PottsAndrew-WEB

Andrew S. Potts



Andrew Potts is a partner in the firm’s Community Development Finance practice where he structures and closes financing for historic preservation and other community-based development projects. He works with a diverse range of clients in a practice centered on the use of federal and state historic tax credits (HTCs), new markets tax credits (NMTCs), HUD programs, grants and conventional finance.

What do you focus on?

Getting projects done

I’ve always worked on the financing of community revitalization projects, like funding for the rehab of historic buildings and other developments in older parts of town, capitalizing community-based enterprises or paying for energy retrofitting and installation of onsite renewables. When I first started my practice, the U.S. capital markets considered these projects outliers. Today, they’re increasingly central to communities, developers and investors alike, but most still involve multiple financing sources and transaction participants. I simplify the complexities as much as possible and get the financing closed in a manner that paves the way for smooth completion, operations and, ultimately, unwind.

Working with a wide range of clients and projects

Experience teaches that resilience communities tend to be dense, walkable, mixed-income, mixed use and offer a range of social and cultural institutions. Helping to finance these communities means working with an equally diverse range of client types, asset classes and business models. My clients include for-profit and nonprofit developers, building lessors and lessees, as well as debt and equity providers and syndicators. I’ve also represented units of state and local government in exploring the opportunities and limitations of tax credit finance. My projects include both affordable and market-rate housing, hotels, community enterprises, theaters, cultural centers, higher education, medical and social services uses, office, retail and industrial developments.

Mainstreaming Sustainable Development

Achieving community revitalization at scale means mainstreaming sustainable development practices into existing tax, land use and financing systems. I was an active advisor on the Historic Tax Credit aspects of the landmark 2008 housing bill enacted by Congress, for which I was awarded the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy. I was among those who worked with HUD to secure a new policy facilitating the use of FHA mortgage insurance on syndicated HTC projects, and I served as Vice President of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition. More recently, I co-authored the Pocantico Call to Action on Climate Impacts and Cultural Heritage and served on the team that helped incorporate cultural heritage into the new United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and 2016–2036 New Urban Agenda.

What do you see on the horizon?

For years, sustainability has been a key lens through which development has been viewed. What’s changing is that communities are increasingly emphasizing the social dimensions of sustainability. At the same time, climate change and other forces are putting a premium on resilience and disaster risk reduction—factors the real estate industry will increasingly internalize as a result of consumer preference, underwriting demands and public incentives. Cultural resources will play a key role in this shifting paradigm, so I expect to see historic preservation-based community revitalization and for social entrepreneurship strategies to grow in importance. In light of shifting priorities at the federal level, much of this action will be led by the private and non-governmental sectors with support from state and local government levels—at least, for the foreseeable future.

Presentations

  • “Report from Quito: Update on Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat 3) and the Inclusion of Heritage in the UN New Urban Agenda,” International Scientific Committee on Historic Towns and Villages (CIVVIH) 2016 Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium, Seoul, Korea, November 15, 2016
  • “Culture on the Move: Sea Level Rise, Cultural Heritage and Climate Mobility,” Official Side Event (International National Trust Organization), 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), Marrakech, Morocco, November 10, 2016
  • “World Heritage & Water After Paris: Cultural Resources, Protected Areas and the 1.5 Degrees Imperative,” Official Side Event (Union of Concerned Scientists), 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), Marrakech, Morocco, November 9, 2016
  • “Cultural Heritage and Risk Preparedness,” UNESCO Pavilion at COP22, Marrakech Morocco, November 9, 2016
  • “Vive Alameda: Neighborhoods Capitalizing on Heritage for Urban Sustainability,” Official Habitat 3 Village event, Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat 3), Quito, Ecuador, October 20, 2016
  • “Leveraging Natural and Cultural Heritage to Improve Urban Livability and Resilience: SDG Target 11.4 and Beyond,” Official Side Event of the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat 3), Quito, Ecuador, October 20, 2016
  • “Cultural Heritage and Creativity as a Driver for Urban Social Cohesion, Inclusion and Equity,” Official Side Event of the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat 3), Quito, Ecuador, October 17, 2016
  • “Large Green Spaces and Urban Forests, Key Public Infrastructure for Equitable, Healthy and Sustainable Cities,” Official Side Event (World Urban Parks), Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat 3), Quito, Ecuador, October 17, 2016
  • “The Use of Taxation Laws to Promote the Conservation of Built Heritage,” Conference on Historical Perspective on Heritage Legislation: Balance Between Laws and Values, ICOMOS International Committee on Law, Administration and Finance, Tallinn, Estonia, October 13, 2016
  • “Connecting People to Nature and Culture, Marine Heritage through Special Places,” United States Pavilion, International Union for the Conservation of Nature 2016 World Conservation Congress, Honolulu, HI
  • “Developing Nature-Culture Professional Networks for Implementing the new UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Heritage Target,” International Union for the Conservation of Nature 2016 World Conservation Congress, Honolulu, HI, September 4, 2016
  • “Heritage and Climate Impacts: Creating Resilient Cities and Sites,” National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC) Forum 2016, Mobile, AL, July 28, 2016
  • “Integration of Sustainable Development into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention,” Official Side Event, 40th Session of the World Heritage Committee, Istanbul, Turkey, July 14, 2016
  • “Civil Society, the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and Sustainable Development,” World Heritage Watch International Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, July 10, 2016
  • Annual Lecture, The James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation, New York, NY, June 20, 2016
  • “Connecting Natural and Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Development,” Nature & Culture: Heritage in Context, 7th Annual Conference on Heritage Issues in Contemporary Society, Prague, Czech Republic, May 16, 2016
  • “International efforts at the Intersection of Cultural Heritage and Climate Change,” Keeping History Above Water Conference, Newport, RI, April 13, 2016
  • “Integrating Urban Design and Cultural Heritage: From SDGs to the New Urban Agenda,” 2016 National Planning Conference, American Planning Association, Phoenix, AZ, April 2, 2016
  • “Serious About Sendai: Culture Heritage and Disaster Risk Reduction,” Washington DC, March 10, 2016
  • “Heritage: Driver and Enable of Sustainability,” Panel at the 2015 ICOMOS General Assembly, Fukuoka, Japan, October 27, 2015
  • “Tax Incentives for Historic Rehabilitation: Historic or Landmark Properties Session,” Legal Issues in Museum Administration (LIMA) Conference, Washington DC, March 26, 2015

The U.S. is withdrawing from UNESCO—What happens now?

Artsy | October 13, 2017

Washington DC tax credit finance and syndication partner Andrew Potts, a former executive director of the United States National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, is quoted in this article about the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural organization, by the end of this year.

Contact

Andrew S. Potts

Partner

Washington, DC

Phone: 202-585-8337


Fax: 866-261-8275

Indiana University, J.D.

Indiana University, B.A.

District of Columbia

Andrew is a member of the Chicago and American bar associations (Affordable Housing and Real Property Section).

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