Lewis C. Wendell is the president of Wendell & Associates, economic and community redevelopment specialists with an emphasis on economic development and helping form and advise business improvement districts. Wendell & Associates has worked in large and small communities on projects as diverse as business improvement district formation and strategic review, land conservation, historic preservation and redevelopment and grant writing/fundraising. Prior to re-establishing his consulting business, Lewis was the Executive Director of the University City District (UCD), a special services district in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania incorporating the campuses of University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Children’s Hospital, the Science Center and the Penn Health Care System among other institutions. Under his leadership, the annual UCD budget grew from $5.6 million to $9.6 million, an increase of 71%. During that time, UCD planned and facilitated over $6.5 in capital improvements within the 2.4 square mile district. Lewis was also responsible for successful programs in public safety, public space maintenance, economic development, marketing, planning, and transit which substantially raised the quality of life and helped foster unprecedented private investment in the district.
Mr. Wendell has over 30 years of experience as an urban planner and as an economic and community development professional. Prior to his appointment at UCD, he was the Deputy Commissioner of Development for the City of New Rochelle, NY for 5 years overseeing the departments of Buildings, Planning, Economic Development, the downtown BID, the Industrial Development Agency, Housing Rehabilitation and Parking and Public Property. In his role as Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Wendell oversaw the planning of a 20-acre waterfront redevelopment project, a 920 space parking garage/multi-modal transit center and several major redevelopment projects in the revitalizing downtown.
From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Wendell formed the consulting firm Wendell & Associates, in New York City. The firm specialized in urban and community redevelopment with major projects in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn and Utica, New York.
Before moving to New York, Lewis spent 9 years in Richmond, Virginia working for Chesterfield County’s Community Development Division as Director of the Community Development Block Grant Program, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Senior Planner in the Planning Department. In a prior career, Lewis worked for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. for 4 years, leaving to pursue a Master’s degree in urban planning and public administration at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Lewis grew up in a foreign service family with postings in Lahore, Pakistan, New Delhi, India and Frankfurt, Germany. Lewis and his family currently live in New York City and Roxbury, NY.