James, counsel in FaegreBD's real estate practice, has advised developers on many land and real estate development transactions. Since 2013, he has chaired the organizing committee for Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Iowa, working with the Greater Des Moines Partnership to bring the worldwide, 30,000-member organization to Iowa. James will serve as district council chairman of the local chapter, expected to launch in 2014.
The installment of a ULI chapter in Iowa will provide central Iowa with access to the organization's research and training on best practices for developing cities sustainably, the Des Moines Register reported in a profile of James.
"What I love about it is it's profit-driven, but it also promotes sustainability," James told a crowd of 150 developers, lawyers and city officials at an event celebrating the creation of ULI of Iowa. "Everyone loves sustainability, but you can't have it if it doesn't pencil out."
James expects ULI of Iowa to encourage more housing and business mixed-use development, which will help attract the millennial workforce Iowa needs. He is a steadfast advocate of walkable communities and previously owned James Development Group, which led the renovation of the corner of 23rd Street and University Avenue, the Register reported.
"I'm very passionate about development," James told the Register. "I think we in the development community have a duty to create places that make our lives more livable, that make our communities more vibrant."
Faegre Baker Daniels' real estate team has supported Urban Land Institute throughout the Midwest for more than a decade. In addition to Iowa, the firm has ULI members in Indiana and Minnesota. FaegreBD professionals regularly participate in expert panels and study committees on development issues. In 2013-13, FaegreBD was the presenting sponsor for the ULI-Indiana Breakfast Series, and Indiana professionals regularly participate on committees associated with the series.
About Urban Land Institute
ULI, the Urban Land Institute, is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit research and education organization supported by its members. Founded in 1936, ULI now has members worldwide, representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service. A multidisciplinary real estate forum, ULI facilitates an open exchange of ideas, information and experience among industry leaders and policy-makers dedicated to creating better places.