Housing and Historical Restoration: National Expert Gives Insights on CR. Development


Volume 2, Number 12: April 30, 1997

MAHP in a Minute readers are invited to join us and Mayor Lee Clancey in the MAHP boardroom Friday May 9th at 7:30 A.M. to hear from nationally recognized housing expert Donovan Rypkema. Mr. Rypkema is recognized as an industry leader in the economics of preserving historic structures. Since 1983 he has provided ongoing consulting services to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Main Street Center. One recent accomplishment has been the completion of a 3 year demonstration project, revitalizing commercial neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Detroit and Miami Beach.

Donovan Rypkema hold a Masters degree in Science in Historic Preservation from the Columbia University School of Architecture. As founder of the Real Estate Services Group (now located in Washington DC), he has worked throughout the United States to facilitate the restoration of historic landmarks as one harmonious element in a larger overall plan for community and economic development. Working with client communities nationwide, Mr. Rypkema and the Real Estate Services Group has advised on the feasibility of specific projects, prevailing market conditions, revitalization of downtownÌs and neighborhood commercial centers and the rehabilitation of historic structures. Mr. Rypkema has also led workshops on economic and historical revitalization for organizations like the Urban Land Institute, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, American Planning Association, American Youth Hostels, the California Mutual Association, the Wisconsin Bankers’ Association, The South Carolina Downtown Development Association, the New York City Historic Districts Council and dozens of other national, statewide and local organizations.

Mr. Rypkema will be appearing at two events. The first will be a continental breakfast here at the MAHP boardroom (701 Center Point Rd NE) on Friday May 9th at 7:30 A.M.; we will discuss development of Cedar Rapids’ south side area, and the Osada project. Your presence and participation is welcome. This event is FREE, but please RSVP your attendance no later than Tuesday May 6th (our telephone number is 365-3501).

The second event will be a luncheon and presentation at the Grand Ballroom of the Collins Plaza Hotel (1200 Collins Rd NE), and is sponsored by Brucemore (a National Trust Property). Titled “The Economics of Historic Preservation”, attendance costs $20 per ticket before May 1st and $25 per ticket after May 1st. Payment should be made by check (payable to Brucemore, Inc.) and mailed to: Brucemore, 2160 Linden Drive SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402. For further information on this Collins Plaza event, contact Brucemore at 362-7375.

As someone who has a national perspective and prominence in housing and economic development, Mr. Rypkema offers a unique perspective that can surely be instructive as we move forward with our own Neighborhood Living Initiative and other projects. We look forward to seeing you at both events and learning together some of the strategies that will reinvigorate our communities.