Work

Selected Projects:

<b> Long Island Regional Competitiveness and Growth Strategies Report</b><br/>

Long Island Regional Competitiveness and Growth Strategies Report

The more than 160 page report, written and produced by JLP+D with the Regional Plan Association, included economic opportunity analysis for Long Island's key competitive industries, a strategic plan for regional economic growth, and a multi-phase action plan for the redevelopment of the Hauppauge Industrial Park, Long Island's premier economic driver and one of the largest industrial parks in the U.S..

Client: Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency

<b> The Case for Open Space</b> <br/>  Why the Real Estate Industry Should Invest in Parks and Open

The Case for Open Space
Why the Real Estate Industry Should Invest in Parks and Open

The Case for Open Space explores the benefits of private sector involvement in creating, maintaining, operating, and programming parks and open space—ranging from enhanced returns on investment for developers that include open space in their projects to improved community health outcomes. JLP+D President James Lima was one of the three authors of the report who serve on the Urban Land Institute Sustainable Development Council. Lima presented the case at the 2018 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Annual Conference and the 2018 ULI Fall Meetings in Boston. Drawing on diverse cases from across the country, this report provides a range of ideas and innovations for owners and real estate developers as they consider whether and how to invest in the public realm. The study points to a winning formula: when undertaken thoughtfully, the creation of privately owned or operated, community-accessible open spaces can provide equitable access to resources, strengthen communities, reduce execution risk, and contribute to a solid bottom line for real estate investment.

Client: The Urban Land Institute

<b> The BIG U and Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency</b> <br/>  Resiliency + social infrastructure.

The BIG U and Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency
Resiliency + social infrastructure.

Overlaying a new connective network of “social infrastructure” on top of new waterfront resiliency infrastructure, the BIG U is an ambitious, award-winning flood protective system encompassing ten miles of Lower Manhattan waterfront. The system not only shields the city against floods and stormwater; it provides social and environmental benefits to the community, makes important connections among community assets, and fosters an improved public realm.

Clients: Rebuild by Design (BIG U); NYC Department of Design and Construction (East Side Coastal Resiliency)
Image credit: Bjarke Ingels Group

<b>Unlocking Penn’s Potential </b><br/> Making the case for TOD and a revenue capture district.

Unlocking Penn’s Potential
Making the case for TOD and a revenue capture district.

For a report produced on behalf of the Municipal Art Society, JLP+D, with Encher Consulting, quantified the benefits of a reimagined Pennsylvania Station transit hub and district rezoning plan by identifying the boundaries of a potential value capture district and then calculating the commercial and residential redevelopment potential of "soft sites" within walking distance of Penn Station. The team then projected the district assessment revenues that could be captured from those large-scale development projects to help fund critically needed infrastructure improvements to the massive Penn Station complex, the largest transportation hub in the Western Hemisphere.


Client: Municipal Art Society

<b>The Presidio of San Francisco</b><br/>Real estate strategy, creative programming.

The Presidio of San Francisco
Real estate strategy, creative programming.

Setting the stage for placemaking and financially sustaining new uses in a world-class and distinctly urban urban national park, JLP+D provided advisory services for programming, economic strategies, and public-private partnerships in real estate development to continue the Presidio’s transformation from a 1,500-acre former military base to a public space to a vibrant, richly programmed national park and cultural destination.


Client: The Presidio Trust


Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study (New York, NY)

A Strategic Plan for a Resilient Lower Manhattan.
JLP+D served on a core team of advisors to NYCEDC and to prepare the Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study, designed to promote resiliency—coastal resiliency, energy/utility resiliency, greater mobility and connectivity, enhanced civic and open space, and economic competitiveness. James Lima served as strategic advisor to the City and team, assessing underlying stresses facing Lower Manhattan, identifying suitable locations and ranges of development density within the study area that would provide sources of funding for resiliency investment and create much needed new housing, public open space and infrastructure improvements. Stakeholder engagement was a critical path to exploring what obstacles and opportunities existed, and how these might inform the strategic plan. JLP+D engaged most of the major commercial property owners and office tenants in flood vulnerable properties whose feedback was vital in the creation of design solutions and implementation strategies. JLP+D’s analysis informed the development of the strategic plan, which the City is currently considering for additional study, and potentially a master plan.

