Form-Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America

Anita Morrison

Founding Principal
Partners for Economic Solutions
349 Cedar Street, NW
Washington, DC 20012
FBCI Involvement

Anita Morrison founded Partners for Economic Solutions after more than 30 years of economic and development consulting.  During her career, Anita has specialized in public/private partnerships, real estate advisory services, redevelopment strategies and economic impact analysis.  From large cities to small towns, she applies her understanding of real estate economic fundamentals to questions of development, redevelopment and smart growth. She helps decision makers and the community to understand how economics and land planning interact.  Her market analysis helps to frame the scale, mix and pace of development.  Financial analysis evaluates project feasibility, quantifies any funding gap and required investment, and assesses the potential for long-term returns. Fiscal impact analysis forms the basis for realistic and creative funding strategies and allows decision makers to evaluate the potential returns and risks associated with their investment. Anita is adept at incorporating these economic realities into workable solutions.

Anita has a particular expertise in housing policy, markets and plans.  She recently completed an extensive affordable housing analysis and strategy for the Columbia Pike corridor in Arlington, VA. A long-time reservoir of affordable garden apartments, the Pike corridor is facing gentrification pressures and rent increases that threaten to price out many of the current residents.  Her financial analysis served as the basis for a requirement for inclusion of affordable housing in exchange for additional development density as part of a comprehensive strategy that built on national best practices and tools.  Anita led the Albany Housing Authority (AHA) Asset Management Strategy consultant team in 1999 and again in 2009, evaluating the AHA portfolio and potential for conversion to mixed-income housing and developing a strategic plan for the agency. In Atlanta’s Pittsburgh neighborhood, she prepared a detailed neighborhood revitalization strategy that focused first on addressing the extensive inventory of abandoned and foreclosed housing.

While working with Bay Area Economics (BAE), Anita worked with Torti Gallas and Partners to prepare a redevelopment strategy for Barry Farm based on detailed market and financial analyses. In Arlington County and Alexandria, VA, she analyzed potentials for inclusionary zoning.  Her extensive Consolidated Plan work has given her an in-depth understanding of strategies to address housing affordability and community development challenges.

Much of her work incorporates financial analysis.  Anita recently evaluated the potential market response to Washington, DC’s limit on building heights and the effect of the costs of high-rise development on financial performance in different parts of the city. She then estimated the potential economic and fiscal impacts of changing the Height of Buildings Act.  For the Montgomery County Planning Department, she modeled the potential returns from development under the new C-R zoning to the returns that developers could have achieved under existing zoning.

She has assisted and represented a number of development agencies with major public/private partnerships, including the District of Columbia Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, the Atlanta Development Authority, the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority, the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Orlando Community Redevelopment Agency, the Armed Forces Retirement Home – Washington and the City of Dallas.  In her 12 years as real estate advisor to the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, Anita quantified the potential returns from redevelopment as the basis for disposition strategies that encouraged residential, retail and arts development.

In all her work, practical implementation strategies tap available resources and forge collaborations and partnerships to achieve a common vision and joint goals.