are usually two days with appropriate preparation done ahead of time with the sponsor’s assistance.
  • The panel is made up of real estate professionals across multiple disciplines who have addressed similar issues.
  • All panelists must have no conflict of interest at the start of the TAP and agree not to solicit work from the sponsor for six months following the TAP’s conclusion. The panelists volunteer their service; however, a fee is charged to pay for the TAP’s expenses and to support ULI Houston’s ongoing operations.

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.