All posts in “News”

Governor Hochul Announces Transformative Projects for NYC: HR&A Advisors Celebrates Community Development in East Harlem, Garment District, and Far Rockaway

Governor Kathy Hochul announced 19 transformative projects for New York City under the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and NY Forward programs. This investment aims to create vibrant and livable communities in East Harlem, the Garment District, and Far Rockaway.  


HR&A Advisors are thrilled to congratulate the recipients of the DRI and NY Forward awards! We are incredibly proud to have served and engaged with these communities, helping to develop projects that will catalyze growth and improve the lives of residents. Congratulations to all the award recipients! 


In East Harlem, the winner of a $10 million DRI award, ten projects will support local businesses, enhance community health, and preserve cultural heritage. Key projects include a $956,000 Community Wellness and Healthy Food Center to transform a thrift store into a wellness center offering healthy food, cooking classes, and health screenings. The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute will receive $1.4 million for structural improvements and expanded community space. There will be a $1 million investment in storefront revitalization along East 116th Street, and $2 million will go towards transforming the 125th Street Plaza to enhance community spaces and introduce artistic elements. HR&A Advisors supported the planning team led by MUD Workshop that guided the East Harlem community through the DRI process. 


In the Garment District, a $4.5 million NY Forward award will support four projects aimed at bolstering the local fashion industry and improving public spaces. These include a $1.086 million Fashion Career Design Hub to create a training and coworking space for fashion professionals, a $1.5 million Technology Grant Fund to support fashion manufacturers and studios, $587,000 for green initiatives like street trees and planters, and $1.327 million for pedestrian walkway improvements along Seventh and Eighth Avenues. HR&A served as lead consultant for the NY Forward process in the Garment District, joined by MUD Workshop. 


Far Rockaway, another $4.5 million NY Forward winner, will see five projects aimed at revitalizing the community. These include the $2.44 million Rockaway Music, Arts & Cultural Center to transform the O’Kane Building into a cultural hub, $196,000 for Community Justice Center renovations, $1.233 million for a new affordable daycare center at JCCRP, $368,000 for maternal healthcare modernization at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, and $263,000 for modern waste bins and wayfinding signs to improve waste management and signage. HR&A was lead consultant assisting members of the Far Rockaway community throughout the NY Forward process, partnering with Fu Wilmers Design (FWD).  


HR&A Advisors is proud to support these transformative efforts to foster livable, vibrant, and resilient NYC communities through our continuing strategic planning and consulting efforts. Since 2017, HR&A has supported 12 communities throughout New York in the DRI and NY Forward programs.


Photo: Rachel Martin

Welcoming the 2024 Class of HR&A Summer Fellows!

The Summer Analyst Fellowship is a 10-week program offering the opportunity to engage in projects and skills aligned with core analytical staff at HR&A. Fellows have the opportunity to work as integrated members of our project teams and build their skills in market analysis, case study research, econometric modeling, spatial analysis, preparation of real estate pro formas for a range of uses, and public-private structures, and public policy analysis.


Fellows can work from any of our six offices in New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Raleigh, or Washington, DC, and they may help prepare written reports, presentations, and Excel models for clients, as well as firm marketing materials and proposals for new projects. Each Fellow is assigned an Advisor to help set goals and make the most of the experience, and many members of HR&A’s team started as Analyst Fellows.



Meet HR&A’s 2024 Summer Fellows! 



Clara Bonzi Teixeira (She/her/hers) 

Clara provides research and analytical recommendations to drive social and environmental justice initiatives.


Clara is currently closing out a virtual internship with the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon’s Political/Economic Section, where she is engaged in tracking political, social, and economic developments that align with U.S. foreign policy objectives. She provides insights and guidance for the Embassy team through research on topics such as climate initiatives, foreign investment, and policy compliance with international and EU regulations.


