Sulin Carling


Sulin Carling advises public and private sector clients on creating vibrant downtowns, flourishing commercial corridors, and dynamic employment hubs. She crafts economic development, real estate, and public policy strategies to foster innovation in cities.


Sulin works with clients across the country to balance private sector and community interests while advancing ambitious economic and community development initiatives. Her work includes supporting commercial corridors and small businesses in a shifting retail landscape, creating vibrant and inclusive local and regional employment hubs, planning for the future of urban industrial areas, and grounding local economic development in food systems and policy.


Sulin recently led an interdisciplinary team to create a Master Plan for Pike Place Market – the iconic public market in Seattle. The resulting Master Plan is grounded in the curation of authentic food and retail offerings that will reattract a local audience, with strategies for greater financial sustainability, increased presence of farmers, support for inclusive local entrepreneurship, and physical investments. Her other work at the intersection of food and economic development includes a study of strategies for creating affordable grocery stores in low-income and gentrifying neighborhoods on behalf of a New York City-based food advocacy not-for-profit; and a redevelopment plan for a major publicly owned produce wholesale market in a major metropolitan area.


Sulin is HR&A’s leader in industrial policy and development. On behalf of the City of New York, Sulin facilitated an Industrial Working Group – comprised of businesses, advocates, and policy experts – to redefine the sectors’ needs and opportunities.  Sulin has also crafted strategies for growing 21st century industry for the Newmarket neighborhood in Boston and for Attleboro, MA.


Sulin helps small businesses and retail corridors adapt in the face of economic change. On behalf of Welcome to Chinatown, a not-for-profit organization focused on supporting entrepreneurs in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Sulin directed the Chinatown Impact Study, which assessed neighborhood small business’ challenges and identified interventions to support recovery. She is now working with Welcome to Chinatown design a business incubator and develop succession planning strategies. Further, Sulin is currently working with the Atlanta BeltLine Initiative on developing commercial affordability strategies to support Black and brown businesses around the transformative multi-use BeltLine trail.


Sulin helps clients plan for the changing face of downtowns. For the National Landing Business Improvement District, Sulin led creation of a Market Impact Study with strategies for accelerating growth of an innovation district in downtown Arlington, Virginia anchored by AmazonHQ2, Virginia Tech, and $4B in infrastructure investments. Sulin led development of an economic benefits case for the Fifth Avenue Association’s plan to transform Fifth Avenue into a world-class, pedestrian-focused corridor – announced by the Adams Administration in 2022 – to anchor the revitalization of Midtown Manhattan.


Sulin re-joined HR&A in 2020 after serving as Senior Economic Development Planner in the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP), where she led the North Brooklyn Industry & Innovation Plan, the most comprehensive study of an industrial area conducted by DCP in decades, and a comprehensive study of the future of retail and storefront vacancy trends.


Sulin holds a Master in Urban Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago.


Urban Land Institute, Member