The Design Team

Current Phase: June 2018

Piedmont Housing Alliance is grateful to all of the Friendship Court residents who participated in our recent survey efforts.

After several months of speaking with residents either at community dinners, group courtyard conversations or door-to-door conversations, we are glad to report that we have now completed the survey process. We have learned a lot from the residents and this feedback will help inform our plans for the redevelopment of Friendship Court and its future.

During the survey process, we asked residents many questions on these three areas: housing types, open spaces, and early childhood education. In reviewing the results, we have put together a one-page document summarizing those details.

We also plan to continue gathering feedback throughout the redevelopment process from the two leadership groups that formed a few years ago, the Friendship Court Advisory Committee, a team of nine residents elected by their neighbors and six members of the at-large community, and the Youth Leadership Team.

Piedmont Housing Alliance is committed to deepening and expanding meaningful relationships and leadership opportunities within the Friendship Court community to better serve the residents that live there and we look forward to sending out more updates on the redevelopment.

Design Team

Piedmont Housing Alliance has sought and attracted a world-class team of community development experts to work with us and with the community on this important project. The proposed team of consultants are nationally and internationally recognized, award-winning experts in community engagement, affordable housing, urban planning, housing finance, architecture and design.

ADVISORY COMMITTEE: NINE Residents and six community members

The Friendship Court Advisory Committee  was formed in February of 2016 with the goal of providing guidance to Piedmont Housing Alliance on the redevelopment in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life. The committee consists of a team of nine residents elected by their neighbors and six members of the at-large community.

The nine Friendship Court resident committee members are Angela Brooks, Sheri Hopper, Crystal Johnson, Zafar Kahn, Betty Lowry, Tyquan Mayo, Daemond Nowlin, Yolonda Ross and Tamara Wright and the six other members are Bill Edgerton, Kathy Galvin, Myrtle Houchens, Sarah McLean, Mike Murphy and Kevin White.

Architect: Grimm and Parker





Grimm and Parker is a 44-year-old firm with offices in Charlottesville and Tysons, Virginia and Calverton, Maryland.  The firm has specialized in mixed-use and mixed-income residential structures, parks, and community spaces.

Site Engineer: Timmons Group







Timmons Group is a prominent local engineering firm with 11 Mid-Atlantic offices, including a local office here in Charlottesville. Craig Kotarski, project manager, has been advising Stantec, design team consultant, during the Master Plan process. He has been providing invaluable local insight and expertise, knows the project well, and will serve as the engineering project manager. Craig was recently selected by Engineering News Record MidAtlantic as a “Top Young Professional” for 2015, selected from among hundreds of individuals across the region and the only nominee selected from Central Virginia.

Liz Ogbu, Founder and Principal, Studio O

Liz Ogbu Portrait

Liz Ogbu, Founder + Principal of Studio O, is an architect and social innovation
strategist trained at Wellesley College and the Harvard School of Design who
consults on projects throughout the global south – in Africa and South America
– and throughout the United States, as she says, “translating the desires of the
community into design.” She has worked on projects in London, England, Nairobi, Kenya, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. She has collaborated with a variety of organizations from international agencies like the UN to small social enterprises like Jacaranda Health on various projects globally. Getting Liz to work with us is very exciting. She is warm and engaging, she’s done great work around the world, and she is absolutely brilliant.

Marc Norman, Loeb Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Marc Norman has a master’s degree in planning from UCLA and has worked
on many sides of the development process. He developed housing as project
manager at Skid Row Housing Trust in Los Angeles, structured financing for mixed finance, affordable housing in partnership with development agencies throughout the country as Managing Director at Duvernay+Brooks and financed development deals, non-profit developers and intermediaries as a Vice President at Deutsche Bank. He recently completed a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard School of Design and is in private practice. Marc will help us to turn the vision into one that is financially sound and sustainable over the long run. Marc is a great guy. I hope that you will have a chance to meet him.