Previously, Clara served as an Implementation Science Fellow at Family Health International 360 in Durham, NC, where she supported the research utilization team on two public health projects. Clara also worked as a Geoprocessing Intern at Itaipu Binacional Hydroelectric Dam in Brazil, where she researched the social and health impacts of the local wastewater management program and engaged with the community through various outreach initiatives. Alongside her experience as a Research Assistant working on maternal health community programs at the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy, Clara has developed knowledge and interest in measuring environmental and health outcomes in a policy context.


As an undergraduate, Clara conducted long-term research as a part of a team studying disparities in voter access among key demographic groups. She analyzed state electoral policies against Census data to observe the effects of specific initiatives on voter access among marginalized groups.


Clara will graduate from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies in May 2024. She is proficient in Portuguese and French.



Olivia Glen-Rayner (She/her/hers) 


Olivia brings her public service, campaign, and non-profit experience to solve the complex issues that cities face today.


Before joining HR&A, Olivia worked for the US House of Representatives in Congressman Nadler’s New York office.She advised the Congressman on local issues and priorities, crafted and evaluated policy to respond to district issues, and worked with other elected officials for a coordinated response. Additionally, she served as the Congressman’s representative on several working groups, Community Boards, and other governing bodies. Prior to her congressional role, Olivia held positions on high-profile presidential, Senate, House, and City Council races including as Campaign Manager of the historic NY-12 primary race in 2022. She is an AmeriCorps VISTA alumna.


Olivia is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. She is the incoming President of the Urban Policy Student Association. Olivia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.



Steven Duncan (He/him/his) 

Steven Duncan is an accomplished urbanist and GIS analyst, currently pursuing a Master of Science in Urban Planning at Columbia University.

With a profound background in environmental and human security studies, Steven is originally from Utqiagvik, Alaska, and is passionate about using spatial technology to enhance sustainability and advocate for historically marginalized communities.


Throughout his career, Steven has gathered significant experience at organizations such as Hexagon US Federal, where he used geospatial technologies to assess urban flood risks. His role at Navanti Group involved addressing critical regional issues such as ethnic conflicts and food security in North Africa and the Sahel. Additionally, Steven has extensive experience in communications and public relations, having worked with the French Embassy and various nonprofit organizations.


Steven holds dual bachelor degrees in Human Security & Geospatial Intelligence and French from the University of Southern California, showcasing his multidisciplinary expertise and commitment to fostering resilient and inclusive communities through innovative urban planning solutions.



Tupelo Sullivan (She/her/hers) 


Based in the New York office, Tupelo brings her background in climate adaptation policy and community engagement, alongside her passion for sustainable transportation planning and urban resilience.


Prior to joining HR&A, Tupelo worked as an Environment and Sustainability Intern for the City of Miami Beach. There, she helped develop the city’s Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Adaptation Plan to understand social vulnerability to sea level rise. She also assisted in the city’s application process for Inflation Reduction Act funding for its various sustainability initiatives. Her undergraduate thesis examined opinions surrounding a managed retreat strategy in Pacifica, CA, using both qualitative content analysis and spatial analysis to investigate how residents responded to the policy and the factors that contributed to their perception of it.


Tupelo holds a B.A in Urban Studies with a specialization in Sustainable Development from Columbia University.



Pike Place Market Adopts Master Plan to Secure its Future as Seattle’s Iconic Landmark

This press release was originally issued by Pike Place Market.


Seattle, WA – Pike Place Market, the heartbeat of Seattle for over a century, has revealed an innovative Master Plan aimed at securing its future as the vibrant soul of the city. Developed in response to operational challenges and changing external forces, the Master Plan charts a course for the Market’s sustained success while honoring its rich heritage and authentic character.


The Market is faced with an exciting array of opportunities amidst its diverse challenges. From meeting operational demands to adapting to rapidly evolving external factors, such as changing consumer preferences and environmental concerns, there’s an abundance of potential for growth and revitalization. By embracing a Master Plan, the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA) can address these challenges head-on and unlock the Market’s full potential for enduring prosperity. This plan is not just about overcoming obstacles; it’s about embracing our rich history and authentic identity while building a sustainable Market for the next 50 years.


