Technical Assistance Panels (TAPS) are part of ULI’s Advisory Services Program. ULI advisory services panels provide strategic advice to sponsors on complex land use and real estate development issues. The program links public agencies and nonprofit organizations to the knowledge and experience of ULI and its membership. Established in 1947, this fee-based program has completed over 500 panels, in 47 states, 12 countries, and 4 continents. The Advisory Services program has been successful due its comprehensive, pragmatic approach to solving land use challenges.
Learn about Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs)What is a TAP?
Each panel follows a proven process that begins with a conversation between ULI staff and the sponsor to frame the assignment. ULI then assembles an interdisciplinary panel of volunteers who spend up to a week on-site exploring the project, interviewing stakeholders, and making recommendations. Panels approach the assignment from all perspectives, including market potential, land use and design, financing and development strategies, and organizing and implementation.
ULI Baltimore began holding TAPs in 2008 as a way to bring together the public and private sector and to provide an outlet for our members to give back to the community. While initially TAPs were offered to private sector sponsors, it was soon realized that our members found it more rewarding to volunteer their time to aid an agency or a nonprofit organization (as opposed to a peer) and as a result were more willing to give their time and experience to the projects. We now only offer the service to public agencies and nonprofit organizations and have developed positive relationships as a result.
Each panel is comprised of eight to ten senior level ULI members who are respected in their field. This is a privilege of membership and nonmembers should be engaged only if the right expertise is not available within the membership. Typical panels include a chair, two developers, a market analyst, two to three people to make up a planning and design team, a member of the public sector or a nonprofit organization, a member of the Young Leaders Group, and someone with relevant niche experience depending upon the assignment (e.g. traffic engineer.) Members volunteer their time to participate in the panel but are compensated for expenses incurred (e.g. parking fees.)
Upon Completion of the TAP, the sponsor is left with a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the panel’s recommendations. The PowerPoint is completed onsite during the last hour of the panel and includes renderings that were drawn on site. Sponsors are given the PowerPoint so that they have the recommendations in hand and something to share with the community over the course of the six to eight weeks that it takes to complete the written report.
The written report is drafted by ULI Baltimore district and commented on by both panel members and the sponsor. It can take up to eight weeks to complete the written report because of all the parties that need to sign off on the draft prior to it going to print. The TAP reports are a product of the Urban Land Institute, and only ULI shall control the content of the report. Prior to production of the report a Draft is typically shared with the client to review. The ULI District and the sponsor shall cooperatively review the contents of the report. However, ULI has final say in the content and format of the ULI TAP Report. Once complete, the report is saved as pdf and provided to the sponsor in electronic format. Ten hard copies of the report are also sent to the sponsor.
For more information on Technical Assistance Panels, please contact:
Lisa Norris, Senior Director, Lisa.Norris@uli.org