Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation
The firm served as a strategic advisor to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC). HR&A worked with the BBPDC to translate its vision into critical policy and strategic decisions. We procured and managed the BBPDC’s team of master planners, counsel, and other consultants, and managed stakeholder outreach to the project’s numerous constituencies, including local, city, and state officials and diverse interest groups. As part of its role as manager of the pre-development process on behalf of the board, HR&A also created a funding plan so that the park's operating costs are sustained by whatever commercial development is located on the site.
The City of Los Angeles
For the City Administrative Officer, HR&A prepared an analysis of the public service cost impacts on the City of Los Angeles if proposals for the San Fernando Valley and the Hollywood area were to secede from Los Angeles. HR&A’s analysis included a review of workload indicators and actual expenditures in 38 city departments and other operating units, review and commentary on service cost estimates prepared previously by city staff, and by others for the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO); and public testimony comparing the HR&A analyses with the other estimates before the Los Angeles City Council and LAFCO. The proposal was eventually defeated at the polls.
For three years, HR&A has led the downtown development efforts for the City of Columbus, Ohio as its development manager. HR&A secured substantial funding from both public and private sectors for a planned development of a $250 million mixed-use project. The area is slated to include a riverfront park, an arts district, a baseball stadium, and a redesign of the Lazarus building and the city’s amphitheatre. HR&A raised $10 million from private industries and secured an additional $10 million per year for ten years from the city. HR&A maintained project schedules, obtained major financing, coordinated efforts between the mayor’s office and the development team, and was responsible for all public interface, including obtaining public approvals.
For the Oneida County EDGE, HR&A developed a regional economic development plan, incorporating the area's major markets including agriculture, national defense, and manufacturing. As part of a team of consultants, HR&A was responsible for advancing the plan’s implementation strategy including recommended finance, management and marketing mechanisms. In addition to performing technical tasks and analyses, HR&A supervised the community outreach process, conducted focus groups and convened a major regional economic summit.
Fresh Kills Master Plan
HR&A serves as the community outreach, financial and stewardship planning consultant on the master planning team led by Field Operations for the 2,200-acre former landfill site in Staten Island known as Fresh Kills. HR&A is leading the team’s comprehensive public outreach process which includes the planning and facilitation of over 30 individual interviews, four major community charrettes and three public meetings throughout the master planning process. HR&A is developing financial projections and budgets for the capital and operating costs of the park’s development scenarios. HR&A is also developing stewardship and management models for the eventual operation of the park. The master plan is scheduled to be completed in late 2005.
The Hollywood Economic Alliance
HR&A prepared an assessment of local industry business “clusters” and assisted business owners in formulating policies and strategies to assist in the retention and expansion of area entertainment-related businesses. HR&A guided commercial property and business owners through the initial stages of forming a Media District Business Improvement District (BID) in order to retain the film and television post-production industry in the southwest section of Hollywood. HR&A conducted research and analysis to assist the group’s leadership in determining the appropriate boundaries for a BID and a potential service package. The firm then produced and facilitated a well-attended half-day public workshop for business and property owners, community service organizations and political leaders to discuss the relative merits of a BID and the services it could sponsor. The BID was later established under the City of Los Angeles BID regulations.New York State Energy Research and Development Authority — Loan
HR&A developed the New York Energy $martSM Loan Fund, which provides reduced-interest loans to customers of New York State utility companies for energy efficient and renewable improvements. As the lead consultant on this project, HR&A held focus groups with lenders throughout New York State to test the market feasibility of the Loan Fund, developed program guidelines, policy and procedures manuals, and simplified application forms for borrowers and lenders. After completing the program design, HR&A managed outreach and marketing of the Loan Fund among lenders, borrowers, and contractors in order to commit the $10 million in funds available for this program. The New York Energy $martSM Loan Fund has been commended by the U.S. Department of Energy as an outstanding example of a state-sponsored energy efficiency program.
Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)
For the Real Estate Board of New York, HR&A was retained to provide recommendations for alternatives to the current tax assessment practices of the City of New York. These alternatives responded to concerns about the integrity of a system that raises a substantial sum each year, representing a large percentage of the city’s general fund. HR&A conducted comparative analysis of tax assessment practices in other cities, as well as an in-depth review of the city’s own property tax assessment process. The resulting recommendations ensured that the improved property tax assessment system would treat property owners and their tenants with timely, fair and reasonable valuations.