Mary Bacarella, Executive Director of the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA), expressed her enthusiasm for the plan, stating, “The Pike Place Market Master Plan ensures the authentic preservation of our beloved Market while paving the way for a thriving future. This plan honors our historic purpose and commitment to the community.”


The Master Plan, spearheaded by the PDA Council, is endorsed by Devin McComb, Chair of the PDA Council, who remarked, “This plan offers a roadmap for the future of Pike Place Market. It encourages innovation, diversity, and inclusivity, ensuring that the Market remains a beacon of opportunity and connection for generations to come.”


Since 1907 Pike Place Market has embodied the essence of Seattle—a dynamic blend of culture, commerce, and community. Recognizing the Market’s vital role in the city’s fabric, the PDA Council initiated the Master Plan to address operational pressures and seize emerging opportunities. The PDA hired HR&A Advisors to guide the PDA through the Master Plan process, a consulting firm with significant experience developing Master Plans around the U.S. for entities similar in complexity to the Pike Place Market. HR&A assembled a project team consisting of BERK ConsultingMithun, and MRA International.


The vision for Pike Place Market in the next 50 years is one of a supportive, diverse community and a thriving center of Pacific Northwest food, commerce, and culture. Grounded in its historic purpose, the Market will continue to serve as a community for gathering and entrepreneurship, while championing diversity, equity, and inclusion.


The Master Plan outlines three foundational goals:

    1. Ensure long-term financial sustainability
    2. Increase local patronage
    3. Advance a diverse, equitable, and inclusive Market


To achieve these goals, four key strategies have been devised:

    1. Pacific Northwest Food Life to Reattract Locals and Reenergize the Market’s Farmer Program: This strategy aims to embrace the essence of Pacific Northwest food culture to attract more local visitors and support farmers, ensuring financial sustainability while staying true to the Market’s historic purpose.
    2. Business Supports to Promote Local Entrepreneurship and Craftspeople: Focused on fostering a thriving ecosystem of local businesses, this strategy includes initiatives such as temporary spaces for small business incubation and technical assistance programs to support entrepreneurship and preserve the Market’s unique character.
    3. Sustainable Physical Investments to Maintain and Adapt the Market: This strategy prioritizes targeted capital investments in key areas of the Market, including Pike Place, First Avenue, and Western Avenue, to enhance accessibility, wayfinding, and environmental sustainability, ensuring a vibrant and resilient Market for generations to come.
    4. Partnerships to Amplify the Market as the Soul of Seattle: Recognizing the Market’s role as a provider of social services and a cultural landmark, this strategy focuses on strengthening partnerships and advocacy efforts to amplify the Market’s impact and ensure its continued relevance in the community.


The Master Plan reflects extensive community engagement, incorporating input from Market stakeholders, Market businesses and PDA staff. It remains flexible, allowing for regular revisiting and adjustment to meet evolving needs. Deeper engagement with the public and Market community is a priority that will continue through the Master Plan implementation to ensure inclusivity and accountability.


Partnerships are essential to the success of the Pike Place Market Master Plan. The Market invites stakeholders, organizations, and individuals to work together in shaping its future. Whether through advocacy or collaboration, all are welcome to engage with the Market on this transformative journey.


For more information on the Pike Place Market Master Plan and how to get involved, visit


About Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority PDA – Celebrating over 50 Years!
The nine-acre historic district is maintained and operated by the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA), a nonprofit public corporation created by the City of Seattle in 1973. The PDA supports the Market’s remarkable community by increasing farm and food retailing opportunities, supporting small and marginal businesses, and providing services for low-income individuals. In addition, PDA helps protect the essence of the Market by preserving, rehabilitating and maintaining the buildings within the Market.

Economic Impact Study: A New Performing Arts Center Will Generate $150 Million in Annual Economic Impact

This press release was originally issued by the Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation.


