Completed Projects

Jordan Downs Community Partners

Urban Design Center worked in partnership with Lambert Advisory, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office, the Department of Economic & Workforce Development and HACLA on behalf of the Jordan Downs Community Partners development entity, comprised of Bridge Housing and Michaels Development, to prepare a Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) response and transformation plan for the Jordan Downs Urban Village redevelopment project.  The scope of work included preparation of the proposal narratives, drafting and facilitating execution of letters of commitment from a broad network of anchor institutions and services providers for the creation of a comprehensive people strategy and assistance in assessing the neighborhood investment projects.  UDC prepared the $6.5 million State of California Strategic Growth Council Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program grant awarded to the Jordan Downs Urban Village project for its Phase 1a development.  UDC then prepared a $966,000 grant submittal to the City of Los Angeles Proposition K - LA for Kids grant program for the proposed 4-acre Net Zero Energy community park to be located in the Jordan Downs Urban Village.  

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles –

Development Consultant 2011 to 2015:  UDC served as the fund development consultant for LAFLA’s proposed new $21 million headquarters to be located at 1550 W. 8th Avenue @ Union in the Westlake area of Los Angeles.  UDC guided the Executive Team and Board of Directors through the process to obtain New Market Tax Credit financing and grants from the S. Mark Taper Foundation and W. M. Keck Foundation.  UDC also helped to manage the value engineering process to facilitate retaining the 4th Floor conference center and community garden in the project scope.  The groundbreaking for the new state-of-the-art green build headquarters will take place on January 19th, 2016.   


Previously, from 2006 to 2008, UDC served as the project manager, land-use and resource development consultant for LAFLA’s South LA office which included the conversion of a post WWII era concrete in place public library building and an adjacent house into new office spaces, a community atrium and a parking lot at 246 & 256 W. 70th Street.  UDC obtained the Parking Variance, Conditional-Use Permit and Mitigated Negative Declaration entitlements.  House & Robertson Architects, Inc. designed both buildings. 

1130 S. Hope St. Hotel, Los Angeles, CA


Urban Design Center (UDC) served as the entitlement consultant for the 1130 S. Hope Street project in partnership with Urban Strategy Group as the outreach consultant. This proposed project includes the renovation of a vacant 76 room, 3 story unreinforced masonry building into a 10 story, 44 guest room hotel featuring a large open air courtyard, restaurant, lobby bar, gallery space, conference/meeting room, and roof top bar with an open air pool deck.   
UDC managed the preparation and submittal of the entitlement findings and applications including the Master Land Use Application, the Environmental Assessment Forms, the Transfer Floor Area Ratio (TFAR) application, Parking Variance and Conditional Use Permit application for the sales of alcohol. UDC provided technical assistance to the architect for the development of the schematic plans and site analysis studies required for the application submittal.

UDC developed presentation materials for the community outreach and public hearing process. UDC worked collaboratively with the Los Angeles Planning Department’s Expedite Unit to facilitate the review of this project which lead to the Department changing its policy and agreeing to intake future TFAR applications through its expedite unit. The entitlement request was approved by the Zoning Administrator in November 2013.

Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles

Urban Design Center served as a consultant to the CRA South LA, Mid City and Wilshire Center Koreatown project areas for grant funded projects from 2005-2011.  UDC worked with CRA to identify and package proposals for submittal to local, state and federal grant programs and coordinate information for grant applications by and between city departments, community developers, community residents and neighborhood organizations.  

UDC developed the Proposition 1C applications for selected Infill Infrastructure and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects on behalf of the South LA Region and the Mid City Project Areas which garnered $14.6 million for transit oriented development improvements for the Crenshaw Boulevard Corridor from the 10 Freeway to 52nd Street.  UDC also prepared the 2009 MTA Call for Projects applications for the South LA and Mid City Crenshaw Corridor which yielded a $1.3 million grant to the Agency for transit capital work on Crenshaw Boulevard at the intersections of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Stocker St.  

