Design Team

The design process is characterized by collaboration between highly talented architectural, planning and financing professionals and insightful experts in community building, housing and the challenges that low-wealth communities face.  Design professionals and resident experts work side by side to plan a redeveloped Friendship Court that is authentically responsive to the aspirations and needs of the community.

Aerial rendering of Friendship Court redevelopment plan

Advisory Committee

Nine Residents, Six Community Members 

The Friendship Court Advisory Committee was formed in February of 2016 through a resident election process with a clear mandate to represent community interests through the redevelopment planning and implementation processes. The community representatives on the Advisory Committee provide expert guidance, advocacy, and insight as they co-design their future homes and community.

Collage showing all 16 members of the Advisory Committee.
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. 


Grimm + Parker architecture firm logo

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

Site Engineer

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 of Studio O

Liz Ogbu is an architect and social innovation strategist trained at Wellesley College and the Harvard School of Design who consults on projects globally.

She has worked on projects in Africa, South America, England, and the United States, as she says, “…translating the desires of the community into design.”

Liz Ogbu, a consultant on the Friendship Court redevelopment.

Marc Norman

Loeb Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Marc Norman is an internationally recognized expert on policy and finance for affordable housing and community development. He has a Master’s Degree in urban planning from the University of California Los Angeles and experience with for-profit and non-profit organizations, consulting firms and investment banks. Marc serves as a consultant on the Friendship Court redevelopment. In his role, he will help turn the vision into one that is financially sound and sustainable long-term.

Marc Norman, a consultant on the Friendship Court redevelopment