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Non-profits bring new opportunity to redevelopment arena.

Careful planning and collaboration are key in creating successful joint ventures, according to the panelists discussing 'For-Profit and Not-for-Profit Collaboration in Redevelopment' at an educational conference presented by the Northern New Jersey District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI-NNJ) focused on creating successful redevelopment initiatives.

Over 200 professionals attended the conference held at the New Brunswick Hyatt from the development, public policy, legal and consulting arenas, among others, to learn more about this growing opportunity in redevelopment.

The conference featured opening remarks by former New Jersey Governor James Florio, who discussed the role public policy plays in addressing how and why for-profit and not-for-profit sectors should work together to advance community redevelopment, particularly in New Jerse's urban areas.

The event also featured two panel discussions moderated by William O'Dea of Elizabeth Development Company, the first of which included panelists Nancy Eberhardt, Esq from Pro Bono Partnership; Timothy Lizura, New Jersey Economic Development Authority; William Best, PNC Financial Services; Elnardo Webster, II, Esq.; and Sue Boyle, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The panel's focus was 'Considerations for the Partners' and tackled the ins and outs of the processes required in joint venture redevelopment, including tax credits, financing, community outreach, assemblage of leadership and remediation.

The second panel, entitled 'Joint Venture Case Studies' included panelists Alan Mallach, Fellow, National Housing Institute; Richard Barnhart, Pennrose Properties; and Patrick Morrisy, HANDS, Inc.

The panel reviewed several joint ventures and analyzed their effectiveness. Aspects that made successful partnerships included a project's value to the surrounding neighborhood, fiscal responsibility and all-around financial benefit to the community and development partners.

Those projects that had the greatest amount of planning and understanding among partners proved to be the most successful.

As an echo of the concerns raised by the first panel, the second panel examined situations where joint ventures failed and noted that such failures most often occur when the for-profits and the not-for-profits fail to clearly enumerate their expectations and responsibilities.

The panel also provided candid remarks on the usefulness and inadequacies of the existing array of incentive programs designed to encourage community development in urban areas.

"We are extremely pleased with not only the outstanding attendance at this event, but also the quality information and frank comments provided by our excellent panelists," commented Larry Jacobs, vice chair of ULI-NNJ.

"They offered valuable expertise with regard to the many considerations each party must make when engaging in this type of relationship. For-Profit developers are increasingly aware that there are advantages to be gained by working together with these Not-For-Profits, especially where community interests are at stake. Not-for-profits are realizing that in order to effectively pursue large-scale community development, they may need to partner with for-profits that bring a higher level of construction and financial expertise.

"At ULI, we run programs to encourage constructive dialogue among all the parties involved in urban development, and we want to see our audience leave with takeaway value.

"This program truly stressed that collaboration offers many benefits financing, public and political support, brownfields expertise, construction expertise and property management, but the collaborators need to know each other well and recognize each other's motivations."

This ULI event was co-sponsored by Housing & Community Development Network of N J, Regional Plan Association, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Society of Marketing and Professional Services and the Bloustein School of Planning at Rutgers University.

ULI--the Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute that is supported and directed by its members. Its mission is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land in order to enhance our total environment.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 14, 2006
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