Preservation as Revitalization
Historic Preservation can drive reinvestment in neighborhoods, protect architectural heritage, and raise property values...that last part gets tricky. Please join us for a discussion of what roles historic preservation can play in economic and community development.
Our panel for this month's Red Beans Roundtable:
Kristin Gisleson Palmer is a social entrepreneur and community activist with an emphasis on Housing and Transportation. She is founder and owner of The Gisleson Group that renovates and manages properties and provides consulting services on housing and transportation issues for not for profits and businesses. She is the former councilperson for New Orleans City Council District "C” where she was a leading advocate for the revitalization of New Orleans by investing in all of our culturally diverse neighborhoods. As the former Executive Director of Rebuilding Together New Orleans, she assisted hundreds of elderly, disabled, and low-income residents return to their homes post-Katrina. She is a strong advocate for improving the quality of life of all of our residents and has been a champion for blight reduction and economic development.
Melissa Lee is the Senior Advisor for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) responsible for funding and planning support to help revitalize commercial corridors throughout the City of New Orleans. Her previous experience includes serving as Managing Director of the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford-Stuyvesant (CIBS); a Brooklyn based nonprofit member association of two dozen organizations dedicated to enhancing a sustainable community as well as service in the New York City Mayor's Office of Comprehensive Neighborhood Economic Development (CNED) and the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LES BID) managing the Lower Manhattan Small Business and Workforce Retention Program aiding area small businesses in the September 11th recovery.
Neal Morris is founder and principal of the real estate development firm Redmellon, a mission driven firm that finances and rehabilitates historic structures. Redmellon specializes in large urban infill projects that preserve the fabric of historic neighborhoods while creating affordable housing for disadvantaged populations. He is a committed preservationist with multiple awards from the Louisiana Landmarks Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Secretary of HUD. He serves on the Board of the Preservation Resource Center in New Orleans. In 2009 Neal became a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and from 2011 - 2014 he was adjunct faculty at the Tulane University School of Architecture.
Casius Pealer is Director of Tulane’s Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development (MSRED) program and a Professor of Practice in the School of Architecture. He also maintains a separate consulting practice, Oystertree Consutling, supporting public agencies and nonprofit developers using green building as an additional tool to achieve long-term affordable housing solutions.Trained as an architect and a real estate attorney, he has over 17 years of community development experience, including four years as legal counsel for public housing authorities across the country implementing mixed-finance redevelopment projects. He has worked in the nonprofit sector as the first Director of Affordable Housing at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and in the public sector as Assistant General Counsel for Real Estate at the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA).