Monday, March 28, 2011


March 25, 2011   For Immediate Release


The City of Hampton, Virginia, is the 2011 recipient of the Donald E. Hunter Excellence in Economic Development
Planning Award from the Economic Development Division of the American Planning Association (APA).

The City of Hampton’s Peninsula Town Center is a successful redevelopment of an enclosed mall into a vibrant
town center providing approximately 2,400 new jobs and significantly increasing the taxable sales base in
Hampton. Prior to its redevelopment, the former Coliseum Mall was inwardly focused and obsolete with
increased vacancies and declining investment. The City of Hampton, through its community planning process,
developed the Coliseum Central Master Plan and design guidelines that recommended fundamental changes to
the property’s configuration into appropriately-scaled urban blocks supporting mixed-use pedestrian-oriented
development. The commitment by the City of Hampton to reinvigorate its aging business district motivated the
mall owners to partner with a development team to transform the site from a deteriorating enclosed shopping
mall into a vibrant mixed-use town center serving as a regional destination.

The panel was impressed with the project’s quality, contribution to the community, and successful
implementation and results as well as the role of planning to bring about the redevelopment. The panel was
unanimous in its selection of the City of Hampton as the 2011 Award recipient.

The Excellence in Economic Development Planning Award, which is accompanied by a $1,000 grant, will be
formally given to the City of Hampton at the 2011 National Conference of the American Planning Association in
Boston during the Economic Development Division’s annual meeting and reception on April 11.

The panel also awarded two Honorable Mentions to the City of Irvine, California, and the Town of Marana,

City of Irvine, CA: “Irvine Business Complex Mixed/Use Vision Plan”: The Irvine Business Complex (IBC)
Residential/Mixed-Use Vision Plan and Overlay Zoning Code development standards were developed to facilitate
the evolution of a primarily office and industrial center (the IBC) to a fully mixed-use business and residential
community. The IBC Vision Plan, adopted as a new element in the City’s General Plan, represents policy direction
to create both a neighborhood and economic growth framework for the IBC. The IBC Vision Plan project
encourages more housing units in the same area as one of the City of Irvine’s two major job centers in the 2,800-
acre IBC, the largest employment center in Orange County. The new mix of land uses will further facilitate infill of
underutilized properties in the area. The panel appreciated the “non-traditional” approach to economic
development and was impressed with the plan’s originality, comprehensiveness and to a certain degree,
transferability. As suburban areas, particularly inner-ring suburbs, experience increasing infill pressures, this
approach to developing a complete “economic ecosystem” is likely to become more desirable. The approach
taken by the City of Irvine could serve as a model for other areas of the country. (Contact: Bill Jacobs, AICP,
Principal Planner, City of Irvine Community Development Department,, 949.724.6521.)

Town of Marana, AZ: “Marana Economic Roadmap”: The Marana Economic Roadmap is the Town’s first
strategic plan for economic development in its 34-year history. The Roadmap process was inclusive and focused
on the Town’s existing industry base, seeking to build supply chains and facilitate sustainable growth of major
employers. The Roadmap has been instrumental in the development and adoption of two incentive programs for
high-wage job creation in the town. The Roadmap process and programs directly led to the retention and
expansion of the Town’s largest manufacturer after potentially losing the company due to consolidation and
expansion of its worldwide facilities. The panel recognized the quality planning of this applicant as well as the
Roadmap’s comprehensiveness, transferability, and initial results. (Contact: Joshua H. Wright, Director of
Strategic Initiatives, Town of Marana,, 520. 382.1938.)

The awards committee consisted of members of the Economic Development Division of the APA: Julie Herlands,
Principal, TischlerBise (; Chair-Elect, EDD of the APA; Courtney Anderson Mailey, AICP,
Adjunct Faculty, Virginia Commonwealth University; Apprentice, Albemarle CiderWorks; former Regional
Community Development Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond; Della Rucker, AICP, CEcD, Principal, The
Wise Economy Workshop (; and James Stevens, Senior Associate, ConsultEcon
Management & Economic Insight (

The Hunter Economic Development Division of the APA provides an opportunity for APA members to join others
who share an interest in and responsibility on matters related to economic development. The mission of the
Economic Development Division is to advance the practice and state of the art of economic development by:
  • Increasing the understanding of economic development as a key element of public policy formulation at all levels of government;
  • Promoting economic development as a critical element of neighborhood community, regional, and national planning processes;
  • Disseminating materials and information about current economic development practice and theory to members of the division;
  • Assisting APA in positively influencing economic development policy; and
  • Promoting professional communication among members of the division through a variety of member services, including, but not limited to newsletters, web page, conference sessions, workshops, and other publications.
The Excellence in Economic Development Award is named for Donald E. Hunter, who passed away in late 2009.
He was a long time and very active member of the American Planning Association, always urging greater attention
for economic development planning. He was President of Hunter Interests Inc., an award-winning real estate
development and consulting firm based in Annapolis, Maryland. Don also served as a board member of the
International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the International Downtown Association (IDA). He was a
frequent speaker on real estate trends and development and financing techniques, and received recognitions and
many other national awards during his long career.

Awards Committee Chair Redevelopment Manager
Economic Development Division City of Hampton
American Planning Association Economic Development Dept.
c/o TischlerBise One Franklin Street, Suite 600
4701 Sangamore Road, Suite S240 Hampton, Virginia 23669
Bethesda, Maryland 20816 800.555.3930
301.320.6900 x15


  1. It is great to see areas that revitalize their problem areas and are able to produce something positive for the entire community. The area I live in recently town down an indoor shopping center and left the lot vacant. What alternatives would someone suggest rather than having the empty lot?

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