For over 40 years, HR&A’s Los Angeles office has served as a trusted partner to governments, nonprofits, businesses, and grassroots leaders in building vibrant communities.
Our work reflects our deep roots in our home city with a reach that spans California, the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies, Southwest, and beyond. We understand the specific context of cities in our region, many at a unique intersection of growth and housing pressures, climate change and environmental risks, and a landscape in need of responsive land use planning and game-changing transportation investments. We are dedicated to the values so firmly embedded on the West Coast – a commitment to the strengths of our manifold communities, a spirit of innovation, and bold experimentation. Together with our clients, we tackle our regions’ most urgent issues.
Today, the challenges facing cities across the West Coast, Southwest, and the Rockies are at a greater scale than ever. Our cities see the consequences of long-standing racial inequity, unsustainable levels of unaffordability, and the failure of traditional approaches to economic growth in addressing the needs of our communities. We are here to meet this moment. We craft economic development strategies that deliver tangible results while elevating economic justice and expanded wealth opportunities for Black, Latinx, and other communities of color. We advise on complex urban development, infrastructure, and land use projects with a focus on financing and feasibility, resilience and sustainability, and inclusive design, governance, and economic impact. We provide solutions to the region’s growing affordability crises, support the advancement of green infrastructure, and develop practices and policies that ensure that governments and institutions remain accountable to the people and that the benefits of growth accrue to the diverse communities that make up the bedrock of our cities.
Want to keep in touch with HR&A Los Angeles? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
January 26, 2021
HR&A Advisors Names Andrea Batista Schlesinger as Managing Partner of Los Angeles Office
We develop strategies to inspire and capture economic growth for neighborhoods and cities across the region.
Citywide Economic Development Strategy for Los Angeles
We drafted the first citywide economic development strategy for Los Angeles, articulating comprehensive vision, long-term goals, and action plan to promote the equitable and sustainable growth of the city. Our work laid out a 5-year implementation plan to strengthen businesses, empower residents, and enhance government delivery, including actions for place-based investments, workforce participation partnerships, affordable housing funds, and additional resources for underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Downtown Revitalization in Torrance
Addressing a downtown built in the 1960s struggling with auto-centric infrastructure and a lack of critical mass, we crafted a revitalization plan to transform historic Torrance, California into a vibrant downtown with new branding and tenant mix, parking strategy, infill development opportunities, and multi-modal transportation connections that link residents to surrounding employment hubs.
Community Benefits Negotiation in San Jose
In San Jose, we are supporting the negotiation of a community benefits package for Google’s proposed 10+ million square foot mixed-use district adjacent to Diridon Station, which will also be the largest new multi-modal high-speed rail station on the west coast. In addition, we created land use, value capture and community benefit strategies for sites owned by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority as a way to catalyze economic development in downtown San Jose.
We provide feasible and innovative solutions to confront the region’s increasing affordability crisis.
Housing Program Evaluation in Southern California
We guide governments in designing programs that tackle urgent affordability needs. For the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills, we analyzed existing and proposed housing incentive and rent stabilization programs and formulas, recommended affordability requirements, and provided acquisition strategies for the development and preservation of affordable housing. We also translate policy mandates into action, including by supporting Los Angeles County to structure an affordable housing acquisition fund and identify sites for purchase.
Displacement Study in Hayward
In Hayward, California, a Bay Area city struggling to manage regional housing pressures, we are studying the ways in which residents may be displaced by current housing market conditions. Our work of evaluating which populations are disproportionately impacted, will inform ethe City’s affordable housing development strategy and application for county-level funding.
Supportive Housing Development in San Diego
We support housing production at all scales, including providing site-specific affordable housing development assistance. We led the San Diego Housing Commission through the acquisition and repositioning of a mixed-income and supportive housing project, providing guidance on financial and operational feasibility, intended funding sources and subsidies, and entitlement considerations.
We stand together with communities to dismantle oppressive legacies of policy and practice and expand opportunities to historically marginalized communities.
Improving Food Access in South Los Angeles
We tested ideas to address the food access crisis for low-income communities in South LA. Analyzing national models on behalf of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, we developed a business model and plan promoting both the access to fresh and quality food and the economic empowerment of workers.
Higher Education Growth Assessment for the California State University
For the nation’s largest 4-year public university system, we co-led an effort in partnership with HOK to determine how to ensure the system’s capacity to provide affordable access to higher education for underrepresented students, conducting a comprehensive study of long-term enrollment projections and workforce demand to inform investment and physical planning for California State University.
Health and Social Equity within Real Estate
We worked with the Urban Land Institute to assess progress to date in implementing best practices and make recommendations for how the real estate industry can incorporate health and social equity considerations into day-to-day work, such as engaging deeply with local communities, promoting inclusive and healthy physical design, supporting housing affordability, and use of local and MWBE hiring.
Infrastructure & Resilience
We make the case to secure funding and financing of major transportation, open space, and green infrastructure while reducing vulnerability to climate change.
Transit-Oriented Development in California
In Los Angeles, we helped lay the groundwork for inclusive transit-oriented development around the LA Metro’s nearly-complete Crenshaw/LAX Line and supported the creation of a transit-oriented land use and economic development strategy in 14 communities along the planned West Santa Ana Branch light-rail. We also supported TOD planning in West Hollywood, Bakersfield, and Palmdale, among others.
Open Space Planning in Seattle
We developed a vision, financing strategy, and governance model for Seattle’s Central Waterfront, eliminating an elevated highway separating downtown from the Puget Sound and providing a connective spine of parks and open space along the waterfront. Our work has continued to support implementation of the Waterfront through business planning and benefits analyses for the Friends of Waterfront Seattle.
Climate Adaptation Plan for Los Angeles Metro
We help agencies embed climate change strategies into capital and operational planning. For Los Angeles Metro, we developed a framework for prioritizing climate adaptation efforts for vulnerable infrastructure assets. Our work seeks to ensure that environmental justice implications for low-income and communities of color are a central part of how Metro considers adaptation strategies.
We build practices, institutions, and policies that ensure governments and organizations remain accountable to the needs of all residents.
Public Banking in Seattle
Building on our expertise in supporting shared ownership models and economic democracy across many cities, we analyzed the feasibility of a public banking model for the City of Seattle, which was seeking to divest from Wells Fargo.
Inclusive Participatory Budgeting in Portland
We led an innovative strategy of community outreach to increase engagement of Black, Latinx, and indigenous voices in defining Portland’s budget, yielding more participation in the process than ever before. We developed a funding and program delivery strategy to support Portland’s economic development department in shifting its focus from traditional economic development incentives to building complete neighborhoods and promoting equitable wealth creation.
Organizational Restructuring for Los Angeles
For the County of Los Angeles, we evaluated national best practice models and redesigned organizational structures to effectively deliver workforce and economic development programs. Previously, we recommended the formation of a new Economic and Workforce Development Department for the City of Los Angeles, with our work leading to the appointment of a new Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.