The LOCUS member spotlight highlights a LOCUS coalition member whose past work and dedication in the real estate sector advance smart growth principles and equitable development. For this member spotlight, LOCUS is excited to feature Steering Committee member David Grannis.
David Grannis is the CEO and President of pointC, a land use/transportation consulting firm. Before founding pointC, he served in local government as a planning deputy for a Los Angeles City Council person, founded and ran a non-profit education organization, and served as a consultant for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Serving on the LOCUS Steering Committee for 14 years and counting, David has played a critical and foundational role in driving smart growth in southern California.
The following is a brief excerpt from our Q&A with David:
Tell us about your work, and how you became engaged in smart growth and triple-bottom-line real estate development.
After 6 years in local government – doing some great things, including work on the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles – I started my consulting practice under the name Planning Company Associates (which in 2010 became pointC, LLC). We took on the management of large entitlement and master planning efforts, creating partnerships between local governments, local communities, and property owners. But our special focus was transportation…and no better place to focus on transportation than Los Angeles!
While not a developer, I have always been a passionate advocate for smart growth, ensuring that economics, environment, and equity underpin the work we do. And transportation — whether transit, active transportation, etc. — plays a key role in smart, urban, multimodal transportation.
What inspired you to join LOCUS?
When I heard of the vision for LOCUS — a connected network of committed real estate developers and professional practitioners in support of smart growth — it was a very easy “yes” when I was asked to join the LOCUS Steering Committee. That was 14 years ago.
Are there any recent or upcoming development projects you would like to share?
Moving forward into the 21st Century, I believe it is critical to reimagine – not throw away – our 20th Century infrastructure context. As such, a very old technology is playing a key role in zero emission transportation around the world: aerial transit. Whether in Mexico City, La Paz, Toulouse, Berlin, or Bogata, aerial transit plays either a strategic connecting or a starring role in these cities’ transportation networks as they move into the 21st Century.
And here in Los Angeles, I have led the effort to implement a state-of-the-art, high capacity, and zero emission aerial gondola system that connects our region’s transportation hub, Los Angeles Union Station, to Dodger Stadium and Elysian Park, LA’s oldest and second largest park. The Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit system will include a free Community Access Program for local residents and employees, provide free rides for baseball fans — encouraging much-expanded transit use — and finally connect public transportation to MLB’s most attended venue. You can learn more at laart.la.
Are there any particular connections or areas of expertise you’re interested in learning from LOCUS members to support your work?
I have benefited greatly from the experiences and expertise of my LOCUS colleagues over the years. Whether from Shannon Morgan’s tireless work in bringing housing affordability and smart growth to communities in Michigan, or Doug Landry’s shared passion with me for aerial transit, I am not wanting for a rich and rewarding experience every time our LOCUS Steering Committee convenes.
What has been your most engaging or memorable experience with LOCUS?
I have been provided the opportunity on four different occasions to be a speaker at one of our LOCUS summits held over the years. Each of these experiences energizes me in the opportunity to not only share the work, projects, programs, or initiatives within which I am engaged, but to hear from other people’s experiences, approaches, and, frankly, alignment of values in retrofitting our nation to provide an economical and environmentally superior living environment for all.
What are some of your favorite real estate or land use projects from over the years?
We have done significant transportation work for both the public and private sectors, including:
- For the Cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles, creating and implementing the funding strategy for the Alameda Corridor, a $2.2 billion goods movement corridor that issued the first federal loan for infrastructure, thus spawning TIFIA
- For the City of Pasadena, developing and executing the legislative strategy with then State Senator Adam Schiff to create the Gold Line Light Rail Construction Authority and design/build the project. To date, this Gold Line segment (13.9 miles) is the ONLY project in the LA Metro system delivered on time and on budget
- For The Walt Disney Company, developing and executing the transportation access and improvement strategy for what became Disney’s California Adventure and Disneyland.
- For The Hearst Corporation, developing the Transportation Enhancement Activities strategy that completed and leveraged the conservation of the 200,000+ acre Hearst Ranch in perpetuity, for the benefit of all Californians.
Connect with David
You can learn more about David and his work by visiting her firm’s website, pointcpartners.com.
With the growing opportunities arising from the federal policy space, there has never been a better time to join LOCUS. LOCUS members enjoy exclusive resources, visibility, business development, and unique leadership opportunities to guide the coalition’s strategy and influence in the real estate development sector.