Client group: NYC Economic Development Corporation; NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency

Pensacola Waterfront Redevelopment (Pensacola, FL)

Placemaking, market analysis, and economic development strategy.
JLP+D is serving as a strategic planning and economic advisor for the development of a Framework Plan for Pensacola’s central waterfront. JLP+D is performing market assessment, asset mapping, and SWOT analysis to inform land use and urban design strategies. We work closely with the client, the project team, and local stakeholders to understand Pensacola’s economic position within the regional context, identify opportunities for strategic investment and redevelopment, and analyze market reports and gather market comparables data for multiple asset types. We develop a comprehensive asset map and SWOT matrix from a market, geographic, and policy perspective to ensure that the Site develops within its broader context, is both sensitive to and complementary of the area’s strengths and trends, and fosters greater collaborations among economic, civic, and cultural stakeholders in the area. JLP+D also helps to construct a compelling narrative and engagement materials that make the case why the vision plan for the waterfront is in the greater public interest, framed in public policy and economic terms and relevant to local community residents and other stakeholders. We lead the project team’s assessment and development of value capture opportunities, governance structures, and programming strategies. JLP+D provides insight and expertise on implementation, financing, and funding, identifying opportunities for public-private partnerships that can close financing gaps and attract upfront patient public capital as well as tax credits and other financial incentives for potential parks, affordable housing, transportation and water infrastructure upgrades and other public benefit projects.

Client: The Studer Group

East Side Coastal Resiliency Project Stewardship Study (New York, NY)

Exploring governance models for NYC’s first resilient park.
This two mile section of NYC waterfront - The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project - is the first phase of the ‘Big U’, designed to reduce the risk of flooding and provide coastal protection and community infrastructure for neighborhoods adjacent to the park. On behalf of Rebuild by Design, JLP+D, in collaboration with the Trust for Public Land, is investigating possible long-term stewardship structures to enhance initial government capital investments, engage in design and programming for the new park, and build local capacity for supporting the long-term operations and maintenance of the park. JLP+D is researching creative partnerships between city agencies and parks, analyzing current and future uses of the site, conducting stakeholder interviews, and generating programming ideas and funding strategies for producing sustainable revenues for the park. With the primary goals of enhancing long-term stewardship of the park and addressing issues of equity, the JLP+D team is providing recommendations to unify local stakeholders and establish a single entity to oversee and support the continued and new uses and operations of the park. While the study is focused on opportunities specific to this site, the findings can be used to inform future Rebuild by Design and other resiliency work in local, national, and international contexts.

Client group: Rebuild by Design; GOLES

Mixed-Income Housing Development Feasibility (Queens, NY)

Financial modeling, development feasibility, and affordable housing strategy for private development.
JLP+D served as the project lead for financial feasibility and investment return analysis for a one million square foot mixed-income residential development in Astoria Cove, Queens. JLP+D built a dynamic development pro forma model capable of analyzing different density scenarios, rezoning options and building configurations, and accounting for income levels permissible under the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) Program. MIH requires either 25% or 30% of the total development to remain affordable for households at a variety of Area Median Income (AMI) bands. JLP+D served as an advisor on policy matters, including the State’s 421a tax exemption program and other entitlement issues.

Client: Private (confidential)

Resilient by Design: Bay Area Challenge (South Bay, CA)

Silicon Valley regional planning for resilient ecological environment and infrastructure.
JLP+D provided economic and funding advisory services for the design and development of the South Bay Sponge project, an ecological urban design that covers more than 20 miles of shoreline in the heart of Silicon Valley, encompassing the expansive (and flood vulnerable) tech campuses of Google and Facebook, as well as economically distressed communities including East Palo Alto. The team’s overall design framework sets a four-pronged approach, including: 1) “soil swap” to cooperate across jurisdictions on assembling a protective shoreline; 2) “land-use swap” for maximizing green infrastructure and coordinating densification and de-densification at the Bay’s edge; 3) “sponges” for establishing large-scale natural systems for flood protection, recreation, habitat and additional benefits; and 4) “creeks” to increase storage and absorptive capacity through widening and softening edges. These diverse and complementary strategies are integrated in the South Bay Sponge concept and form a holistic, pragmatic plan that advances adaptation, cooperation, enrichment and connection for numerous communities and entities across boundaries and jurisdictions in the South Bay.