UDC also served as a resource development consultant for the Vision Theatre & Manchester Jr. Arts Center on behalf of the Agency.   Scope of services included:  Preparation of the project budgets, timelines, creation of the fund development strategy, marketing plan and grant proposals and partnership management.  UDC prepared the $2.4 million CA Cultural Historical Endowment grant received by the Department of Cultural Affairs for the $22 million renovation of the Theater and facilitated the Area Planning Commission Height Exemption approved in July 2008 and the Crenshaw Corridor Specific Plan Design Review application approved in November 2008.  

From 2002-2003, on behalf of CRALA, UDC managed the transformation of the politically charged Model Cities Franklin Square project in Watts from rental housing into homeownership opportunities for 39 residents as envisioned by the late County of Los Angeles Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.  Tasks included management of the real estate homeownership transfer to the previous renters, management of escrow and title transactions, facilitation of the environmental assessment and bidding processes, development of the construction rehab budgets and negotiation of a city subsidized soft second loans.

Grand Hope Park Improvements

Grand Hope Park in downtown Los Angeles is planning improvements, using an award of City of Los Angeles Prop K funds, to update its lighting, improve drainage problems, improve its benches, install safety telephones, install wireless internet, and improve electrical capacity for community events.  Urban Design Center is assisting Grand Hope Park with planning the improvements and arranging the Prop K agreement with the City of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services

UDC was retained by LANHS in September, 2010 to assess the capacity of participating community development corporations with expertise in affordable rental housing development and to provide technical assistance on site and property analysis, proforma analysis and financial packaging for LANHS’s NSP2 contract.  Participants include Vermont Village Economic Development Corporation (VVEDC), Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) and Asian Alcohol Drug Abuse Program (AADAP).  Specific site and property analysis assistance includes reviewing the scope of rehabilitation needed to meet HUD requirements, reviewing the project pro forma for each proposed project, developing timelines for financing sources and assessing project feasibility including planning and land use issues.

Lambert Advisory, LLC

Urban Design Center and Lambert Advisory, LLC have formed a partnership to facilitate public/private funded economic development projects.  Lambert Advisory is a nationally and internationally recognized economic and community development advisory firm with significant experience in both the public and private sector and has established a practice dedicated specifically to public/private partnerships including funding identification/sourcing, negotiation, transaction structuring, evaluation and impact assessment.  

The partnership served as a consultant to the City of Miami Economic Development Fund (MEDF) to develop the business strategy, community impact analysis and investment plan for MEDF’s 2009 New Markets Tax Credits Application.  Work efforts included structuring the strategic outreach plan for the identification of potential qualified investments; establishing its operating procedures and technological infrastructure necessary to evaluate and track investor contributions and qualified investments; negotiating investor participation opportunities; and establishing compliance reporting procedures. 

Inner City Arts, Los Angeles –

Funding Development and Planning Consultant 2002 to 2006:   Urban Design Center assisted Inner-City Arts in procuring funding and entitlements for its beautiful, award-winning youth arts campus designed by Michael Maltzan in the heart of Skid Row, one of Los Angeles' most impoverished neighborhoods.  UDC secured a $1.24 million Murray Hayden Proposition 12 Urban Parks Act grant from the State of California and a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the City of Los Angeles to help complete the main campus building and the black box theatre. 

Institute for Maximum Human Potential (IMHP)

The Institute for Maximum Human Potential (IMHP) retained UDC in August 2011 to provide fund development and business development technical assistance as well as executive coaching for staff working with its Los Angeles Institute for Film Education (LIFE) program, Affordable Housing Recapture Initiative (AHRI), Family Movie Network and “A Place for Everyone” Music Therapy Program.  Technical assistance is focused on the development of proposals, budgets and program plans for government and corporate grants; the creation of a theme oriented marketing and co-branding campaign for the overall organization and each program and concept, business and partnership development designed to deepen the service delivery capability for each program.

