About UACD

Every community has the potential to thrive, provided the dynamic combination of economic opportunity and a diversity of people, uses, and activities.

Our Mission

Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, Urban Action Community Development LLC (UACD) is a seasoned financier of complex, catalytic projects located in primarily urban low-income communities (LICs). UACD targets historically under-resourced areas and implements strategic reinvestment opportunities that create jobs, businesses and quality services while driving opportunity into disinvested neighborhoods. UACD’s investment thesis is simple – we focus on the nexus between (1) market driven jobs, business and investment in university anchored innovation districts and (2) comprehensive neighborhood transformation of adjacent deeply distressed communities. By prioritizing projects within comprehensive neighborhood transformation efforts supported by private and institutional demand and aiming for a shared prosperity, UACD assures the long-term success of its projects while maximizing catalytic private investment.

Focus

Fresh Food Access
Health
Innovation
Quality Jobs

Geography

National
Urban
50% Underserved States

Transaction Type

Real Estate

UACD is a Baltimore-based, national Community Development Entity (CDE), dedicated to neighborhood transformation. Since 2003, UACD has been awarded $288MM in federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) and has deployed those proceeds into distressed, low-income communities helping to create over 70 new businesses, 185 new housing units, 6,247 permanent jobs and 6,962 construction jobs


Meet The Team

UACD’s management team has developed and financed over $4 billion worth of real estate transactions in the last 35 years.

Management

Bill Struever

President

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Tabitha Atkins

Vice President

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Joseph Summers

Director of Investment Services

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Cobber Eccles

Director of Asset Management

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Frances Kern Mennone

Project Manager

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Bill Struever

President

Nationally prominent as a leader in large scale urban mixed-use development, Carl (Bill) Struever has 40 years’ experience directing complex construction and real estate development projects primarily in low-income communities. Bill was the driving force behind trend-setting comprehensive neighborhood transformation in cities across nine states and has successfully put over 10MM SF of derelict buildings back into productive economic use. His iconic projects on the Baltimore waterfront, downtown and throughout its neighborhoods are an important catalyst to rebuilding the city’s economy. An advocate of the Jim Rouse mantra that “doing good is good business” and an evangelist for “the triple bottom line”, Bill leads UACD in investing in projects that deliver both economic and social impact. He’s served as President of the Downtown Partnership, Chair of the Baltimore Metropolitan Private Industry Council, and Vice Chair of the Baltimore Board of School Commissioners. Mr. Struever is currently on the Enterprise Foundation Leadership Council, the University of Maryland Foundation Board, the Waterfront Partnership and the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance. He has won many awards including “Outstanding Business Volunteer” from President Reagan, Master Entrepreneur of the Year, and CEO of the Year from Smart CEO Magazine and Outstanding Business Leader from Baltimore Business. Mr. Struever received his Bachelor of Arts in Urban Anthropology from Brown University.

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Tabitha Atkins

Vice President

Tabitha Atkins directs UACD’s daily operations and actively engages the Advisory Board to promote ongoing collaboration in UACD’s investment activities. Tabitha develops UACD’s project pipeline, evaluates and visits potential investments, and manages the closing of NMTC transactions. Ms. Atkins supports the Financial Advisory Department in securing NMTCs for nonprofits and developers.

Prior to joining UACD/Cross Street Partners, Tabitha was the VP of Community Development for City First Bank of DC, whereby she managed programs and relationships with strategic partners; provided data analysis and reporting for the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activity; and assisted with underwriting and asset management for its NMTC portfolio. As the National Trust Community Investment Corporation’s New Markets Program Manager, Tabitha provided programmatic and IRS compliance, asset management and investor reporting, and negotiated Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) for the adapted reuse of historic real estate projects throughout the country. Tabitha has also held positions with the Opportunity Finance Network and the CDFI Fund.

Tabitha has a MBA from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s of Public Policy and Administration from Jackson State University.

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Joseph Summers

Director of Investment Services

Joseph (Joe) Summers, Director of Investment Services, is responsible for the management of UACD’s investments and for the development of structures and financing packages for NMTC projects. Joe has 30 years of experience in financial and real estate markets, including projects in low-income communities. Joe directs UACD’s investment strategy, providing a mix of low-cost, flexible equity and low-interest subordinate debt with equity-like features to mixed-use urban redevelopment projects, minimizing required cash outlays and enhancing both the project’s overall viability and its ability to provide financial incentives to prospective tenants.  He is seasoned in raising and deploying capital and has raised more than $500MM in capital from profit-motivated investors, as well as governmental and philanthropic sources. Joe is widely recognized as a guru of creative public private financing, having closed financing on over $1 BB of debt and equity, often requiring a careful mix of HTCs, CDBG, Brownfield, TIF and other resources. Joe leads the finance advisory services at Cross Street Partners and has a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Baltimore.

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Cobber Eccles

Director of Asset Management

Charles (Cobber) Eccles is responsible for property, asset and risk management for all operating properties managed by UACD. Cobber has over 40 years of experience in construction and real estate development, and over the decades has become an expert in handling complicated urban projects, often combining mixed-use, historic rehabilitation and brownfield remediation, all against a backdrop of multiple financing sources. Today, Cobber is a sought-after advisor for new and emerging construction companies and property owners, and currently serves in project executive capacity for Cross Street Partners, LLC. Civically, Cobber is an ex-President of the Board of Directors of Community Housing Associates, a not-for-profit organization producing housing within residential communities for the mentally ill who have emerged from state institutions. Cobber has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and History from Brown University.

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Frances Kern Mennone

Project Manager

A seasoned leader with rich experience managing organizational stakeholders, Frances is recognized for strategically building ideas and developments of significance. She has a reputation for solving problems for large-scale projects that are challenging and complex and that involve numerous, often competing interests. She works tirelessly at building relationships and connecting project partners with the right entities to ensure success. Her passion runs deep and defines the way she
approaches every project.