Client group: Rebuild by Design

Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (New York, NY)

A financial and market analysis.
On behalf New York City's housing and planning agencies, JLP+D supported a team of economists and real estate financial analysts to evaluate the feasibility of a proposed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program in NYC. The study explores impact by area market rents and unit sale prices, maximum allowable floor area ratio, and construction type. James Lima led the outreach and consultation process with a wide range of NYC residential real estate developers, housing not-for-profit groups, and industry and civic organizations.

Client Group: NYC Housing Development Corporation, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and NYC Department of City Planning

Co-Development Opportunities at NYC Public Library Branches (New York, NY)

Strengthening local community assets and unlocking value.
In partnership with Marble Fairbanks Architects and Leah Meisterlin, JLP+D was selected to participate in Re-envisioning Branch Libraries, a study sponsored by the Center for an Urban Future and the Architectural League of New York. The study proposed new programmatic, financial, and architectural possibilities for supporting New York City libraries and the vital services they provide. The project developed new methods for resource allocation by NYC's library systems, utilizing a relational data tool that layers demographic, fiscal, and other data sets. This relational data tool helps visualize and balance priorities to strengthen the libraries in the face of changing capital needs, neighborhood growth, demographic changes, and resiliency efforts. The team performed a rigorous analysis of neighborhood, zoning, and building-level data contextualized in an overall understanding of political and stakeholder interests to tap underutilized sites that could serve as community hubs and resource access points.

Client: Center for an Urban Future and the Architectural League of New York
Image credit: Marble Fairbanks Architects

Creedmoor Psychiatric Center Redevelopment Plan (Queens Village, NY)

Repositioning outdated public facilities for new markets and needs.
JLP+D was part of an interdisciplinary team engaged to recommend redevelopment scenarios for 75 acres of underutilized property on the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens Village, NY. The team prepared a market scan and a development and infrastructure feasibility assessment, and performed community and elected official outreach, to develop multiple redevelopment scenarios that achieve a range of public objectives and which had varying time-and-money implications for implementation, with an emphasis on maximizing economic impact and creating new, high-quality housing.

Client: Empire State Development Corporation

Expert Witness Services: West Chelsea Real Property Litigation (New York, NY)

James Lima Planning + Development was retained to prepare an expert report and provide expert witness testimony for a real property-related litigation matter between two of the largest property owners in New York City. The report collected and analyzed data regarding the assessed real estate value of a particular full city block site on Manhattan’s Far West Side over a thirty year period, and did so in the context of three decades of largely publicly-sponsored economic revitalization investments and initiatives in the area. The report compared the changes in the subject property’s assessed value to those of several other highly comparable properties within other areas of the West Side of Manhattan in order to demonstrate the unique positive impact on private property values of various targeted public programs.

The unusually large size of the parcel, and its history as a site of heavy industrial use and resulting contamination, presented unique challenges in finding market comparables and for setting up a controlled comparative analysis for the report. This required a rigorous approach to original research and the need to seek out multiple private, proprietary real property datasets that strengthened the report’s trends analysis. JLP+D worked with New York metropolitan area real estate associations, appraisal firms, and real estate brokerages to compile the most complete database of comparable properties and valuations possible.

This iterative process produced estimated market valuations for the disputed parcel at several points in time that could be compared to valuations of parcels with similar attributes. The significant increase in valuation of the subject parcel was compared to a timeline of public investments in infrastructure and amenities and regulatory actions that repositioned its neighborhood and the economic value of the site over a period of decades. The matter was adjudicated in JLP+D’s client’s favor.

