Let’s Build Around Light Rail Luncheon speaker promises to be an exciting talk

CMT is very excited to welcome Katherine Aguilar Perez, our keynote speaker, for the Let’s Build Around Light Rail Lunch next week.  After having several discussions with her, I think she is going to be a GREAT addition to the current dialogue going on right now in the region with regards to building around transit and all the TOD studies underway.  She has worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors to bring development to transit.

Ms. Perez is currently a partner with Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors LLC (ELP Advisors) which provides integrated solutions to public agencies, foundations, business associations and other stakeholders seeking to grow thriving, healthy and vibrant communities.

She served most recently as the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles District Council (ULI LA) prior to co-founding ELP Advisors LLC.  With her diverse background in private real estate development, transportation policy and urban planning, she has emerged as one of the most articulate and credible advocates promoting the responsible use of land and transportation.

Before heading up ULI LA, Ms. Perez was the Vice President of Development for Forest City Development where she focused on transit oriented development and mixed use projects in emerging markets.  Prior to joining Forest City, Ms. Perez was the co-founder and Executive Director of the Transportation and Land Use Collaborative (TLUC) of Southern California, a nationally recognized non-profit that promotes greater civic involvement in planning and development.

In August 2009, Ms. Perez was appointed to the California Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission by Secretary of Business, Transportation & Housing Dale Bonner.  She serves on the Advisory Board of the US High Speed Rail Association, the only organization in the United States focused entirely on advancing a state of the art national high speed rail network across the country.

Ms. Perez has been interviewed for the CNN Future of Cities series focused on “How Los Angeles May Look in The Future.” She was identified by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Influential Hispanics” in the U.S.  Ms. Perez has also been interviewed by Los Angeles Business Journal, National Public Radio, PBS, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Weekly, Wall Street Journal, Urban Land Magazine, The Daily Commerce, and Swiss TV.

I think this quote from Ms. Perez  from the latest  Real Estate Quarterly about building around light rail sums it up – “The opportunities are tremendous because of demographics and the market,” she said. “Every single  transit-oriented development is unique because it is within its own built environment.”  Let’s hope this message and the others she presents helps us to move forward around light rail in St. Louis!

Here are some recent articles that might pique your interest prior to the lunch:

Light Rail Trains Carry Development in Pasadena

Los Angeles Business Journal Excerpts