City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks  

In 2005, 2007 and 2009, UDC was retained by the Department to prepare capital grant proposal responses to the City of Los Angeles Proposition K LA for Kids RFP for the Harvard Park Skate Park, Harvard Park Ball Fields, 109th Street Park Aquatic Center, the Venice Park Lighting and Graffiti Arts project, Daniels Field Football Stadium improvement project, Martin Luther King, Jr. Therapeutic Recreation Center, Valley Glen Community Park and Westside Neighborhood Park.  Scope included development of project description, demographic, area, operations and project readiness narratives.  Grant requests totaling $5 million for all 8 projects were successfully funded.  UCD also successfully secured a $184,500 State of California Parks & Recreation Habitat Conservation Fund grant in 2009 for the Department’s White Point Nature Preserve managed by the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy. 

Giant Steps Training Program, Inc.

Giant Steps Training Program, Inc., a state funded program providing services for persons with developmental disabilities, retained UDC from December 2010 to December 2011 to develop staff and board consensus around its business development strategies, conduct a fund development and needs/capacity assessment of each program, determine the management and operating procedures required for sustainable growth, assess the administrative structure/restructuring required to achieve its goals and to determine staff roles, responsibilities and accountability measures for success.  UDC developed business and marketing strategies for Giant Steps’ social enterprise venture, The Walk In Closet - - which offered retail and online skill development training for persons with developmental disabilities.

Broadway Federal Bank

UDC provided project management services for construction of the bank’s new branch on Crenshaw and Vernon.  UDC managed the construction bid and selection process; provided technical assistance to the architect for the development of design concepts; facilitated weekly architectural and construction team meetings, prepared updated schedules, developed proforma budgets, assisted in value engineering proposed improvements for cost effectiveness, developed project pay-draw requests, facilitated procurement of FFE and managed the design review approval process as required by the Crenshaw Corridor Specific Plan.  The project was completed in December, 2007.

Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools

UDC served as the Facilities Consultant for two of Alliance’s charter school sites:  A modular 100-student middle school on the campus of 112th St. Elementary School completed in September 2006 and a 500-student high school on Los Angeles Unified School District leased land at 17th & Georgia completed in January 2007.  UDC assisted Alliance in negotiating the terms of the ground lease issued by the District which served as one of the first lease agreement granted to a non-profit to develop on District owned land. UDC managed the entitlement and CEQA process, expedited the plan approval process with the City and State Department of Architecture, managed the bidding process, facilitated construction team meetings, prepared meeting notes and board reports, facilitated the approval of all paydraws and handled the project close-out.

Angels Gate Cultural Center

Urban Design Center served as the development consultant for the Angels Gate Cultural Center and Park 46 acre Master Planning project being facilitated by the Angels Gate Cultural Center.  Master Planning efforts included facilitation of staff, board and community input, preparation of the master plan narratives and action items, retention and management of sub-consultants and identification of funding for plan implementation. UDC provided organizational development, executive coaching and technical assistance to the executive director and board of directors as part of a program funded by the James Irvine Foundation.  UDC also garnered a 2007 $160,000 planning grant from the State of California Cultural Historical Endowment grant program for the master planning process.

City of Inglewood, Office of Business and Economic Development

Served as the Formation Feasibility Analysis Consultant for the Downtown Market Street Property Owners from December 2002 to December 2004.  Managed be business engagement and marketing process, developed educational materials and facilitated BID educational forums, assisted in developing its proposed programs and services, developed the assessment formula, developed the management district plan and managed the petition drive.

Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles – 2412 Griffith Avenue, Los Angeles 

Strategic Planning Consultant from 2000 to 2002:  Prepared the strategic plan to guide the church through the historic preservation of its 1926 church home designed by Paul Williams in collaboration with Norman Marsh.  UDC secured a $150,000 Getty Foundation grant to facilitate the architectural programming to guide the preservation efforts.  Once the $4 million historic preservation was complete.   UDC facilitated the constituent and community input meetings from 2010 to 2011 to guide the program activities of the renovated church so that it could better serve the growing diverse population in the surrounding neighborhood.