Client: Confidential

Harlem River Brownfield Development Feasibility (Bronx, NY)

Identifying feasible community development opportunities.
JLP+D helped to lead a community-driven effort on the Bronx waterfront to identify economically viable opportunities for brownfield redevelopment, including new public access and recreation opportunities and new affordable and mixed-income housing, commercial, and other uses that meet local area needs. JLP+D created an updated community profile and market scan, generated market-based redevelopment scenarios, researched railroad rights of way and other property ownership records, and delivered a comprehensive inventory of property ownership and development rights information. Redevelopment within the study area targeted currently vacant, underutilized, and/or contaminated sites.

Client: NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and the Bronx Council on Environmental Quality

Port Credit (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)

Waterfront district planning for a former brownfield.
James Lima Planning + Design provided strategic planning, economic and real estate advisory services to the City of Mississauga to prepare a master plan for an 85-acre former industrial brownfield site on Lake Ontario, and conducted a peer review on an adjacent 15-acre mixed-use waterfront development proposal. JLP+D researched and synthesized market and economic data for the greater Toronto area, and prepared projections for future development potential based on demand analyses and a range of possible transit improvements, to inform Port Credit’s plans to both preserve its historic lakefront village character and to accommodate future growth. JLP+D also prepared multiple redevelopment scenarios, decision matrices, and a phased implementation strategy.

Client: City of Mississauga, Ontario
Image credit: Stoss

Water Works Park (Minneapolis, MN)

Crafting an ambitious park enhancing, revenue-generating program in Minneapolis.
JLP+D worked with SCAPE Landscape Architecture and Rogers Partners Architects on a conceptual plan for Water Works, an ambitious new central waterfront park in downtown Minneapolis. The plan, with its connections to the adjacent downtown and historic industrial districts, envisions Water Works park as an amenity for local residents and downtown workers and as an important visitor attraction. JLP+D led the team’s work to identify local and regional market demand, establish a program of uses that is complementary to its downtown context, identify prospective concession operators, and recommend terms of a potential concession agreement. JLP+D identified the regulatory parameters within which to consider capital funding options, as well as a range and scale of revenue generation opportunities to provide ongoing maintenance and operational funding. With SCAPE and Rogers Partners, James Lima communicated the numerous public benefits of these park elements in public meetings.

Client: Minneapolis Parks Foundation
Rogers Partners Architects

Suffolk County Transit-Oriented Development Planning Minneapolis (Across Long Island, NY)

Setting the stage for smart growth in the suburbs.
JLP+D, in partnership with the Regional Plan Association, is providing a range of ongoing services to the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency/Economic Development Corporation to support the County’s priority initiatives to promote transit-oriented development and smart economic growth within Suffolk County. Specifically, JLP+D’s efforts have included market and development feasibility, identifying implementation strategies for economic development in tandem with transit, transportation, and public realm investments.

Client: Regional Plan Association

Nyack Comprehensive Plan and Development Feasibility (Nyack, NY)

JLP+D is part of a core team currently updating the Village of Nyack’s, New York's Comprehensive Plan, including a number of waterfront, residential, and downtown neighborhoods facing unprecedented development pressures. As part of an interdisciplinary team, JLP+D is advising on socioeconomic and housing trends and growth strategies, bringing an economic and real estate perspective to the analysis of development sites in Nyack’s downtown and waterfront areas and identifying strategies to strengthen the village’s retail and business core.
The firm’s work includes engaging local business owners and stakeholders to identify local economic development potential and the investment in infrastructure, public realm improvements, institutional expansion. Analyzing demographic and market trends, JLP+D has sought to locate the downtown and waterfront districts within their regional context, and identify the catalytic role of new investments and potential targeted development opportunities. An assessment of opportunities for business growth, job creation, affordable housing, and public/private development structures is informed by the firm’s familiarity with public incentive and financing programs available to help implement such initiatives, and effective implementation and governance structures.

