Margaret Sowell, CRE, has more than 39 years of experience with real estate and economic development, having served as a government official, private developer, and advisor to public agencies and private companies.
Ms. Sowell’s areas of specialization include:
- Market and financial analyses of real estate projects, including market-rate, affordable, and mixed-income housing developments
- Grantsmanship services for public agencies and non-profit organizations in obtaining and administering grants and loans
- Structuring public/private financing and joint venture development projects
- Providing assistance with projects involving economic development, community revitalization, neighborhood stabilization and redevelopment, and workforce housing development
Ms. Sowell worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for fifteen years, and was involved in the development and administration of numerous housing and community development programs. While at HUD, Ms. Sowell was a multifamily housing representative, budget analyst, community development specialist writing Community Development Block Grant regulations, and special assistant to the Under Secretary. She was the National Director of HUD’s Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) program from 1981 to 1984. Ms. Sowell received numerous performance awards at HUD including a Certificate of Merit and a Distinguished Service Award.
After leaving HUD, Ms. Sowell was a Vice President for Development with a Wilmington, Delaware development company. She had primary responsibility for development of a mixed-income residential project in Harrisburg, PA and a Radisson Hotel in Georgia that was a public-private development on property leased from the State of Georgia.
A real estate consultant since 1986 with Coopers & Lybrand LLP (now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), and Laventhol & Horwath, Ms. Sowell served as Director of Real Estate Advisory Services in the Philadelphia office of Coopers & Lybrand from 1991 through 1994. At both accounting firms Ms. Sowell prepared market and financial analyses for residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use development projects. She served as Senior Asset Manager for the analysis of a 204-property portfolio for the RTC. She negotiated several public-private development projects including mixed-income residential developments in Kansas City and several commercial developments in Philadelphia. She prepared financial feasibility analyses for several small business incubators, including technology-oriented incubators.
Since establishing offices of RES in 1995, Ms. Sowell has managed market and financial analysis engagements involving residential, commercial, industrial/flex, and mixed-use development projects. She has conducted highest and best use and tax-increment financing analyses for proposed mixed-use developments in Philadelphia. She has prepared market analyses for affordable, mixed income, and market rate rental and sales housing developments in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Lebanon, and Wilkes-Barre, PA; Camden, Newark, New Brunswick, Glassboro, and Mays Landing, NJ; Stamford, CT; Charlottesville, VA; Mobile, AL; and Cleveland, Ohio. She has provided expert testimony in litigation matters involving real estate analysis, and she has prepared economic impact analyses. Ms. Sowell has assisted real estate clients with strategic planning and analyses of non-performing and under-performing real estate projects.
Ms. Sowell has prepared community and neighborhood revitalization plans for communities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She prepared an economic development plan and proposed capital expenditure program for the City of Camden, NJ working with Public Financial Management and the State of New Jersey. She prepared portions of a Revitalization Plan for the Borough of Norristown, PA; a transit-oriented redevelopment plan for Philadelphia’s Germantown/Nicetown neighborhoods; and revitalization plans for commercial corridors in several Philadelphia neighborhoods and neighborhoods in communities in New Jersey. She directed the firm’s activities as market analysts on a consulting team preparing public housing viability assessments for HUD. She prepared analyses of the market for affordable, moderate income, and special needs housing for the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh and Baltimore Housing. As subcontractor to Sasaki, Ms. Sowell directed market analysis work for Phases II/III of the East Baltimore Development, Inc. redevelopment adjacent to Johns Hopkins Medical.
Ms. Sowell’s experience with the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) includes preparation of market analyses for proposed NSP-funded redevelopments in Wilkes-Barre and assistance with a proposed Luzerne County, PA application for NSP 2. During 2010 Ms. Sowell worked with The Urban Land Institute (ULI) on a HUD-funded technical assistance contract, assisting cities with their NSP1 and NSP2 grants. She presented programs on Eligible Costs and National Objectives at an NSP1 workshop for grantees and prepared NSP1 Needs Assessments in Paterson, NJ and Springfield, OH. She has directed on-site and remote technical assistance provided by RES in Paterson, NJ and Toledo, OH. Ms. Sowell has directed preparation of a revised Needs Assessment for Paterson using the HUD-prescribed format and she is working with Paterson on an ongoing basis to provide technical assistance with ongoing NSP1 activities and with preparation of a Substantial Amendment and Action Plan for the City’s NSP3 allocation.
Ms. Sowell holds the Counselor of Real Estate designation. She is a full member of ULI and served as a ULI Trustee from 1995 until 1998. Ms. Sowell wrote the market analysis chapter of a 1997 ULI publication, Developing Infill Housing in Inner City Neighborhoods, assisted with the ULI publication, “Ten Principles of Public-Private Partnerships” and served as reviewer of several other ULI publications. She has served as market analyst on four ULI Panel Advisory Services panels, has chaired two additional panels. She has been a member of several ULI councils, most recently the Inner City Council, and has served on ULI’s Program Committee and Research Committee. Ms. Sowell has been a speaker at conferences sponsored by ULI, the National Business Incubation Association, and other real estate organizations. She has been a member of the Fannie Mae Housing and Community Development Advisory Board for the Northeast Region and the Greater Germantown Housing Development Corporation. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.