Anita Morrison, Founding Principal

anitaanitaAnita 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 decisions 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.

While working with other consulting firms, 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. She evaluated development team proposals for a variety of projects, focusing on the financial feasibility of their proposals and the resulting return to the Corporation. This highly successful endeavor remade the face of “America’s Main Street”, attracting $1.7 billion in private investment.

Her redevelopment planning experience, while at another consulting firm, encompasses large and small business districts, corridors and neighborhoods, including:

  • Washington, DC’s Georgia Avenue
  • Landover Gateway in Prince George’s County, MD
  • The Crescent District in Leesburg, VA
  • West Savannah neighborhood, GA
  • Norfolk, VA’s Park Place neighborhood

Anita has a particular expertise in housing policy, markets and plans. Her work at other consulting firms included detailed financial modeling. She modeled the financial implications of requiring commercial developments in Washington, DC to contribute to the cost of developing affordable housing. In Pinellas County, FL and 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.

In her economic development practice, Anita focuses on entrepreneurial economies and technology-driven opportunities. She helps communities build from the ground up, using local talent and resources to create a sustainable economy not dependent on attraction of industry from outside the area. While a Principal at another consulting firm, she helped develop program guidelines and legislation for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s SmartZones program that emphasizes collaborations between the state’s universities and cities. Anita has evaluated market potentials and recommended development strategies for more than a dozen research and technology parks, including the Colorado Science+Technology Park at Fitzsimons, the University Research Park in Madison, WI, the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, the University of Louisville’s new Shelby Campus and research campus development at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. In related assignments with large and small universities, she has developed strategies to leverage University research and workforce development to support local and regional economic growth.

Her military base reuse strategies combine economic development initiatives to create replacement jobs with strategies to reuse the base’s real estate assets to enhance the community, create jobs and generate tax revenues. While working for another consulting firm, Anita prepared numerous financial plans for the Naval Ordnance Station, Louisville, Newark Air Force Base, Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, the Watertown Arsenal and the David Taylor Research Center, she generated detailed financial plans, weaving together costs, revenues and funding into comprehensive business plans as the basis for conveyance from the military to the local community.

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