Sarasota, Florida – May 14, 2024 – Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation and the City of Sarasota are pleased to release an Economic Impact Study highlighting the profound contributions of a new performing arts center to Sarasota and all of Sarasota County. Prepared for the Foundation by HR&A Advisors, one of the leading real estate and economic development firms in the country, the study forecasts a significant boost to the Sarasota region’s economic landscape, projecting over $150 million in annual economic activity. This figure exceeds the current economic impact of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall by 30%, marking a substantial advancement for the city’s cultural and economic vitality. The study also estimates the creation of 1,200 permanent jobs and $300 million in tax revenues over 30 years, demonstrating a substantial return on investment.


“This Economic Impact Study showcases the incredible power of the arts and the opportunity for the Sarasota Performing Arts Center to serve as a critical economic driver of our vibrant community,” said Foundation CEO Tania Castroverde Moskalenko. “This study reaffirms what we know to be true in Sarasota – that the arts are not only part of our shared identity, fueling innovation and creativity, but also play an extraordinary role in our economic development.”


Key findings of the HR&A Advisors study include the following:

      • • Over $150 million in annual economic activity generated from operations, programming, visitation, and cultural tourism, with 358,000 annual visitors anticipated.
      • • Creation of 1,200 permanent jobs, contributing $52 million in annual wages.
      • • An injection of $562 million in spending countywide during the construction phase, including the creation of 3,200 temporary jobs and $162 million in temporary wages.

    “This study provides important information for the City Commission and Sarasota community,” said City Manager Marlon Brown. “It shows the Sarasota Performing Arts Center will be a significant economic driver from the very start of construction. The study underscores the value of this generational project and the 50-50 public-private partnership with Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation.”


    “Arts and culture have always had a critically important role in Sarasota’s economy and brand, helping to attract many thousands of visitors to the city every year,” said Alex Stokes, Principal at HR&A Advisors who led the study. “As an iconic new cultural anchor at the heart of the Bay Park, the Sarasota Performing Arts Center will ensure that Sarasota’s cultural economy continues to flourish for years to come, bringing new jobs, visitor spending, and tax dollars to the city and region.”


    For an executive summary of the Economic Impact Study, please click here.


    To request the full Economic Impact Study, please email


    About Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation

    Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation’s mission is to create and sustain a vibrant performing arts center, advance education, and enrich communities by inspiring minds through the power of the arts. The Foundation has partnered with the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall since 1987 to support arts education throughout our region, serving more than 35,000 students and their families annually with enriching arts-based education opportunities and professional development for more than 400 teachers across five counties.


    Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation is leading the vision to build the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center as a public-private partnership with the city and in collaboration with the Bay Park Conservancy and Van Wezel Hall. For more information about Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation, please visit:

    About the City of Sarasota

  • Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as the No. 5 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and the top place in Florida, the City of Sarasota is a diverse and inclusive community located on Florida’sSuncoast with 56,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at SarasotaFL.Gov

Mills Administration and MaineHousing Announce Launch of New Statewide Housing Data Portal

This press release was originally issued by the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future.


Augusta, MAINE – The Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, the Department of Economic and Community Development, and MaineHousing today announced the launch of the State of Maine Housing Data Portal, a central repository of housing and community data to support planning and actions to address housing production needs across the state.


The online portal, now available at, builds upon the State of Maine Housing Needs Production Study (PDF) released last year, which assessed the effects of historic housing underproduction in Maine, as well as estimated housing needs in the state going forward based on current demographic trends.



The portal compiles publicly available housing market, population, and economic data for Maine, such as housing supply, rental affordability, and homeownership access, as well as detailed demographic, income, and employment information. The data is sortable by state, county, and community, and is available for export and download.


Through the portal, Maine communities, housing organizations, and public can assess state regional, and local housing trends to maximize housing opportunities, inform housing discussions, set housing priorities, plans, and goals, and aid development of local ordinances.


“This new portal is an important resource for Maine communities to help inform and advance efforts to make housing more accessible and affordable across the state,” said Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future. “Addressing Maine’s urgent need for more housing requires a strong partnership between state, regional, and local governments. By providing ready access to the latest housing data and trends to support thoughtful housing planning and actions for the future, this portal is an investment in that partnership.”