Client: Village of Nyack, NY

Steuben Foods Innovation Center (NY)

An innovation hub for R&D and food manufacturing.
James Lima Planning + Development was engaged by Steuben Foods to help reposition its existing high-tech food manufacturing campus into a next-generation anchor of food science and innovation in New York State. The JLP+D team crafted a plan for Steuben to invest in an expanded pilot plant and food technology partnership center while rationalizing and downsizing more traditional manufacturing processing. The JLP+D team helped to secure a significant allocation of New York State tax credits for new investment and job growth for the Steuben Innovation Center, recognizing the potential to establish a food science and innovation cluster in partnership with leading research institutions such as Cornell University, the University at Buffalo, and City University of New York’s York College.

Client: Steuben Foods

Cultural Planning in Old South Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge, LA)

A cultural placemaking and economic development strategy.
JLP+D, as part of an interdisciplinary team, prepared an implementation strategy which uses the arts as a tool for regenerative economic development in the Old South Baton Rouge. By preserving the community’s cultural heritage while providing resources for economic and quality of life investments, the project will build on revitalization efforts already underway. JLP+D provided community outreach and strategic planning and real estate development advisory services to the team to identify transformative public realm investments, programming to bring new visitors to the area, and opportunities for public-private partnerships in mixed-use, mixed-income development to strengthen the economic base of this underserved community.

Client: Arts Council of Baton Rouge and Center for Planning Excellence

Pier 57, Hudson River Park (New York, NY)

Creative programming establishes a new waterfront destination and innovation hub.
James Lima led developer Youngwoo & Associates’ successful efforts to secure designation as redeveloper of Pier 57 in Manhattan’s Hudson River Park through a highly competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process. James Lima was actively engaged in developing an innovative new program of uses for the pier, managed the developer’s multidisciplinary team through the RFP bidding process, oversaw the drafting of the response to the RFP, provided historic preservation and tax credit financing recommendations, and led stakeholder outreach and project marketing. The historic 480,000 square foot former passenger ship terminal – listed on the National Register of Historic Places – is slated to contain a 155,000 SF public market to be operated by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, 250,000 square feet of office space to be occupied by Google, and a major expansion of waterfront public park space, including a dramatic rooftop park venue incorporating programming by the Tribeca Film Festival and "beach club" operated by renowned hotelier André Balazs.

Client: Youngwoo & Associates
Image credit: LOT-EK

The Connected City: Hyper Density, Hyper Landscape (Dallas, TX)

Establishing a civic waterfront and expanding the CBD.
As part of the winning team for the Dallas Connected City Design Challenge, JLP+D collaborated on Hyper Density Hyper Landscape, a design proposal for three new neighborhoods with new cultural attractions, transportation infrastructure, and public spaces on 176 acres of underutilized land near downtown Dallas. The design connects two essential Dallas assets - the Trinity River Corridor and a revitalizing urban core - and incorporates high-density mixed-use development with lush green spaces and natural features. JLP+D provided industry sector growth projections, real estate and economic analysis, and programming and project phasing recommendations. By proposing vibrant new neighborhoods and resilient ecological features on underutilized urban land and among disconnected investment nodes, the plan builds on development momentum, strengthens connections between downtown’s best assets, and reinforces the relationship between the vibrant city life and the unique natural heritage of Dallas.

Client: Dallas CityDesign Studio
Image credit: SHoP Architects

Town Branch Commons (Lexington, KY)

JLP+D was part of an interdisciplinary team led by SCAPE Landscape Architecture which won the international design competition to revive Town Branch, a 1.5-mile long underground waterway that runs through the heart of downtown Lexington, KY. Reviving Town Branch forms a legible public space network that offers new ways to live, work, and play within the city. JLP+D worked closely with landscape and urban designers to identify potential new real estate development opportunities that could organize around a vibrant new downtown public realm, and provide sustained funding support for parks operations and maintenance. JLP+D recommended locations for activating street and park edges with retail and other ground-level uses, taking into account market demand and other locational criteria.

Client: Lexington Downtown Development Authority
Image credit: SCAPE Landscape Architecture