Mary Beth Williams
Economic Development Specialization
Analyst Fellow at HR&A Advisors, Inc.
This was Mary Beth’s third fellowship with HR&A. She started with them in Dallas before coming to Carolina Planning, then moved to the Raleigh office during her first year in the program. This summer, she finally moved to their headquarters in New York City.
During her three fellowships at HR&A, she has supported analytical work for a wide variety of projects, including but not limited to an economic impact study of a proposed park expansion, a 20-year affordable housing plan, an industrial corridor redevelopment strategy, transaction structure negotiations for a transit-oriented development, an operations plan for a public recreational facility, a case study collection of retail revitalization policies, development advisory for a prominent downtown site, and numerous demographic, residential, commercial office, and hotel market analyses.
One of Mary Beth’s favorite projects she worked on at HR&A was an economic development strategy to revitalize a former industrial corridor in the Midwest. The corridor is a 4,000-acre river valley that is plagued with challenges – blight, frequent flooding, limited infrastructure access, and widespread brownfield contamination. Her team analyzed regional growth trends and conducted a robust analysis of existing conditions across the corridor to identify a shortlist of sites with the greatest opportunities for redevelopment. Finally, they conducted a residual land value analysis to compare the level of subsidy required to make development in the corridor feasible compared to competitive regions. All of this information was used to craft a strategic development plan for the corridor.
Working at HR&A has been an incredible learning opportunity for Mary Beth, who is passionate about urban development that creates vibrant public spaces and revitalizes lagging economies. As a real estate and economic development consulting firm, HR&A was the perfect place for her to apply her analytical skills to a diversity of meaningful projects that accomplish this goal.