Experience

Barbara Sokoloff Associates offers a wide-range of services, drawing on the diverse experience of employees to create comprehensive coverage of all aspects of project development.

Housing Development

BSA has effectively secured financing for numerous housing developments in excess of $300 million producing over 1,500 units, and feasibility for another $60 million in the planning stages. BSA has developed programs, created financing packages, and been the project manager for numerous affordable housing initiatives. BSA has extensive experience in the areas of federal grants, subsidized housing, low income housing tax credit syndications, and state and federal historic tax credits to develop multi-family housing, SROs, manufactured housing, and single family units. BSA has consistently secured funding from the HUD Section 811 housing for disabled persons program and the HUD Section 202 housing for the elderly program. BSA also has experience in the development of market-rate apartments and condominiums.

Project Management

BSA has served as the project manager for over 40 developments throughout RI, providing overall development consulting services for all projects. Its services include but are not limited to oversight of site plan development, development plan approval, team coordination, construction oversight and project tracking. BSA is generally responsible for securing project financing. BSA has also prepared and coordinated permit applications to numerous city and state agencies.

Further, BSA provided consulting services to the Pawtucket Public Buildings Authority to oversee the $30,000,000 revenue bond program for improvements to the Pawtucket water supply system. This included management of engineering studies, as well as oversight of contracts with engineering, construction management and consultant firms.

Mixed Use and Non-residential Development

Barbara Sokoloff has been the development consultant for numerous commercial developments throughout RI and New England, including the 17 Gordon Avenue Business Incubator, which utilized multiple funding sources to create a green building for green enterprises.

BSA has also helped develop several mixed-use buildings, from the SWAP commercial and residential building at 500 Broad Street in Providence to the AS220 rehabilitation of the historic Dreyfus Hotel and Mercantile Block buildings, which now provide artist housing and commercial space in downtown Providence. To finance the development of these projects, BSA secured state and federal historic tax credits, New Markets Tax Credits, Community Development Block Grant money and funds from RI Housing, Federal Home Loan Bank and the City of Providence.

In addition, BSA was the development consultant for the adaptive reuse of the Shepard Building in downtown Providence. This included developing the best utilization of the building and creating financial scenarios, which ultimately resulted in the location of the URI Providence Campus.

Most recently, BSA helped the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence create a home and community center for its programs, rehabilitating a 16,000 SF building using state and federal historic tax credits and New Markets Tax Credits with the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation. BSA oversaw all aspects of project development, ranging from financing to design to construction to project close out.

Charter School Development

BSA provides charter school consulting services, assisting with charter development, Department of Education approvals, financing plans, start-up operations and facility development. BSA worked with YWCA Rhode Island to develop the Sheila C. Skip Nowell Leadership Academy, a virtual charter high school with four locations throughout Rhode Island. Nowell Leadership Academy targets pregnant and parenting teens and provides students access to wrap around services. The school was granted final approval by the Board of Regents in April 2013 and will open two of its four locations in Fall 2013. BSA provided guidance and assistance throughout all planning phases, including preparation of the charter school application, preparation of operating budgets and facility capital budgets, liaison with the RI Dept. of Education, and assistance in identifying and securing school locations.

BSA is working with Highlander Charter School to prepare a feasibility study, develop a financing plan, and provide project management services as the school prepares to construct a new facility to support its expansion from grades K-8 to PreK-12.

Housing Planning

BSA has provided housing planning and implementation services to non-profit entities, for profit corporations, cities, towns and the State of Rhode Island. This includes management consulting for non-profit housing and community development corporations, providing assessment and strategic planning. BSA developed the statewide affordable housing plan as well as local affordable housing plans for six RI communities. BSA also prepared the 2000 and 2005 Consolidated Plans for Providence and Cranston.

BSA has developed innovative programs that have won many competitive national grants and provided significant new dollars for RI programs. BSA developed and wrote a housing policy/strategic plan for the City of Providence that makes recommendations to re-engineer the delivery of housing services with major changes in housing policies. In addition, BSA developed a strategic plan for AIDS housing for the State of Rhode Island and analyzed homeless housing activities in RI, authoring a continuum of care for homeless housing submitted by the State of RI to HUD as the basis for activities.

Community Development and Master Planning

BSA has led many planning efforts, prepared zoning ordinances and assisted in the development of community regulations. It produced the Providence Harbor Management Plan; the Master Plans for Seekonk, MA, and Warwick, RI; the Downtown Revitalization Plans for East Greenwich and Warren, RI; and the Revitalization Plans for the Elmwood Neighborhood, Coventry Harris Mill Village and Columbia Heights. In addition, BSA participated in the master plans for Exeter, North Providence and Central Falls, RI. BSA received the Outstanding Plan in Rhode Island award from the American Planning Association for its work on the East Greenwich Revitalization Plan.

Also in East Greenwich, BSA prepared the Town of East Greenwich Mixed-Use Transit Oriented Development Master Plan as well as a conceptual design for King Street in the National Register Historic District, which integrates Main Street with the waterfront.

The Providence Preservation Society hired BSA to identify major planning issues for the Promenade Planning District, which runs from Providence Place Mall to Olneyville. The resulting report is intended to be a working document for use by the Providence Preservation Society to facilitate on-going discussion among Promenade District stakeholders.

Strategic Planning

BSA is a consultant to non-profit entities, cities, towns and the State of Rhode Island, providing planning and implementation services, management consulting, assessment and strategic planning.

BSA has prepared organizational assessments and strategic plans for a number of non-profit agencies and revitalization programs. The scope of the strategic plans has ranged from development of mission statements to the creation of work programs. Small towns such as East Greenwich and Warren have used this process to guide their efforts. The end result is a work program with a timetable, responsible parties and funding sources.

BSA has also conducted numerous focus groups as part of larger planning studies. BSA identified focus group participants; designed agendas; set up, conducted and summarized meetings; and incorporated resulting information into comprehensive final reports. Focus groups have been utilized by BSA for the Providence Housing Policy Report, East Greenwich Downtown Revitalization Plan, Strategic Plan for Housing for Persons with AIDS, Newport Marine Facilities Plan, Warren Downtown Revitalization Plan and Warwick-East Greenwich Bicycle Network.

Grant Procurement

BSA has secured grants from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Economic Development Administration (EDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Energy (DOE). It has also had success securing numerous state and local grants.