City of Los Angeles, Office of the City Clerk

Formation consultant for the creation of the Business Improvement District along the Jefferson Corridor from Western Avenue to Crenshaw Blvd in Los Angeles from May 1997 to June 1999. The BID was finalized and adopted by City Council in June, 1999.  Managed be business engagement and marketing process, developed educational materials and facilitated BID educational forums, assisted in developing its proposed programs and services, developed the assessment formula, developed the management district plan and managed the petition drive.  The Jefferson Corridor BID was the first in South Los Angeles.

Harbor City Harbor Gateway Boy & Girls Club – 1220 W. 256th Street, Harbor City, CA

1997 to 2001 – Fund Development Consultant and Project Manager:  UDC procured the parking variance and entitlements, facilitated selection and management of the development team and managed the grant and individual donor campaign for the renovation of a 12,000 sf manufacturing building into a 13,500 sf Club site with a multipurpose center, several learning centers, a computer lab, library, gymnasium with basketball court and a nutrition center.  UDC assisted the Club in raising $3.5 million including a $373,374 Proposition K LA for Kids Grant, a $1 million loan from the State of CA childcare financing program, a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant from the City of Los Angeles and private grants from the Parsons and Ahmanson Foundations.

Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative

In 1998, Sherri Franklin served as the Consensus planner for the development of the Vernon-Central Recognized Community Organization (RC0). The objective of the consensus planning was to assist the organization in developing its mission, goals, objectives, by-laws and strategic plan.  Funded through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  

City of Los Angeles, Community Development Department

Instrumental in the re-organization of the Coalition of Neighborhood Developers (CND) after the 1992 Civil Disturbance which lead to the creation of 10 neighborhood plans. Served as project leader for CND's contract with CDD for the preparation of the City's Federal Empowerment Zone Application from March to June 1994.  During an abbreviated period of time, coordinated the documentation of community conditions and assets, analysis of community plans, feasibility of potential development projects and input from community groups.  Assisted in developing $1 million dollars for collaborative community planning efforts. Consulting services funded through CDD.

Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles 

Development Director / Consultant from 1990 – 2004.  Worked in partnership with Executive Director Juanita Tate to form CCSCLA’s affordable housing, economic development and property management divisions. Served as the real estate broker and development consultant for its affordable housing, homeownership, retail and youth center development projects.  Secured funding totaling over $20 million for housing developments and over $5 million for community development projects.  Housing projects include:


Project:    Roberta Stephens Villas, South Los Angeles - 40 affordable rental units located on 27th and Central Avenue – Completed in 1992.  $5.7 million project funded by low-income tax credits, Los Angeles Housing Department, California Equity Fund, Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program Grant. Robert Stephens Villas was the first multifamily housing to be built in Southeast Los Angeles in over 40 years.


Project:   One Wilkins Place, South LA - 18 affordable rental units located on 46th and Central Avenue – Completed in 1994.  $3.2 million project with funding from low-income tax credits, Los Angeles Housing Department, California Equity Fund, Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program Grant.


Project:   Central Avenue Village Square, South Los Angeles - 45 affordable rental units located on 53rd and Central Avenue – Completed in 1995.  $7,100,000 in funding including low-income housing tax credits, Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Housing Department, California Equity Fund, Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program Grant.


Project:   Fourteen-Ten, South LA - Rehabilitated 12 affordable rental units - Completed in 1994. $750,000 developed with funding from Los Angeles Housing Department, American Savings Bank and Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program Grant.


Project:    Gwen Bolden Manor, South Los Angeles - 30 affordable rental units - Completed in 1997. $3,500,000 developed with funding from low-income housing tax credits, the Los Angeles Housing Department and Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program Grant.