A specialized project strategist who drives organizational objectives and goals to completion, Frances has a proven record for taking new public private partnerships from nascent concepts to successful realities. Her strengths include resourcing creative funding such as New Market Tax Credits and PACE financing.

At Cross Street Partners (CSP), Frances manages the financing at the Dayton Arcade in Ohio. Bruce Katz, a leader, in urban renovation, referred to the Dayton Arcade project as “The Most Transformational project in the United States” in 2019. This was further punctuated by the Dayton Business Courier when they identified Frances as “the muscle” in the Arcade’s success with regard to the to her role in closing the immensely complicated financial closing with over twenty-five sources of funds.

Frances also works with CSP’s Financial Advisory group to help third-party projects strengthen their capital stacks. CSP’s New Market Tax Credit Community Development Entity, Urban Action Community Development team deploys allocation nationwide to meaningful projects. Frances works on the UACD team to source, vet and close projects.

Prior to joining Cross Street Partners, Frances was a consultant with Cross Street Partners through FKM, the consultancy firm she founded. Notably she was also a member of the team that tackled the early stages of the redevelopment of Champion Paper in Hamilton, Ohio. This adaptive reuse project will be the site of the largest indoor sports complex in the United States. FKM’s projects included layering specialized finance into developments already underway, sourcing new market tax credits, compiling public private financing for recreational trail networks and riverfront development.

Frances earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati. She is Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Leadership alumni. She has served as an officer of the Board of the United States Rowing Association prior to the Rio Olympic Games. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of finance and complex projects. When not working she enjoys family time with her two boys.

Advisory Board

Joycelyn Johnson China Boak Terrell Mike Posko Deborah Flateman Paul Brophy Benjamin Cirka John Leith-Tetrault Richard Baron Anne DeGroot
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Joycelyn Johnson

Community Relations Coordinator, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Joycelyn Johnson serves as the Community Relations Coordinator for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for Graduate Medical Education. She previously served as an elected representative on the Winston-Salem City Council for the East Ward from 1993 to 2009, and is a former President of the North Carolina League of Municipalities. She chaired the Piedmont Triad Research Park’s Community Advisory Board from its inception in 2004 until 2011.

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China Boak Terrell

CEO, American Communities Trust

China Boak Terrell is the CEO of American Communities Trust (ACT), a national community development partner dedicated to “building social impact” in urban and low-income communities (LICs). China has more than 13 years’ experience in the private and public sectors, as a corporate lawyer leading multi-million dollar transactions; as a business developer; as a liaison and advisor to agency heads, elected officials, and corporate leadership team members; and as General Counsel for the District of Columbia’s legislative committee on human services.

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Mike Posko

CEO, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake

Michael (Mike) Posko serves as the CEO at Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes. Mike’s career encompasses over thirty years of supervisory and management experience, and his background is diverse, having worked in government, and in the public and private sector industries of security and defense, finance, retail, real estate development, and construction.

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Deborah Flateman

Immediate Past CEO and President, Maryland Food Bank

Deborah Flateman is the immediate past CEO & President of the Maryland Food Bank, a nonprofit hunger-relief organization that distributes more than 140,000 meals per day – nearly 44 meals annually – to individuals and families in need. During Deborah’s tenure from 2007 through 2015, the Maryland Food Bank redefined its mission, conducted a hunger gap analysis, improved the quality and nutritional content of its inventory, and more than quintupled food distribution to hungry families in need.

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Paul Brophy

Principal, Brophy & Reilly LLC

Paul C. Brophy is a principal with Brophy & Reilly LLC, a consulting firm specializing in economic development, community development, and the management of complex urban redevelopment projects. One of Mr. Brophy’s specialties is the improvement of older industrial cities and the neighborhoods within them, including the use of anchor institutions as economic engines. He is also a Senior Advisor to Enterprise Community Partners and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University.

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Benjamin Cirka

President, Community Hospitality Healthcare Services CDE

Ben Cirka is Executive Director of CHHS, a CDE focused in financing community-based healthcare facilities in low-income communities, and providing financial counseling to assist their borrowers. He has been directly involved with over $600MM of NMTC financing and over $1B in total project financing, providing neighborhood redevelopment, historic building preservation, and affordable housing throughout the United States.

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John Leith-Tetrault

Founder and Public Policy Advisor, National Trust Community Investment Corporation

John Leith-Tetrault is the immediate past president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC), and continues to serve in a public policy advisory capacity. He has over 40 years of experience in community development financing, banking, community organizing, historic preservation, training and organizational development. He currently serves on the board of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition and chairs the Historic Tax Credit Coalition.

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Richard Baron

Board Chair, Urban Strategies

Richard Baron is the Board Chair and founder of Urban Strategies, a national non-profit that develops, coordinates, and implements community supportive service plans that seek to provide critical social services for low-income residents of urban core communities. He is also the Chairman and CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar in St. Louis, Missouri, a firm specializing in the development and management of mixed-income communities with an emphasis on large-scale redevelopment projects in central city locations.

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Anne DeGroot

Founder and Director, Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic

Dr. De Groot is a founder and volunteer Medical Director of Clincia Esperanza/HopeClinic (501c3) in Providence, Rhode Island. With the help of other volunteers, Dr. Anne De Groot has created a free clinic that offers high-quality medical care and preventive health services to adults who do not have health insurance or cannot afford to purchase healthcare. Dr. De Groot is also the CEO & CSO of EpiVax Inc., a 17 year old Biotech company, as well as a Professor and Director at The University of Rhode Island’s Institute for Immunology and Informatics (iCubed).