“We are excited to join with the administration to offer this new tool for planners, developers, and housing leaders across Maine,” said Dan Brennan, Director of MaineHousing. “For the first time they’ll have ready access to current, detailed data to help set local housing production priorities, establish goals, and track progress.”


“In order to continue Maine’s economic growth, we need to increase our workforce, and ensuring appropriate housing stock is key,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “This dashboard will allow stakeholders at all levels of government to effectively address housing needs in all geographies and at many income levels.”


Since Governor Mills took office in 2019, the Mills Administration has allocated more than $285 million to support the construction of homes in Maine, an unprecedented level of investment that has resulted in more than 600 new homes so far, with more than 1,000 homes under construction, and more than 3,000 homes in the construction pipeline at MaineHousing – the largest number in the agency’s history.


The supplemental budget signed by Governor Mills on April 22 and approved by the Legislature included an additional $30 million to build more than 260 new homes in Maine, through $10 million to the Rural Affordable Rental Housing Program, $1o million to leverage Federal low-income housing tax credits, and $10 million for single-family home construction through the Affordable Homeownership Program.


The Study and the portal were prepared for GOPIF, DECD, and MaineHousing by national housing planning consultant HR&A Advisors, in consultation with housing stakeholders from across Maine and with authorization of the Legislature through LD 2003, landmark housing legislation signed into law by Governor Mills in 2022.


The State of Maine Housing Data Portal will be updated regularly. For questions about the Housing Data Portal or for guidance on its use, please contact the Maine Housing Opportunity Program at

Reviving History, Building Futures: Forest Forward’s Restoration of the Historic Forest Theater

Image: Forest Forward


Forest Forward, a local nonprofit, recently commenced the renovation of the historic Forest Theater and mixed-use arts facility in South Dallas with a groundbreaking event attended by community members and leaders. Despite its historical importance dating back to 1949 and hosting renowned artists like Sidney Poitier and Tina Turner, the theater has faced chronic challenges and remained vacant since 2009.


As part of its Cultural Capital practice, HR&A Advisors helped translate Forest Forward’s vision for the theater into an economic, fiscal, and cultural impact study that was critical to garnering philanthropic and public capital resources and funding.


The renovation aims not only to restore the theater’s former glory but also to catalyze a broader revitalization effort in the South Dallas community. Plans include transforming the theater into a multifaceted arts center, establishing educational pathways with Dallas ISD, and developing mixed-income housing nearby.


Phase I of the project, funded at $75.215 million, encompasses the restoration of the Forest Theater and the addition of new facilities, including an arts education hub, performance hall, studio theater, and more. Completion is expected by December 2025. The initiative has garnered bipartisan support, with U.S. Representative Jasmine Crockett and others commending its potential impact on economic development and education.


With construction slated for completion by December 2025, the Forest Theater project signifies a pivotal step towards economic development, arts education, and affordable housing in Sunny South Dallas, embodying Forest Forward’s vision for community transformation.



Related Articles


Historic Forest Theater in South Dallas To Begin Renovations, Dallas Observer

Forest Forward Breaks Ground on Historic Forest Theater in Sunny South Dallas, Arlington BubbleLife

ULI Spring Meeting 2024 Happy Hour Recap

This year the Urban Land Institute’s Spring Meeting featured industry leaders discussing topics ranging from cultural eco-systems in New York to Equity by Design. HR&A Advisors was also honored to sponsor the Resilience Summit, ULI’s flagship climate adaptation event, where industry leaders convened to address climate challenges and opportunities. 


HR&A Advisors would like to extend a personal thank you for joining us last week for our Happy Hour with BerlinRosen to kick off the ULI Spring Meeting and Resilience Summit. It was fantastic to connect with colleagues and industry leaders.


Please enjoy these photos from the Happy Hour event, and we look forward to connecting again soon!  




Senior Advisor Derek Fleming joined Jason Rudman on More Elephant Podcast

Senior Advisor Derek Fleming joined Jason Rudman of More elephant Podcast to discuss being an urbanist, real estate development, and spearheading revitalization projects in diverse and economically challenged communities across the U.S.  


The conversation delves into Derek’s roots in Los Angeles and Oakland, showcasing how these experiences drive his mission to uplift marginalized communities through real estate. Derek shared reflections on the emergence of his practice Cultural Capital, how the work is shaping a more inclusive American experience, and how his revitalization efforts stand as a testament to the power of cultural representation. 


Moreover, Derek shares the importance of passion and authenticity in effecting change. Tap in to explore Derek’s role in shaping spaces of ‘belonging’ through real estate, including his contributions to Red Rooster, an iconic cultural landmark renowned for its aesthetic excellence and immersive experiences. 


Listen to the full podcast here 

HR&A Advisors congratulates CEO Jeff Hébert on his appointment to the Climate Mayors Board

HR&A CEO Jeff Hébert has been appointed to Climate Mayors’ Board of Directors alongside Kizzy Charles-Guzman and Rachel Isacoff (an HR&A alumna). As Climate Mayors shared in a recent announcement, Jeff, Kizzy, and Rachel “will join Board Chair Matt Petersen and Board Members Katherine Gajewski, Kelly Shultz, and Laura Spanjian.”


HR&A Advisors congratulates Jeff and his fellow new Board Members on their appointments, and we look forward to their contributions to Climate Mayors’ mission to build political will for local, federal, and global climate action and collaboration amongst member mayors.


More about Climate Mayors

“Founded in 2014, Climate Mayors is a bipartisan, peer-to-peer network that has mobilized more than 750 U.S. mayors who demonstrate climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 48 states and nearly 60 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress.


In addition to local climate leadership, Climate Mayors build political will for federal and global climate action. Hundreds of members have signed the Climate Mayors letters committing to the Paris Agreement and calling on Congress to invest in a green and equitable economic recovery.”


Learn more…


HR&A at 2024 Spring Meeting



HR&A is thrilled to connect with fellow urban enthusiasts, thought leaders, and change makers at the 2024 Urban Land Institute Spring in New York City.


Speaking events:


April 11, 1pm – 2pm EST | Partner Kate Collignon will be speaking as a panelist for a discussion on an “Equity by Design” framework that uncovers a community’s needs and aspirations—including underserved voices—and tying design solutions to what is heard.




April 11, 4 – 5pm EST | Partner Kate Wittels will be moderating a Panel with industry professionals, civic leaders, and other major stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities when creating a cultural eco-system that is more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable for all New Yorkers.




Connect with all of our HR&A attendees at the Fall meeting:

Mason Ailstock— Partner, Atlanta, University Development and Innovation Council

Amitabh Barthakur, AICP— Partner, Los Angeles, ULI Public/Private Partnership Council

Shuprotim Bhaumik  — Partner

Kate Collignon— Partner, San Francisco, ULI Public Development and Infrastructure Council

Cary Hirschstein  — Partner, New York

Eric Rothman— CEO, New York, ULI Public/Private Partnership Council

Kate Wittels  — Partner, New York

Stan Wall— Partner, Washington DC, ULI Transit Oriented Development Council

Joseph Cahoon— Senior Advisor, Small-Scale Development Council

Marilynn Davis— Senior Advisor, Atlanta, University Development and Innovation Council

Carl Weisbrod — Senior Advisor, New York, ULI Public/Private Partnership Council

Martha Welborne— Senior Advisor, Los Angeles, ULI Placemaking Council

Ada Peng – Director, Los Angeles, Affordable Housing Council

Ignacio Montojo— Principal, New York

Rachel Webster— Senior Analyst, New York

Thomas Jansen— Principal, New York, ULI Urban Revitalization Council

Alex Meeks —  Principal, Pathways to Inclusion honoree

Ejiro Ojeni — Senior Analyst, Pathways to Inclusion honoree

Francis Goyes Flor  — Senior Analyst, Pathways to Inclusion honoree